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Festival of Trees brightens spirits with new event

Kick off the holiday season with the 15th anniversary of Bonnyville's beloved Festival of Trees.
Children enjoy the sights at last year's Festival of Trees in Bonnyville. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the event.

BONNYVILLE – Kick off the holiday season with the 15th anniversary of Bonnyville's beloved Festival of Trees. The festivities are set to take place on Dec. 2 and 3, transforming the Bonnyville and District Centennial Centre into a winter wonderland that promises endless joy for visitors of all ages. 

While some cherished traditions will remain intact, the Festival of Trees will introduce exciting new elements to mark the milestone anniversary. 

“It’s important for the town to be spearheading events like this to showcase how we can come together and support non-profit initiatives,” says Mayor Elisa Brosseau. 

Santa's Secret Store, a silent auction, the thrilling 50/50 draw, and the chance to take photos with Santa and the Grinch are just a few of the activities that will be featured during the event. Santa himself will be making a grand entrance down Main Street during Bonnyville's Santa Claus Parade on Dec. 2 at 5 p.m. 

This year, instead of vying for beautifully decorated trees, attendees will have the chance to win fabulous prizes included on the trees, each valued at over $1,000. 

“This is a surprising new twist to Festival of Trees,” says Doreen Kushnir, the Town of Bonnyville’s events administration assistant. “We've changed the ways people could bid on trees in the past but haven't changed what people win.” 

Some entertaining themes include self-care, sports, family activities, butcher and barbecue, wine tree, and more. 

But that's not the only exciting addition to the Festival of Trees this year. There's also the “Making Spirits Bright” event on Dec. 2 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. This Christmas cocktail event will see attendees judging their favourite drink as chosen by Town of Bonnyville mayor and council. 

For $40, attendees can enjoy a taste test of seven different cocktails, accompanied by mouthwatering appetizers. Attendees can tip their way to support their favourite cocktail, with all tip proceeds going to the Bonnyville Health Foundation. Better yet, the upcoming 2024 Bonnyville Hospital Gala will also feature the winning cocktail. 

This year's event promises to be an extravaganza that not only brings the community together but also spreads the holiday spirit to those who need it most. All proceeds from this event will be donated to the Bonnyville Health Foundation, ensuring that the local community benefits from the holiday cheer. 

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