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Festival of Trees celebrates 35th anniversary

The Festival of Trees is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year. Grande Prairie Regional Hospital Foundation Major Gifts Officer Dawn Miller says each year is different with a variety of activities for kids and parents alike, and several crowd favourites will make a reappearance.

“This year there’s lots of those same favourites like Teddy Bear Hospital, Secret Shop, Candy Shop, all of those sorts of things, but our decorations are always different and we always have different features and entertainment.”

The Teddy Bear Hospital features stations that teach kids about different areas of the hospital to educate and alleviate fears surrounding the hospital should they ever need to visit.

On top of the festival of Trees Gala this weekend, this year features six other events: the Festival of Trees Sneak Peek and Chamber of Commerce Mixer on November 23rd, a seniors luncheon on the morning of the 24th, the Mistletoe Mixer later that evening, the Holiday Barn Burner on the 25th, and the beloved Teddy Bear Breakfast on the 26th.

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The Mistletoe Mixer and the Teddy Bear Breakfast have both sold out and Miller says that is not a surprise.

“The Mistletoe Mixer always sells out; it’s definitely a favourite of everybody’s, and Teddy Bear Breakfast on the 26th, that’s always the first one that sells out.”

Miller adds that the event is important to the foundation as it is the only one it puts on itself, with funding going straight into the foundation to cover administration costs and sustainability efforts.

“A lot of the events that support us are put on by companies, they’re third-party events.”

According to Miller, the foundation usually looks to raise $500,000 from the event, but hopes to raise that number to $600,000 this year. The festivities are scheduled to run from November 23rd to 26th and tickets are available online only on the Festival of Trees website.

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