Georgia Master Florist Dean Pannell will share decorating ideas during Walton EMC’s holiday program, which will be presented live via Facebook on Nov. 17 at 1 p.m.
Show and Tell With Pannell
Florist shares holiday decorating ideas on Facebook Live program
Throughout Walton EMC’s service area, calendars are already marked for the dates in November when Dean Pannell, owner of Pannell Designs & Events, takes the stage for a holiday decorating show and tell.
Back by popular demand, Dean is anchoring the co-op’s holiday programs for a sixth consecutive year. Learning his tips and tricks for creating beautiful wreaths, centerpieces, trees and more has become a holiday tradition for many. But, as most program regulars will admit, the Bogart florist’s suggestions for decking the halls are only part of the attraction.
Dean’s boundless energy and a quick wit sweetened
with classic Southernisms are pure entertainment.
Dean’s boundless energy and a quick wit sweetened with classic Southernisms are pure entertainment. People come for the show, and he never disappoints.
Ask him where the showmanship comes from, and Dean tells a story that begins in Walton County, takes a detour in New York City and then comes home again.
Discovering a talent
Dean clearly remembers when and where his talent for arranging flowers was discovered. It happened in a small flower shop in Monroe when he was 9 years old.
“My mom was visiting with the lady who owned the flower shop,” he said, beginning the story. “Being a typical kid, I wandered off and found a way to entertain myself. I started pulling flowers out of the trash and playing with them.”
After a few minutes of “play,” the flower trash
had become an attractive arrangement.
After a few minutes of “play,” the flower trash had become an attractive arrangement. Spotting his natural abilities, the florist encouraged Dean to continue visiting her to learn more about floral design. “And that’s when I started getting off the bus at her shop every day — and I’ve been designing flowers ever since,” said Dean.
Dean learned and worked at the shop for the next seven years, moving on only after the shop owner’s death. At age 21 he opened his own store where he quickly earned a reputation for his exceptional creativity.
Then, one day a call came that would temporarily change his address and put his talents on display for a much larger audience.
“A friend who worked for NBC told me they were hiring a set decorator for a soap opera called “Passions,” he said. “I got the job, so I closed my shop, sold everything and moved to New York City.”
“Two weeks after I got there, the show was cancelled.”
His was a typical showbiz story. “Two weeks after I got there, the show was cancelled,” Dean recalled with a wry laugh.
Within days, though, his talents landed him the same job with “Guiding Light,” a CBS soap opera. His work there earned him a Daytime Emmy nomination. He remained with the show about five years until its finale.
By then, the South was calling Dean home. Georgia’s exploding film and television industry made it easy for him to land local jobs as a set decorator.
It wasn’t long, though, before he was yearning to return to his roots. He wanted to operate a hometown flower shop where his consistently beautiful creations could put smiles on the faces of neighbors and friends.
Readying for the holidays
In 2014, he opened Pannell Designs & Events in Monroe. When that property was sold for new development, he relocated to Bogart.
“I love this new location. Oconee has been wonderful to me,” he said about the Main Street address he’s occupied for just over a year.
The 2020 holiday program is Nov. 17 at 1 p.m. via Facebook live.
A year after he reopened a local shop, Dean began entertaining Walton EMC audiences with his annual holiday hints. For weeks now, he’s been preparing for the 2020 holiday program set for Nov. 17 at 1 p.m. This year’s program is set as a live presentation on Walton EMC’s Facebook page, facebook.com/waltonemc.
Among the ideas he’ll share this year are techniques for making the perfect bow and decorating a Christmas tree. He also promises something “spectacular and unusual” to bring the audience out of the COVID doldrums.
“I’m gonna blow their socks off this year,” he declared.
And there’s little doubt he will.