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Halloween at the White House: Some healthy eats with the tricks and treats (photos)


Halloween 2010 at the White House. (Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images)

Compared with Tuesday's midterms, Halloween at the White House wasn't all that scary. But it was fun: For the second year in a row, the Obamas transformed 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. for the haunted holiday. No costume this year for Michelle Obama, who last year turned out as a cat. The first lady instead wore a bright orange cardigan over a shimmering orange top, while the president appeared to be dressed as, well, a suburban dad, in a gray sweater and slacks. Along with first mother-in-law Marian Robinson, they stood on the North Portico and gave each trick-or-treater a box of M&Ms, a butter cookie made by White House pastry chef Bill Yosses and ... a serving of dried fruit.


Check out the flying bats! (Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images)

But of course: a nod to Michelle Obama's healthy-eating-and-exercise campaign to combat childhood obesity. It came up again as White House staff got ready to wrap things up, and a few dillydallying kids made a last-minute dash up the driveway to collect their treats from the Obamas. "Run!" said the first lady. Joked the president: "This is the 'Let's Move' method of trick-or-treating."

No sign of the first kids, alas, though the president told reporters on Air Force One earlier in the day that Sasha would be dressing as a turkey.

Children from military families and several local schools were invited for the festivities, which included a brass band, actors dressed as Dracula, Frankenstein and Wolfman, and an elaborate pumpkin display and carving demonstration. Also: menacing scarecrows, constructed from pumpkin heads and cornstalk bodies, and a mobile of flying bats hanging under the White House portico.

(See more photos of Halloween trick-or-treaters at the White House here.)

The pumpkin-carving team -- we're talking some serious pumpkin people here -- was assembled for the party by chef James Parker, a champion fruit and vegetable carver who owns Veggy Art in Chantilly. Parker has created centerpieces for the White House before, but this time got carte blanche to go a little crazy.


Some of James Parker and Veggy Art's handiwork for the White House pumpkin display (Courtesy of James Parker)

"This is the first time they said, 'Make whatever you want with pumpkins,' " he told us. "I said yes before I even knew what I wanted to do."

Small problem: Parker's a master at fruits and most veggies -- but not pumpkins. Not really his thing. "They are something completely different," he admitted. "I'll just play to my creative strengths and just treat it like another vegetable. It's just a little bigger."

He also asked the top competitors from Food Network's "Outrageous Pumpkins" -- including champ Ray "The Pumpkin Diva" Villafane -- to carve 12 showpieces for the White House. Parker's contribution: A 3-by-4-foot haunted house made entirely out of pumpkins.

"I used to be scared of pumpkins," Parker said. "I'm slowly getting over it."

More photos? We got them...






The haunted house that James Parker made out of pumpkin for the White House Halloween. (James Parker/Veggy Art)






Trick-or-treaters meet the Obamas on the North Portico. (Jason Reed/Reuters)






The bat-mobile (ha!) earlier in the day. (Jason Reed/Reuters)






Checking out the gourds: Not an actual farmer, but an actor brought in to play one. (Jason Reed/Reuters)






A young Robin eludes the clutches of Frankenstein and Elvira. (Jason Reed/Reuters)






The 44th president, the 16th president, Beetlejuice and Marilyn Monroe. (Oh, just make up your own joke.) (Jason Reed/Reuters)

By The Reliable Source  | November 1, 2010; 1:04 AM ET
Categories:  44: Obama's Washington, First Family  
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Next: Quoted: Courteney Cox seems to be okay with David Arquette's oversharing -- or is that sarcasm?

Comments

Hey, any other news to report today?

JOURNOLIST!!!

As an aside, anyone know where to get a nice pair of mom jeans?

Posted by: asdf2 | November 1, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Hey, any other news to report today?

JOURNOLIST!!!

As an aside, anyone know where to get a nice pair of mom jeans?

Posted by: asdf2 | November 1, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

REALLY COOL thing the President and Michele did......Pretty partylistic and candilistic

Nice of them and pretty cool Mr. President!!

Posted by: pattikakes10 | November 1, 2010 12:45 AM | Report abuse

No photos of white kids at the White House.

Posted by: arcticrose1 | November 1, 2010 3:22 AM | Report abuse


No "diversity" here.

Posted by: wmpowellfan | November 1, 2010 4:50 AM | Report abuse

Hey, that farmer is NOT an actor - he's really a farmer. That's really MAC CONDILL from THE GREAT PUMPKIN PATCH in Arthur, Illinois. Come on Jason - give an American business credit where credit is due!! Think I'm pulling your leg? Check out Mac on Martha Stewart!!

Posted by: lisawms6 | November 1, 2010 6:40 AM | Report abuse

So cute!

(Caption quibble: I'm guessing Frankenstein's mate there is The Bride of Frankenstein)

Posted by: dadada | November 1, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

It's Halloween every day with this regime.

Posted by: kbarker302 | November 1, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

I am so very proud of this President and his family. They represent the ordinary American family. They try and do what is right and good for all Americans. However, no matter how decent and fair they try to be, negative and nasty people keep trying to bring them down. The world is watching and determining how the leader of the United States of American and his family are being treated by some people in this county. We are sending a message to the world that American does not practice what it preaches. We all should be so proud and supportive of this President, not because of his race, but because of his intellect and burning desire to help America return as the greatest Nation on the face of the earth. And because he and his family practice what they preach.

Posted by: auntminnie | November 1, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Of course, Obama is wearing a costume. He showed up as Bill Cosby.

Posted by: forgetthis | November 1, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Beautiful post below. Couldn't have said anything better myself. Kudos. Obviously civility is dead in this country and we owe it to the internet and the Teabaggers.

"I am so very proud of this President and his family. They represent the ordinary American family. They try and do what is right and good for all Americans. However, no matter how decent and fair they try to be, negative and nasty people keep trying to bring them down. The world is watching and determining how the leader of the United States of American and his family are being treated by some people in this county. We are sending a message to the world that American does not practice what it preaches. We all should be so proud and supportive of this President, not because of his race, but because of his intellect and burning desire to help America return as the greatest Nation on the face of the earth. And because he and his family practice what they preach."

Posted by: auntminnie | November 1, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: denise4925 | November 1, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Apparently for some, there is no topic too small or innocuous that is NOT an occasion to insult, demean, and disrespect the President of the United States.

Posted by: PattiFink1 | November 1, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

They should have gone as scary Republicans or Tea Baggers!

Posted by: jazzy35 | November 1, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Nice story. The kids got the thrill of a lifetime. I like the bat-mobile, too. Very cool.

Posted by: margaret6 | November 1, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: adfjsfsfg | November 1, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

@dadada. Hilarious. Was just going by the photographer's caption, but I bet you're right -- the Bride of Frankenstein was visibly at the party, and I didn't see Elvira in other images.

Posted by: The Reliable Source | November 1, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

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