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December 1, 2016: Inside This Year's White House Christmas Decorations, Fox Sports and GoPro to Offer Referee Perspective for Big Ten Championship, Inauguration Donors to Receive V.I.P. Perks

1. INSIDE THIS YEAR'S WHITE HOUSE CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS: The 2016 White House Christmas decorations were unveiled by First Lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday. The decor includes giant replicas of dogs Bo and Sunny made from 25,000 yarn pom palms. USA Today: "And the famous White House gingerbread house sitting in the State Dining Room weighs more than 300 pounds. The fluffy dogs and cookie house—which includes 20 pounds of icing alone—are part of the First Lady’s annual Christmas decorations, which went public Tuesday. The White House decorations, which USA TODAY previewed Tuesday, were put up by 92 volunteers chosen from around the country over the last few days. … This year’s theme is “The Gift of the Holidays” includes a massive number of ribbons—7,500 strands in the East Colonnade and 8.000 bows and ribbons in the East Hallway alone. The Christmas tree in the White House’s 'blue room' is 19 feet tall and came from a farm Pennsylvania. The ornaments on the tree were donated by U.S. citizens and military service members overseas."

2. FOX SPORTS AND GOPRO TO OFFER REFEREE PERSPECTIVE FOR BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP: Fox Sports’ technology arm has partnered with GoPro to broadcast Big Ten Championship football games from the referee point of view on the Fox Sports website, social channels, and app. Forbes: “The GoPro is mounted in referee hats that allow cameras to be directly in the middle of the field as plays unfold. FOX Sports will not only integrate as part of the game but via FOX Sports social media channels, as well as on For those that really want to geek on the experience, it will be available during the game as an isolated digital stream on FOX Sports GO. Financial details of the agreement were not released. However, both sides have very positive things to say about the arrangement. ‘This is the continuing challenge we’ve taken on all year,’ said Michael Davies, FOX Sports Senior Vice President Technical & Field Operations. ‘It’s in our FOX Sports DNA to constantly challenge our team to come up with new and interesting ways to enhance the viewing experience, bring fans closer to the action and make the story of sports even more compelling … this project with GoPro accomplishes all of that.’ GoPro execs also talked up marrying their camera technology with a premium live sporting event.”

3. INAUGURATION DONORS TO RECEIVE V.I.P. PERKS: Those who donate $1 million or more to President-Elect Donald Trump’s inauguration will receive perks including a candlelit dinner. Washington Post: “For seven-figure contributions, Trump's richest supporters will get a slew of special perks during the inauguration weekend, including eight tickets to a “candlelight dinner” that will feature ‘special appearances’ by Trump, his wife, Melania, Vice President-elect Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, according to a sheet detailing ‘underwriter package benefits’ obtained by The Washington Post. The 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee confirmed the authenticity of the donor brochure, which was first reported by the Center for Public Integrity. Other million-donor benefits include an exclusive lunch “with select Cabinet appointees and House and Senate leadership,” four tickets to “an intimate dinner” with the Pences, eight tickets to a lunch with ‘the ladies of the first families,’ eight tickets and premier access to the inaugural ball and priority booking at ‘Premier Inaugural Hotel(s).’ The special rewards being offered to Trump's biggest backers could cut against his pledge to “drain the swamp” and run an administration free from the influence of wealthy interests. The big-money solicitation comes as top Trump donors and former lobbyists are playing significant roles shaping the new administration. Inaugural-committee officials said Tuesday that details of the donor packages could change and noted that contributions from registered lobbyists will not be accepted.”


ATLANTA:  The Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishings Market will take place January 10-17 at AmericasMart. 

CHICAGO:  The Chicago Steel Hockey Team will host its annual Teddy Bear Toss—in which fans toss new, unwrapped stuffed animals onto the ice after the home team scores a goal—on December 10 at Geneva's Fox Valley Ice Arena. 

LOS ANGELES:  Stay Classy Bar, a Will Ferrell-theme pop-up bar, will run December 5-15 at TCL Chinese 6 Theaters. LAist:

For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner:

NEW YORK:  The 20th annual P.A.V.E. (Planning and Visual Education) Gala will take place December 7 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard's Duggal Greenhouse.

House of SpeakEasy's fourth annual gala, "When in Rome," will take place March 6 at the Edison Ballroom.

Chefs including Carla Hall, Tom Colicchio, and Mario Batali have been announced as participants in the first-ever Brooklyn Food & Wine Festival, taking place February 17-18 at the Barclays Center. 

For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner:

ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA:  Disney is offering a "Highway in the Sky Dine-Around" experience. Guests ride the monorail and stop for cocktails, appetizers, dinner, and dessert at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Polynesian Village Resort, and Contemporary Resort.

SAN DIEGO:  Cohn Restaurant Group has opened floating event deck Harbor Float adjacent to Mexican restaurant Coasterra. The 6,000-square-foot space can hold as many as 250 for receptions.

TORONTO:  The Frost Fair Market will take place at Fort York National Historic Site on Saturday. The holiday market will include a book sale, free hot chocolate samples, and a gingerbread-making workshop.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  The Smithsonian Holiday Festival will take place Saturday and Sunday on the National Mall. The festival will include seasonal activities at participating museums and galleries, which include free screenings of The Muppet Christmas Carol and performances by the U.S. Air Force band High Flight.

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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin and Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Carla Hay, Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Jill Menze, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

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