Before the festivities get underway, the Obama family will be celebrating the first lady’s birthday. Michelle Obama turns 49 today and President Obama will likely take his wife out to dinner in the District of Columbia tonight.
The event is not planned on the president’s public schedule, for the past four years the Obama family have dined out on the first lady’s birthday, according to Yahoo News.
The tradition started in 2009 with the nearby Equinox restaurant. Just across from the White House, the restaurant is known for its regional cuisine. The next year it was Restaurant Nora, which touts itself as being the first certified organic restaurant in America. In 2011, they dined at celebrity-chef Wolfgang Puck‘s restaurant The Source. They had a steak dinner at BLT Steak last year.
All four chefs that have prepared her birthday meal in the past participated in Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative or were named as members of the American Chef Corps.
Blogger Kohan told ABC News:
“Businesses have a big spike when the president and first lady go out. By the end of it, there’s always a crowd outside the restaurant. … In the past, the crowds have sung Mrs. Obama ‘Happy Birthday.'”
Secrecy remains a top priority, however, and the White House asks restaurants not to release the selections the Obamas dine on. We will know where they eat when they arrive, as always.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, when asked how Mrs. Obama intends to celebrate, just smiled and said:
“I don’t want to ruin the surprise.”
Happy 49th Birthday to first lady Michelle Obama!