The seventh annual Festival of Trees kicks off on December 3.

The Cochrane Lioness Club has once again partnered with the Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre for the festive tradition. 

The club's treasurer Eileen Stone says that the fun-filled event gives local businesses a chance to put their decorating skills to the test and as a bonus, it gives them the chance to advertise their business at the local sports hub for the month of December.

"This year it costs $150 to purchase a tree for advertising which is very reasonable advertising for a month," explains Stone. "We set the trees up and then the businesses that purchased to advertise on the trees come and decorate the tree however they wish."

Stone says the sponsors need to supply their own decorations and they're encouraged to use the opportunity to showcase their business in a creative way.

In total, the local Lioness Club will be setting up 20 pre-lit trees standing at over 6 feet, but Stone says that businesses need to act quickly since half of the trees are already spoken for.

"Ten are spoken for already," explains Stone. "We do have a letter that they fill out so that we know how to advertise their tree and we do a framed advertising that sits in front of their tree."

As always the funds raised from the Festival of Trees will be donated back to the community. Stone says they have yet to decide on this year's benefactor but says all the proceeds will go towards "community betterment."

In the past proceeds have been donated to the Cochrane Activettes, Salvation Army and Ronald Mcdonald House.

In previous years, Cochranites have had the opportunity to fill out a ballot and cast votes for their favourite tree, but Stone says that in wake of COVID-19 they will be doing things differently this year.

"This year, due to the pandemic we cannot have the voting ballots which we have had in the past," explains Stone. "So we're just going to have somebody judge them this year."

She says that in addition to bragging rights, the winner will receive a Christmas ornament stating they are this year's winner.

The trees will be on display at the SLS Family Sports Centre from December 3 until Jan 2 of the new year.

If you'd like to get in on this fun advertising opportunity, you can submit your email request to:

Stone says that the Lioness Club is always looking for new members and anyone who is interested can also email.