Red Deerians escaped the cold this past weekend by heading indoors to take in the city’s most anticipated winter festival.
The 21st Annual Festival of Trees saw the Westerner’s Stockmens Pavilion transform into a festive wonderland with over 70 Christmas trees, wreaths and elaborate displays to behold. Central Albertans had the opportunity to bid on the fully-decorated trees, and enter raffles to help decorate their own homes for the holiday season, as well as browse both a gift shop and a sweet shop.
A steady lineup of performances kept patrons entertained while they admired the trees, ranging from school choirs and theatre groups, to local dancers, gymnasts and bands.
On the other end of the building, Candy Cane Lane was buzzing with children of all ages. Letters to Santa were written and sent and miniature trees were decorated. Kids munched on cookies and candy canes as they watched puppet shows, and had personalized “Kringle Caps” made for them. Small games, including a maze and inflatable obstacle courses, helped them burn off steam before heading home with their parents.
The proceeds from the festival will be used to enhance patient care in the two new surgical theatres to be constructed adjacent to the Obstetrics Unit at the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre. Over the last 21 years, the Festival of Trees has raised over $10,795,513 for various departments in the hospital.