Weekly Feature

2015-04-02 / Front Page

Lancaster entertainers return to White House


Danny Hamilton, left, and his brother, Joey, performed at the White House Easter Egg Roll last year and have been asked to return for this year’s festivities. Danny Hamilton, left, and his brother, Joey, performed at the White House Easter Egg Roll last year and have been asked to return for this year’s festivities. Danny and Joey Hamilton grew up with a father who was an amateur magician and entertainer, so when the brothers decided to embark on a business endeavor together in 2011, performance seemed like a natural course.

Joey Hamilton, 18, a Lancaster High School student, and his brother, Danny, 21, began their act — known as Charlie and Checkers — in order to gain real-world business experience, and the pair have become well-known in short order.

On Monday, April 6, the two will be performing on the south lawn of the White House for the 137th annual Easter Egg Roll, and it’s not their first time.

“Every year there is a staff that looks to bring in some of the best variety entertainment they can offer,” said Danny Hamilton. “We got an invitation to perform last year, and we’re thrilled they are asking us back.”

For the brothers, it is not just another opportunity to perform, but something much greater than that.

“It is considered a great honor to be one of the performers chosen to be at the White House, and we’re really excited to be there,” said Joey Hamilton.

“Last year we were there, and it is awesome to be that close to one of the most important buildings not just in the country, but in the world,” added his brother. “We got to see the president and the first lady. It’s a lot of fun to be there and to be part of the action.”

According to the duo, their act began primarily as a magic show but has evolved a great deal over time. It is now a variety show, which features everything from a unicycle to Danny Hamilton as the character Checkers getting into a gigantic balloon.

“It’s 45 minutes of nonstop fun,” he said.

While at home, the show is a stage act, but on the South Lawn, the format gets changed a bit. The performing acts roam around seeking out children and guests to entertain, rather than being stationary. According to the Hamiltons, more than 35,000 people will be there throughout the day.

While the format gets switched, some things flow smoothly from Lancaster all the way to Washington, D.C. The brothers attempt to make their show not only fun, but educational as well.

Locally, the pair have performed at libraries to promote reading and also have performed at Wegmans where their focus is not only laughs and smiles, but healthy children.

“We’re trying to be informative and educational, teaching kids about healthy eating and overall wellness,” said Danny Hamilton. “It’s not just about being entertaining, but having something that the kids can take with them.”

This year, Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative is celebrating its fifth anniversary and the campaign will be visible at the egg roll. In addition to the performers, the egg hunt and the roll itself, the day will feature sports and fitness zones and cooking demonstrations.

To learn more about the Easter Egg Roll, visit www.whitehouse. gov/eastereggroll. Live streams will also be available for viewing on April 6 on whitehouse.gov/live.

(Story ideas for this feature can be sent to Lancaster/Depew Bee Editor Julie Halm, Bee Publications, 5564 Main St., Williamsville, NY 14221 or call 204-4924.)

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