BY KALISHA MENDONSA
The Lacombe Rotary Clubs are coming together for their annual Christmas Carol Festival where they will host community bands, choirs, school music programs and much more to kick off the holiday celebrations.
On Dec. 6th and Dec. 7th, beginning at 7 p.m., there will be shows held in the Lacombe Memorial Centre (LMC) main community gathering room to celebrate the wide variety of talents in the community.
Admission to the concerts is free with a donation to either the Lacombe Food Bank (cash or food) or to the local Santas Anonymous program (cash or toys). Cheques can be made out to FCSS (Family and Community Support Services) Christmas Campaign for Santas Anonymous donations.
“The festival is an exciting way for us to begin celebrating the Christmas season. We typically hold our festivals in the main LMC hall, usually to a full house. We tend to see anywhere from 600 to 700 people attend this event, and it really fills up quick,” said Lacombe Rotarian Terry Vandenborn.
“There’s always so much excitement in the halls as the bands and singers are setting up and getting ready to share their gifts with us. It’s a noisy, exciting time to begin the Christmas season.”
The festivals will feature the musical stylings of Lacombe Christian School, the Singing Strings, the Burman University Orchestra, Flat Iron Jazz, Iron Ridge School Choir, the Ecole Lacombe Upper Elementary School choir, the St. Andrew’s choir, Parkland Classical Singers and more.
Vandenborn said they expect to see approximately 200 musicians and performers through the event.
The Christmas Carol Festivals are a long-standing tradition to help raise awareness of local groups and to support local non-profit organizations, such as FCSS and the Lacombe Food Bank.
“Locally, this is one of our services that we can do to help non-profit organizations. We’re able to help by organizing events such as the Carol Festival, that take a bit of manpower but can help other groups in the community,” Vandenborn said.
Regularly the Lacombe Food Bank is the sole recipient of the donations or goods campaigned for during the Carol Festival, but not this year. Vandenborn explained a member of FCSS reached out to the organization and pleaded on behalf of the need for gifts for teenagers and older children.
“We have taken a bit of a different approach this year with our donations. In the past, we have collected for the Lacombe Food Bank, and we will continue to do that, but this year we had a request from FCSS to help out in the area of Santas Anonymous, specifically with the teenagers,” Vandenborn said.
He added it is exciting to see collaboration among service groups in Lacombe to bring together this event.
“We have two Rotary Clubs in Lacombe, and it’s exciting that we can work together as two clubs to host this event. We are two service clubs who are active in the community and working together is always a treat.”