Shane Ballantyne and his six-year-old son Trystan work on a craft at Normandeau School’s fourth annual Christmas Carnival Wednesday night. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

WATCH: Hundreds visit Christmas Carnival at Normandeau School

One Red Deer school gave families a chance to celebrate Christmas a little early.

Hundreds of families attended the fourth annual Christmas Carnival at Normandeau School Wednesday night.

“The purpose is to get families to come out and have some fun with their kids,” said principal Hans Huizing.

“We share some cookies. We share some laughs. We share some songs, and we’re really happy to have as many people as we can come out to this event.”

Before the Christmas Carnival, the school used to put on a concert. Staff members thought event was dragging a bit and decided to change it up.

The carnival is different every year, Huizing said.

One new addition at this year’s event was the auction of a live Christmas tree covered in student-made decorations. All proceeds went to the Red Deer Food Bank.

“One of the teachers was really interested in bringing a live Christmas tree, which is something we don’t normally do. But she really wanted it because so many of the kids don’t have a tree of every kind in their home,” he said.

The only thing that hasn’t changed since the first carnival is the outdoor ice skating and hot chocolate.

Families without children and families with children who have grown up and moved away from home were invited to take part in the carnival as well.

About 250 attended last year’s holiday celebration.

“It’s an amazing gathering for families, students and staff members to celebrate the holiday season together,” said Laurette Woodward, Red Deer Public School District board trustee.

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