Chicago Planners Lead White House Holiday Decoration
For the fifth straight year, a Chicago event-planning company has taken the lead in decorating the White House for the holidays.
agencyEA, located on the Chicago’s Near North Side, has worked with the White House since March on this year’s holiday display. As in year’s past, the decorating efforts were led by Chicagoan and agencyEA managing partner Gabrielle Martinez.
Shortly after Thanksgiving 15 Chicago agencyEA staffers and over 100 volunteers traveled to Washington, D.C. from 34 states to begin the monumental task of adorning 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., according to reports.
“I want to thank all of the volunteers who traveled from across the country to help decorate,” said First Lady Michelle Obama during a Dec. 3 decoration unveiling event for military families. “They come in Thanksgiving weekend and give up time with their families. … We are so grateful for their enthusiasm and their creativity.”
This year’s White House holiday theme is “A Children's Winter Wonderland,” and includes high-tech decorations like 3D printed ornaments and animatronic replicas of First Dogs Bo and Sunny.
Among the 26 Christmas trees decorated throughout the home is the official 18-foot White House fir, which this year is decorated with ornaments created by children living on U.S. military bases around the world. The theme of this year's tree is "America the Brave."
"I think this is the biggest tree we've had," Obama said. "... We literally had to take the hinges off (the doors) just to get this tree in."
A further salute to the military can be found on a tree in the East Wing, which is adorned with Gold Star ornaments in commemoration for those that have died while in service.
This year's decorations also include the the traditional White House gingerbread house. The 420-pound White House replica sits in the State Dining Room, and is surrounded by an ice rink. It is topped by Santa's sleigh.
In all, this year’s decorations will be seen by about 65,000 visitors to the White House in the next month. To see more images of the White House holiday decorations, search #WHHolidays on Twitter.