Festival of Lights returns to Stettler for 13th year

Christmas spirit and cheer will soon arrive in Stettler for the13th annual Festival of Lights from Nov. 23 to 27 to raise funds for equipment for Stettler Hospital and Care Centre.

“We have a variety of activities for everyone of all ages,” said Karin Phibbs, who chairs the event committee under Stettler Health Services Foundation.

“It’s a great time for the community to get together and get into the spirit of Christmas and giving.”

This year, funds will be designated to purchase palliative care beds and overhead lifts for continuing care at Stettler Hospital and Care Centre.

“Anybody who knows somebody who has been in palliative care will know the value of palliative care beds,” said Phibbs.

“Everybody uses the hospital and our fundraising helps to enhance patient care.”

Organizers are optimistic that the community and supporters will raise funds that will exceed last year’s figure of about $54,000.

“Everyone seems to have a more-optimistic economic outlook this year after a downtime last year,” said Phibbs.

“We’ve got a lot more sponsors this year and already almost all events have been sold out.”

“We always have tremendous support from the community and businesses.”

Over the last 12 years, the Festival of Lights has raised $252,000, she said.

All the festive fun at Stettler Community Hall starts on the Tuesday with the Dessert First Night, which has been sold out.

Sharing the Season seniors’ tea is set for Nov. 24 from 2 to 4 p.m. which will feature entertainment by Christ King Catholic School choir and the Red Hat Ladies.

Sounds of the Season wine-and-cheese evening on Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. will showcase a variety of talent including the Gracenotes, musician Jeff Lee, the Jazz Guys, readings by Roe Desrosiers and an excerpt from Anne of Green Gables performed by Wildcat Theatre of William E. Hay Composite High School in Stettler.

Friday is Kids’ Day with Cocoa, Cookies and Santa Claus from 2 to 5 p.m. with real reindeer, horse-drawn sleigh rides, face painting, gift tags and finger casting.

Final festivities are set for Saturday with the Gala Night Dine and Dance.

Throughout the festival, the Christmas Market will be open from 12 noon to 5 p.m. and feature a variety of gift and giving ideas.

Last year, the event attracted over 1,200 people as the gala drew 270, Kids’ Day with Santa Claus attracted 400 children, seniors’ tea welcomed 240 and desert night was 150, 260 people at Sounds of the Season concert.

For more information, phone Phibbs at 403-742-6326.