Gingerbread and sweets, sixty-five glittery, sparkly trees and breakfast with Santa his very self. This festival totally gets me.
Even though she’s up to her eyes in tinsel, Red Deer Festival of Trees events manager Alaine Martin took some time to talk with us about the event’s 23-year relationship with Westerner Park and about the 2016 event coming up later this month. Thanks Alaine! But first, here are some more reasons it’s one of our most beloved community celebrations.
23rd annual holiday festival
The Red Deer Festival of Trees is coming up soon from November 23–27, 2016 at Westerner Park. For five days, 2,600 merry volunteers will greet 23,000 happy guests for shopping, music and twinkling trees. There will also be a visit from one extra jolly guy with a beard – so even though you mailed your carefully considered wish list back in September, you can still add one little thing in person.
Kids love it
At Candy Cane Lane, kids of any age (looking at you, Dad) will play games, make crafts and win prizes. Then the little ones can spend some time shopping for the family at the kid’s only Santa’s Secret Shoppe – where there’s loads of wonderful things to purchase priced for children’s budgets (up to $22) and your very own elf is standing by to help.
So do grown-ups
Adults in the crowd come back for gourmet goodies at Taste of Red Deer, scrumptious sips at Festival of Wines, chatty luncheons and glam parties. You will also find an astounding assortment prizes on raffle alley and a text-to-bid silent auction in the Stockmens Pavilion.
Q&A with festival manager Alaine Martin
Westerner Park: How long has your event been held at Westerner Park?
Alaine Martin: This will be our 23rd year!
WP: What makes Westerner Park an ideal venue?
AM: The venue’s size has allowed us to grow from one pavilion from year one to three pavilions this year. We take up the building, but for the Centrium now!
WP: What is this year’s festival raising money for?
AM: Funds raised at the Festival of Trees go to a specific department of the local Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre – each year the receiving department is specially chosen based on needs and demands of the hospital. We are pleased to announce that the 2016 Festival of Trees will be directing our fundraising efforts to enhance client care and services in phase two of the new Medical Specialty Clinic.
WP: What can we expect to see at the event this month?
AM: We are adding a new event this year – the Festive 5K is a fun walk/run for the family on Saturday, November 26 at 10 am.
We leave from Westerner Park on the city trail system and return, hoping all of our participants come in and enjoy the Festival! Other than that, we have a jam-packed five days of events and public activities, something for everyone! The Festival of Trees website contains many good photos and event details.
WP: Good luck Alaine – see you at the Park!