Decorating the governor's mansion

By: 
DONNA SUMMERALL
Staff Writer

Several years ago Scott Reed, owner of Petal Pushers, had the honor and privilege to be one of many decorators chosen to work his magic at the White House in Washington D.C. He and many others brought the Christmas Season to life for the First Family.
Now Reed has been chosen to decorate the Mississippi Governors Mansion.

"I'm just a little more excited to do the Governor's Mansion than the White House," Reed said. "We were the only ones chosen to do the decorating for the first family of Mississippi."
Reed and his team will begin the process of bringing Christmas to the mansion on Black Friday. The Reeves are planning Thanksgiving at the mansion and will allow the decorating team inside the next day.

"This is the Reeve's home," Reed said. "We want to make it beautiful, but not intrude on their family time. We've been asked to decorate the exterior, the gardens, the entrance to the historical section and the private residence."

Elee Tate, the First Lady of Mississippi, wants the theme to honor those who have been on the front lines of caring for people during COVID-19. Reed said she decided that the color red will be in their honor for the decorations.
"Unlike the White House, people I know can tour the Governor's Mansion," Reed said. "The Mississippi Department of Archives and History will host a candlelight tour on Dec. 4. They will show the historical part of the mansion, the gardens and will end with an opportunity for children to visit with Santa."

Reed said they are encouraging children to draw pictures and write thank you notes to the first responders being honored. They will be delivered to the hospital by Santa Claus himself.

A friend and customer of Reed sent him a message that the First Lady was asking for Mississippi designers to submit a plan with decorating ideas. She thought he would be perfect.
"It was due the next day," Reed said. "So I stayed up that night and put together a submission. A few weeks later I was informed that Petal Pushers had been chosen. I went to Jackson to meet with Elee Reeves, tour the mansion with her and find out if what she wanted could be brought to life."

Reed spent the day with the curator. So much of the mansion holds historical significance and cannot be moved or touched.
"You can't throw a wreath just anywhere," Reed said. "So I needed to be familiar with the places where we would be allowed to decorate. I've got a team from all over Mississippi coming to help me.
We are working with Mississippi artist to create ornaments to honor those first responders. There has been a great response for the project."
Much like the White House, the decorations cannot be purchased with taxpayer dollars. The funding is through private donations and the The Mississippi Department of Archives and History.
"We will have access to the decoration in storage," Reed said. "We want to be good stewards of the funds available and use things that are already here as much as possible. We all want to make Mississippi proud."

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