Vinton florist selected to help decorate White House for Christmas

Published: Dec. 14, 2022 at 6:10 PM EST
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VINTON, Va. (WDBJ) - Decorating for the holidays can be stressful, but imagine decorating for the President of the United States, his family and the thousands of people who go to see these decorations.

Mark Frye, the owner of Creative Occasions in Vinton, knows the pressure because he’s done it twice.

“It’s also a little nerve racking because you think, you know, this is a really high pressure gig here. Not only is it for the first family, but it’s for the entire country and so you want it to be spot on,” said Frye.

He was one of about 150 team members chosen to decorate the White House for Christmas this year, out of thousands of people who wanted to volunteer.

“This year I was assigned to the team that did a number of spaces actually, we had a 27-person team, so we ended up, I was personally in the grand foyer and then the cross hall, so kind of the main public spaces that actually get you into all the rooms,” said Frye.

While this isn’t the first time Mark was selected, he said this experience was different.

“This year the theme was We the People, and Dr. Biden in choosing that theme wanted to, in her words, she said that we’re much stronger as a whole than we are divided, and she wanted to reflect that in the theme We the People, and so a lot of the decorations and the ornaments particularly in the areas I worked were mirrored surfaces or reflective. We actually handmade over 500 little reflectors that we put on trees and part of her thinking behind that was, that as people looked at the ornaments they would see their own reflection and understand that they are a part of this greater whole,” said Frye.

He said he uses inspiration from his time at the White House to create for his customer here at home.

“The two ornament trees that we have on the front of the shop this year are much smaller scale versions of pieces that were done at the White House last year,” said Frye.

And said it’s an honor he never dreamed would come true.

“Regardless of politics, regardless of the occupants at the White House, it’s the people’s house and to be able to do that on behalf of the entire nation, it’s just so incredibly humbling,” said Frye.