The 23rd annual Festival Of Trees will officially kick off the holiday season in Red Deer.
The event runs from Nov. 23rd-27th at Westerner Park.
Each year, proceeds from the Festival are used to purchase medical equipment and/or programs for the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre. To date, more than $12.9 million dollars has been raised by the Festival with $1.6 million of that being raised last year.
As well, more than 2,600 individual volunteers and more than 23,000 attendees supported the Festival of Trees in 2015 with 75 trees sponsored by individuals and companies, fully decorated and put on display at Red Deer’s Westerner Park during the Festival last year.
Events included in this year’s Festival of Trees are The Festival Business Lunch on Nov. 24th, the Taste of Red Deer on Nov. 24th, the Festival of Wines on Nov. 25th, ‘Tis the Season Luncheon and Mistletoe Magic, both on Nov. 26th, and Breakfast with Santa on Nov. 27th.
A new event this year is the Festive 5K Walk/Run which will take place on Nov. 26th in partnership with The Running Room. The event will begin in the morning and start north of Westerner Park on the City paths.
“It’s health-related. What we are raising money for is healthcare, so it’s a great fit,” said Alaine Martin, events manager with the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation.
Throughout the entire event the popular Candy Cane Lane and Santa’s Secret Shoppe will be open during public hours of the Festival. As well, a variety of entertainment will be showcased on the main stage.
Meanwhile, the 2016 Festival of Trees will be directing funds to enhance client care and services in the Medical Specialty Clinics at the Red Deer Regional Hospital.
Medical Specialty Clinics provides a multidisciplinary approach to care for clients in Central Alberta living with conditions including ￼multiple sclerosis, Hepatitis C, heart failure anticoagulation therapies, specialized geriatric services stroke prevention and other complex medical conditions.
More than 2,000 clients per year access ambulatory services in the Medical Specialty Clinics. This number is anticipated to double by 2024.
The renovations will result in an improved physical environment that supports clients with mobility aides, family presence at clinic appointments, and allows for the creation of new and the expansion of existing services. Enhancements to the Medical Specialty Clinics space will support individuals with chronic conditions to maintain maximum independence and avoid hospitalization.
“The hospital affects us all. If it’s not us using it, it’s a family member using it or a friend for whatever reason. I think that is why we get so much support – we have a demographic of about 400,000 people in the Central Zone that the Red Deer Regional Hospital services – overwhelmingly it’s more rural almost at any given time more so than Red Deer residents,” said Martin. “Having that catch basin all around us come in and support and get in the festive season, bring the kids, take in an event – it’s what it is all about – enjoy life and give back to the community.”
The public hours for Festival of Trees will be on Nov. 24th between 6-9 p.m., Nov. 25th and Nov. 26th from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Nov. 27th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission is $10 for adults, $6 for seniors (60 years plus), $6 for youth aged 12-17, $4 for children aged four to 11 and children three years and under are free.
For more information, check out www.reddeerfestivaloftrees.ca or call 403-343-4773.