NEW VINEYARD — Boxes of shiny pink and blue Easter eggs sat ready for shipment at the Maine Wood Concepts mill here on a recent afternoon.

The eggs – about 100,000 total – will travel more than 600 miles to Washington, D.C., where they will be given to children at the 2019 Easter Egg Roll at the White House.

An Easter egg after it leaves the lathe and before it receives six coats of paint stands on a table for display Friday at Maine Wood Concepts in New Vineyard. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

This is the second year in a row and one of several times over the last two decades Maine Wood Concepts has been chosen to produce the colorful eggs, which have become a tradition through multiple administrations.

“It truly is an honor to be able to do this,” said Michael Conway, director of sales and marketing for Maine Wood Concepts. “Regardless of what side of the aisle you’re on, this is an American tradition as opposed to Republican or Democrat.”

The White House Easter Egg Roll, typically held on Easter Monday, will be held April 22 this year.

The event dates back to 1878, when then-President Rutherford B. Hayes decided to open the South Lawn for egg rolling, a race that includes pushing an egg with a wooden spoon.


The eggs are commissioned by the White House Historical Association, a private nonprofit, though the planning of the event is often done by first ladies, according to the White House.

First lady Nancy Reagan instituted the custom of giving children and guests at the egg roll a commemorative wooden egg to take home bearing the signatures of the President and the first lady.

Easter eggs with the official seal of the president of the United States are on display Friday at Maine Wood Concepts in New Vineyard. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

Today wooden eggs also have replaced real eggs, which often get smashed and create a foul odor, in the egg roll itself.

The White House estimates nearly 30,000 people will attend this year’s egg roll, admission to which is granted in advance by a lottery.

When leaving, each visitor will be given one of the commemorative eggs, which this year and last year were made by Maine Wood Concepts.

Neither Conway nor Jody Fletcher, co-owner of Maine Wood Concepts, would say how much the contract to produce the eggs is worth.


They typically start on the egg-making process in October. Last week they were wrapping up production ahead of this year’s Egg Roll.

The mill, located on Route 27, also produces a variety of other wood products, including salt and pepper shakers, toy parts and furniture pieces. It employs about 95 people.

The eggs are made from start to finish at the mill, beginning with white birch logs that are cut into blocks, turned into eggs and then painted with up to six coats of paint. All the wood is sourced from within 250 miles of the mill.

Nick Fletcher, production supervisor at Maine Wood Concepts in New Vineyard, runs a lathe to create wooden Easter eggs Friday. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

The colors of the eggs vary from year to year. This year’s were selected to reflect the colors found in the White House State Rooms and gardens: the Green Room, the Blue Room, the Red Room, the Vermeil Room, and the Rose Garden.

After painting, the eggs are coated with a clear lacquer and imprinted with the signatures.

This year, the colored eggs also featured an imprint of the White House, while the vermeil egg bears the Presidential Seal.

The eggs are also available to purchase on the White House Historical Association’s website, where they go for $8.50 each or $14.95 for the vermeil egg. A set of all five costs $34.95.

“We think it’s an honor to be involved with it, so we make sure we very aggressively pursue it,” Conway said. “It’s such a traditional American event, so just to be a small part of it is really cool.”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.