Last November, I, along with Judy Keosaksith and other members of Balsam Hill’s Design Team, had the distinct pleasure of decorating the stage for the North Carolina stop of the Pandora Unforgettable Holiday Moments on Ice show.
This is an annual event organized by Disson Skating in partnership with Pandora, an internationally renowned Danish jewelry company. The show combines holiday melodies and classic hits with performances from some of our favorite Olympic skaters and U.S. champions.
It was our first time to decorate an entire stage, so it was an exciting design challenge we just couldn’t pass up. Read on for an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at our preparations for this very special event.
Front and Center
This live skating is known for dazzling numbers from celebrity artists and beloved skaters, and so we needed to come up with a set that would provide the perfect backdrop to these stellar performances, while staying true to Balsam Hill’s signature elegant look. The lighting designer had provided us a general plan, with a basic requirement that the color palette be on the neutral side, for colored lights to reflect properly. We decided to add a few special touches to reflect the warmth and sophistication of our brand.
For the Christmas trees, we used Balsam Hill’s realistic Frosted Fraser Narrow Fir trees. Initially, I thought that the flocking was too understated to make a difference, but the snowy True Needle PE foliage registered wonderfully on camera, and we had ourselves the charming little winter forest we envisioned.
Balsam Hill’s stalwart life-sized LED Jeweled Musical Nutcracker lent color and whimsy to the stage, making it a lovely addition to the scene.
Originally, we had planned to use our LED star lights as part of the backdrop, but found that their lights didn’t translate well on camera. Luckily, our Globe Café String Lights worked beautifully!
The lighting technician onsite helped us set up the lights to achieve a wave-like effect. He then put together a sequence of colored spotlights that made the décor look like they were changing color throughout the show.
Aside from our globe lights, we had delicate snowflakes and finials from our Red, White and Sparkle ornament set, which alternated between the string lights for the backdrop. We also used the Large Silver Beads garland for added visual detail and interest. These items were chosen for their size and ability to reflect light in a striking way.
Our first thought was to hang each ornament individually, creating clusters of varying heights, but chose to hang 5-7 pieces per rope. They were cleverly positioned along the rope with a foot of distance between ornaments, with the ropes hanging 2 to 3 feet apart to give the impression of snowflakes against the background.
The Christmas Display
Slightly off-center to the stage, we set up a delightful Christmas display. Its purpose was to have something for the camera to focus on while panning or zooming on the band. We displayed our Animated Grand Jubilee Carousel on a swath of vibrant red velvet which helped make it stand out.
Alongside this was our Vermont White Spruce tree which we adorned with cheery pieces from our Mistletoe and Holly Ornament Set. Other embellishments were the shimmering Iced Glitter Twig Picks, and luxurious Red Velvet Ribbon with Jewel Trim.
Both the show and the décor were a resounding success! Through the combined efforts of the Balsam Hill team and the onsite staff, we were able to put together this beautiful stage over the course of three days. It was wonderful meeting the skaters and the production team, and we’re looking forward to working with everyone again. Our heartfelt thanks goes out to the many people who welcomed us and helped us out, making this a fun and fulfilling experience.
Make sure to visit Balsam Hill to see more of our wide selection of holiday décor products.