|Tuesday, Jan 8, 2008|
From January 4th through January 31st, visitors to the White House Visitors Center will have the opportunity to view the 2007 White House Blue Room Christmas Tree ornaments and the White House Gingerbread House.
Given the publicâs interest in this yearâs theme â âHoliday in the National Parksâ â and in the 2007 decorations, the White House has loaned the items to the National Park Service so that more people will have the opportunity to enjoy these extraordinary holiday decorations.
The hand-designed park ornaments were used to decorate the White House Blue Room Christmas Tree. The one-of-a-kind tree decorations were created by selected park artists and represent 349 national parks, memorials, seashores, historic sites and monuments.
The White House Gingerbread House, very popular with children and adults, was created by White House pastry chef Bill Yosses and is based on the design of James Hoban's 1792 architectural plans for the presidential mansion. The White House â and Presidentâs Park, which surrounds it â are units of the National Park Service. The scaled-down masterpiece includes Bush family pets Barney, Miss Beazley, and Willie the cat sitting in Santaâs sleigh. Moose, elk, raccoons, coyotes, and other animals found in the national parks can be seen playing on the South Lawn. The reproduction of the White House has a gingerbread foundation and white chocolate exterior and weighs more than 300 pounds.
âIt was an amazing honor for the National Park Service to be selected as the theme for the White House holiday decorations by the President and Mrs. Bush,â said Director Bomar. âEvery park was invited to join in the celebration by selecting an artist to create a park-specific ornament. The ornaments tell the stories of our parks, just as our parks tell the stories of our nation.â
Each December finds a holiday exhibit at the White House Visitor Center with jumbo photographs of the White House rooms decorated for the holidays. The holiday photographic portion of the exhibit also will remain at the visitor center through January.
The White House Visitor Center is located at 1450 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., near the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue between 14th and 15th Streets, N.W., in the north end of the Commerce Department building. It is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
An illustrated reference guide is available at the White House Visitor Center to help visitors locate particular ornaments of their favorite park areas. âOrnament locatorsâ are also available near the trees where the ornaments are displayed.