Olive Branch native helps decorate White House for the holidays

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One Mississippi resident traveled to Washington, D.C., to represent the state after being selected to decorate the White House for the Christmas season for a second year in a row.

Olive Branch native Valerie Cox explained that she immediately began planning her trip back to the United States capital once she was notified that she had been selected to be a decorating volunteer yet again.

“I believe the applications were due at the end of August, but we did not find out until the first part of October that we had been selected,” Cox said on Good Things with Rebecca Turner. “We probably had about three or four more weeks to plan and make an itinerary of what you were going to see during your off time.”

Photo courtesy of Valerie Cox

According to Cox, approximately 300 individuals were chosen to help decorate for the “Magic, Wonder, and Joy” theme during this year’s Holidays at the White House Display.

“The week is split up into two different parts. It’s the first three days before Thanksgiving and the three days after Thanksgiving,” Cox said. “There’s a lot of volunteers that only come for the last three days, but there are a good bit of us that come for the whole week.”

Cox added that her experience decorating for the holidays last year helped her work more efficiently over the week-long event, as well as know what to wear during the process.

“I knew more of what to expect and what to pack,” Cox explained. “I got to see some of the things that I wanted to see but didn’t have time.”

Nearly 34,000 ornaments were used on the 98 Christmas trees located throughout the White House complex, with approximately 142,425 holiday lights decorating trees, garlands, wreaths, and displays.

To see the full tour of the White House’s holiday decorations for 2023, click here.

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