Westerner Park was buzzing this past weekend as thousands made their way to the annual Festival of Trees.
The 18th annual event began Nov. 22 with the Biggest Christmas Tree Festival in downtown Red Deer and ran through until Nov. 27 at Westerner Park.
“This year was a success,” said Alaine Martin, project officer for the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation. “The numbers seemed to be up.”
Four new events were added to this year’s festivities including Cirque Du Noel, the Festival Business Lunch, Seniors Appreciation, and even Breakfast with Santa.
Other events included the Preview Dinner, the Taste of Red Deer, the Festival of Wines, Tis the Season Fashion Show and Luncheon and Mistletoe Magic.
“The new events were a huge success as well and we’ve had positive feedback about them,” said Martin. “The Taste of Red Deer was also a huge success and we sold a lot more tickets for it this year then we have in the past.”
For nearly two decades, the Festival of Trees has provided festive activities to the community in support of the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre. The Festival of Trees has raised more than $7 million to enhance health care at the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.
This year, proceeds from the event will go towards upgrading equipment and technology for minimally invasive surgeries. This new technology and equipment will help increase the capacity to perform more procedures and support the growing needs at the Red Deer Regional Hospital.
The purchase of this state-of-the-art laparoscopic and arthroscopic equipment including high definition cameras and monitors, telescopes and instruments, will allow for more local surgeries which will help decrease wait times.
Martin added the Foundation should learn preliminary numbers regarding how much money was raised this year from the event sometime next week.
“We start planning for next year in January and we always try to do bigger and better.”