White House proceeds with garden tours despite sequester cuts

The White House will open its gates this weekend to members of the public, allowing ticketed visitors in for the annual garden tour despite sequester cuts that have led to the cancellation of regular tours.

Those who secure tickets to enter the grounds will be able to view the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, Rose Garden, and the South Lawn from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

"Additionally, the White House Kitchen Garden – the first vegetable garden at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt’s Victory Garden – will be accessible to guests," the White House said in a statement.

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It will be one of the first opportunities for the general public to view the White House grounds since the administration announced a month ago that it was canceling tours because of Secret Service cuts caused by the sequester. Last week, hundreds of visitors were also granted access to the South Lawn for the annual Easter Egg Roll.

Tickets to the garden tours, which are free, will be distributed by the National Parks Service on a first-come, first-serve basis at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion at 15th and E streets. Distribution will begin at 8 a.m. both days.

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