Pam Towers, centre, accepted a cheque for $4,500 on behalf of the food bank. The donation was made from proceeds from the annual Spirit of Sylvan Yuletide Festival. Photos Submitted

Yuletide Festival raised $13,500 for local charities

The successful event was able to up donations by a total of $1,500 this year.

Last month’s Spirit of Sylvan Yuletide Festival was the most successful one yet, says festival Chair Graham Parsons.

“We are considering this our best year yet, from the numbers to the vendors and just the overall spirit,” said Parsons.

The success of the two-day festival, which was held at the NexSource Centre on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, extended to the donations made.

This year the Yuletide Festival raised more than in previous years, to a total of roughly $13,500.

The increase in overall proceeds also increased the donations to the three local charities by about $500.

Each of the three charities, the Sylvan Lake Food Bank, Urgent Care and the Sylvan Lake Christmas Bureau, received a donation of $4,500.

“We raised enough to up our donations by a total of $1,500 which is really just amazing,” Parsons said.

The committee behind the festival is already looking at what can be done differently for next year to increase the overall enjoyment at the event.

“The feedback we had has been great… totally positive. Now we are trying to figure out how to make it bigger.”

Parsons said the success of the weekend was in part due to the amount there was to do and see.

The Yuletide Festival had a steady stream of local talent entertaining the crowds of the main stage, events and crafts for the kids and even a visit from Santa Claus himself.

“I think the whole Light up the Lake weekend was what made it successful. The festival works so well with the parade and the fireworks and it really draws people in,” Parsons said.

With a successful event under the belt the committee is looking at what can be changed and enhanced for the next run to make the event even better.

Parson’s says the event needs a bit of a change up.

“We would like to see some new ideas come to the table, something to help mix it up so the festival doesn’t become stale.”

The committee is still in early planning stages for the 2019 event, and plans to hold the two-day event the last weekend of November, on Nov. 29-30.

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A total of $4,500 was donated to the Sylvan Lake Christmas Bureau by the Yuletide Festival Committee recently.

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