First Lady Chirlane McCray ring in holiday season at Gracie Mansion


NEW YORK—First Lady Chirlane McCray and Rafanelli Events partnered for the second year in a row to decorate Gracie Mansion for the holiday season.

The Rafanelli Events team, led by President Bryan Rafanelli, worked closely with the First Lady to create designs that reflect several of Mayor Bill de Blasio and the First Lady’s core initiatives, including: ThriveNYC, NYC Soccer Initiative, Pre-K for All, Community Policing, and IDNYC.

The decorations will be viewed by more than 10,000 visitors over the holiday season. This year’s theme is Togetherness and reflects the diversity of New York City.

The Ballroom highlights the First Lady’s groundbreaking mental health initiative ThriveNYC. The ThriveNYC tree is adorned with messages from New Yorkers across the city about what helps them thrive.

The Blue Room spotlights Pre-K for All with a mantel silhouette. The Peach Room highlights the New York Soccer Initiative with a tree made from 50 soccer balls. Each ball symbolizes a mini-soccer pitch the initiative will bring to the five boroughs and will be donated at the end of the holiday season.

The mantel silhouette in the Peach Room will reflect on Car-Free park hours in Central Park. Ribbons will be featured prominently because of their significance as symbols of awareness and as something that ties things together. The ribbons will be donated  at the close of the holiday season to local community organizations for arts programs.

“Now, more than ever, is a time for all New Yorkers to come together. This year at Gracie Mansion we will celebrate the diversity of New York by sharing the stories of everyday life in the Fairest Big City,” said First Lady McCray. “Rafanelli has helped Gracie Mansion bring our vision of the holidays to life with style and functional art.”

“The First Lady shared so many inspiring stories about the city’s initiatives; it made it easy to share her passion through the holiday decorations throughout the house,” said Bryan Rafanelli, Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Rafanelli events.

Rafanelli Events designed the décor for Gracie Mansion in 2017 and previously designed the décor for the last Obama White House holiday seasons under former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.



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