Since 2019, three Silver Dollar City designers have been making the Missouri Governor’s Mansion merry and bright at Christmastime. Kelly Eutsler, with the Branson theme park, said the tradition started after First Lady Teresa Parson called the park for holiday decorating ideas.

Parson invited Eutsler, Carrie Duvall, and Karen McCaulley to dinner to review the décor at “The People’s House.” That’s when they offered to help.

“We’re usually there for four days. We do stay in the mansion when we’re there and they really just seem to be proud to have us there. It’s great because, you know, when we’re finished for the day, we just go upstairs and then, you know, there’s no commute to there. We can just go and get right to work,” Eutsler told Missourinet.
They can do the decorating virtually in their sleep because they organize the annual Silver Dollar City ‘An Old Time Christmas” festival. The holiday celebration includes millions of lights and hundreds of decorated Christmas trees.

“This experience is a lot of fun for us and it’s a great way to just kind of cap off the season for us after getting our huge Christmas festival open down here at Silver Dollar City and then we go up there. It really allows us to really just kind of put our designer skills in use,” she said. “We know what an honor it is to be asked to do that. That is not lost on us. And we just are so proud to be able to take the magic of Silver Dollar City and kind of add that to the beautiful historical structure that the Missouri Governor’s Mansion is. I mean, I will just treasure these times for the rest of my life.”

Photo provided by Silver Dollar City

Photo provided by Silver Dollar City

Eutsler said the first family’s living quarters has a Christmas tree filled with Kansas City Chiefs decorations. Not many people can say that they’ve watched a Chiefs game with the Parsons at the mansion, but the designing trio can.

“We actually did in 2019 when we arrived for our first decorating adventure with them,” she said. “There was actually a Chiefs game on. We had been listening to it in the car on our drive up there. When we arrived, we were sent up to the third floor to finish watching the game with the governor and the first lady. That was such a treat and such a such an honor. It’s really just such a testament to the kind of people that the governor and first lady are. They’re just such kind, warm, down to earth people that are always so welcoming. It’s just who they are.”

This year’s mansion theme is a salute to the U.S. military.

The three did not decorate the Governor’s Mansion in 2020 due to the pandemic.

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