Kicking off the Festival of Trees with new changes

One of Red Deer’s most cherished Christmas events will once again get underway this coming November.

The Festival of Trees is celebrating their 18th year with a few small changes according to Jacqueline Brooks, executive director of the eight-person Red Deer Regional Health Foundation.

The Festival of Trees will run from Nov. 22 to Nov. 27 and is the biggest Christmas tree festival and fundraiser in Red Deer.

It will be held at the Westerner and will help to raise money for the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.

The festival has raised $7.27 million to date and organizers are hoping to get even more support this year.

“The festival is quite a large fundraiser, but also an extremely important event for Red Deer,” said Brooks.

This year all of the funds raised from the Festival of Trees will be used to upgrade equipment used for minimally invasive surgery.

“What this will mean is that there will be quicker recovery times, higher productivity and lower costs,” said Brooks. “So maybe not the good ol’ tug on the heart strings approach, but from a business perspective it is definitely the direction that our hospital facility needs to move in.”

One big change this year is that tickets will be sold out of the Central Alberta Theatre ticketing system rather than the usual Ticketmaster outlet.

“We as a group decided to go with a local ticket provider instead of the big corporate Ticketmaster.”

Gwen Clarke, with Nova Chemicals said that this year’s festival will be exciting and well worth attending.

“It is a time when the community certainly does come together raising much needed funds for the Red Deer Regional Hospital.”

Two new events during the Festival is the Festival Business Lunch with speaker Don Bell, founder of West Jet, and the Cirque du Noel, an evening of entertainment and food.

“We feel confident that the Festival Business Lunch will become a tradition for Red Deer’s businesses allowing them the opportunity to join our community to kick off the festival,” said Clarke. “It is a perfect opportunity for businesses to show appreciation to staff, clients, family and friends, while at the same time supporting the hospital.”

Along with the two new events there will also be the traditional parade at City Hall Park on Nov. 22 as well as the Preview Dinner on Nov. 23.

Also among the new events there will be Breakfast with Santa on Nov. 27. This will provide an opportunity for children to meet the big man himself.

To order tickets online visit www.ticketcentraloutlet.ca or call 403-347-0800.

Also visit the box office at the Memorial Centre starting Oct. 3 or the new City Centre Stage.

tsigurdson@reddeerexpress.com

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