The event that will unofficially kick-off Christmas in Central Alberta is set to take place next week in Red Deer.
The 18th annual Festival of Trees begins Nov. 22 with the Biggest Christmas Tree Festival in downtown Red Deer which not only includes the lighting of the Christmas lights in City Hall Park, but the Santa Clause Parade, live entertainment and lots of activities for the whole family. The Festival of Trees will run through to Nov. 27 at Westerner Park.
“We are really looking forward to the Festival of Trees this year,” said Alaine Martin, project officer for the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation. “We will have 70 trees on display as well as a public silent auction for many items.”
Four new events have been added to this year’s festivities including Cirque Du Noel, the Festival Business Lunch, Seniors Appreciation and even Breakfast with Santa.
Other events include the Preview Dinner, the Taste of Red Deer, the Festival of Wines, Tis the Season Fashion Show and Luncheon and Mistletoe Magic.
All events except for Cirque Du Noel and the Festival Business Lunch are already sold out.
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 healthcare 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.
“We encourage everyone to come out and support health care in Central Alberta,” said Martin. “We are privileged to have a great facility but there are costs that go along with that. We are here to enhance the technology and that in turn attracts professionals and doctors because they want to have state-of-the-art equipment to be able to enhance their skills.”
The Festival of Trees will run from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Nov. 25 and 26 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 27.
Admission is $6 for adults, $3 for seniors and students, $2 for children aged four to 11 and children under three are admitted free.
For more information check out www.reddeerfestivaloftrees.ca.