WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — The White House opened the gates Monday for its biggest social event of the year, the annual Easter Egg Roll.

President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, are hosting the festivities on the South Lawn for a crowd of nearly 30,000 adults and children.

That’s larger than last year, Trump’s first year in office, when the White House said it expected 21,000 attendees.

“I want to really thank the first lady, Melania, who has done an incredible job. She worked so hard on this event and so I want to thank you,” the president said at the start of the event. “Also I want to thank the White House Historical Association and all of the people that worked so hard with Melania.”

The first lady announced last week that lawn bowling has been added to the roster of festivities that includes the tradition of rolling of hard-boiled eggs across the lawn.

There’s also a nook where Mrs. Trump and other officials will take turns reading books and a station for kids to make greeting cards for U.S. troops.

The White House Easter Egg Roll dates to 1878.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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