Every year, 90,000 kids from Calgary, across the province and the country rely on care from The Alberta Children’s Hospital. The Alberta Children’s Hospital opened in Calgary, Alberta in September 2006, becoming the first free-standing pediatric facility to be built in Canada in more than 20 years. With it being reported that a new child is registered at the hospital every 8 minutes, you can imagine the need to keep up to date technologies and well trained staff readily available….all of which costs money – and a lot of it.
The generous folks at Blue Grass Nursery, located just south of Cross Irons Mall, understand the importance and value of the Alberta Children’s Hospital and that is why they continue to hold this incredible fundraiser. For the twelfth year, Blue Grass Nursery held is Pumpkin Festival which had something for everyone. On Saturday October 10th, thousands came out to take part in all the festival had to offer, while helping to raise money for the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation. With a minimum $5 donation being asked for at the gate, event goers were more than generous as they flooded in.
“Over the past 8 years we have raised a combined total of over $185,000 and had attendance of over 5500 people last year. Our goal this year is to raise $35,000 through donations and proceeds from the event for the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation”, said Lisa Silva – Marketing Manager at Blue Grass Nursery, Sod & Garden Centre.
As the temperature sored to the mid-twenties, friends and families came out to enjoy all the activities that event organizers had lined up. Giant pumpkins, unusual gourds and pumpkins, Pumpkin Bowling, Cinderella Pumpkin Coach Ride, Pumpkin Carving, Pumpkin Colouring, Giant Straw Maze, Hay Rides, Giant Sand Pit, Springfree Trampolines, Spin the Wheel for Prizes, Face Painting RC Gears Club Display and much more. Food trucks also lined the parking lot to make sure that event attendees were well fed with yummy treats.
The big draw and always popular with the crowd is the pumpkin drop. Three pumpkins were raised by way of a crane to 100 feet in the air and then plunged to the ground. The first two pumpkins were over 500 lbs each! The grand finale was a 1,130 lb. pumpkin being dropped onto a little Ford Ranger.
Pumpkin drops have become increasingly popular over the years as each year seems to have pumpkins growing larger and larger. On this same weekend, Upstreet Craft Brewing in P.E.I. dropped a 400 lb pumpkin which launched a month-long food drive for the Upper Room Food Bank. In Stillwater, Minnesota at the Stillwater Harvest Fest, event organizers dropped two giant pumpkins into a kiddie pool from 100 feet. They also had a pretty hefty weigh in as at their pumpkin weigh-in competition, the top 10 giant gourds weighed in at a total of 18,018 pounds.
Although it is unknown at this time how much money was raised for the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation, with this year’s event seeing over 6000 people in attendance, event organizers are more than hopefully that they reached their fundraising goal.