Sylvan Lake is pumping up its Christmas spirit and raising money for its Urgent Care Committee to boot.
The annual Santa Claus Parade, fireworks show and breakfast with Santa have been a mainstay.
But this year they will become part of the first-ever Spirit of Sylvan Yuletide Festival starting today and running all day Saturday.
Among the new events taking place at the town’s multiplex and arena is a festival of trees, a fundraiser along the lines of Red Deer Regional Hospital Foundation’s successful event.
The festival begins at 4:30 p.m. today and will include a 7 p.m. parade, followed by fireworks. Santa Claus arrives at the multiplex at 8:30 p.m.
The jolly old elf will be back for breakfast the next morning at 8 a.m. and the day will be filled with events, including gingerbread house making, stage performances, a kids zone, free public skating and a live auction.
Profits from the festival are going to the town’s Urgent Care Committee, which is campaigning for a facility that’s open seven days a week with extended hours, laboratory and X-ray services, and offers non-life-threatening medical care.
Mayor Susan Samson said will be hand at the multiplex to answer any questions about the community’s drive for an urgent care centre.
At a recent meeting with Alberta Health Services, committee members were told that the area’s gap in medical services will be recognized in a Zone Integrated Plan being prepared to outline the region’s operational requirements.
Donations are also being accepted at the festival for the Sylvan Lake Food Bank and Sylvan Lake Christmas Bureau.