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The Tree of Hope will be lit tonight and it comes with a holiday market this year

It’s over 120 feet tall and it takes over the Kelowna skyline at the end of every year.

No, it’s not some sort of festive Godzilla, it’s the Tree of Hope, which will be lit in the Landmark District tonight.

The Tree of Hope has been a beloved annual tradition in Kelowna since 1997, when Al Stober’s idea, which he sketched out on a napkin at a local restaurant, came to life.

It was only meant to be a one-year thing, but has since become so much more.

<who>Photo Credit: Stober Foundation

“Our family never would have believed that hanging a Christmas tree from the top of the crane in 1997 would become an annual event celebrating hope in our community,” says the Stober Foundation website.

“But knowing how this community rallies behind good, it's no surprise this tree continues to be so meaningful to so many!”

Since its inception a little over a quarter century ago, the Tree of Hope has raised more than $2 million that has been donated to local charities.

That number will grow again this year, starting with the light up tonight, which will be more than just an opportunity to see the beloved holiday tradition come to life.

<who>Photo Credit: KelownaNow</who>The Tree of Hope waiting to be lit up this evening.

After the Tree of Hope is lit up at 5:30 pm, there will be a Winter Wonderland Holiday Market from 6-9 pm.

Along with a chance to shop local for some stocking stuffers, or maybe a treat for yourself, there will also be food, music and fire pits to keep you warm.

If you’re unable to make it on Friday, the Winter Wonderland Holiday Market will also be running from 10 am until 8 pm on Saturday.

For more information on the Tree of Hope and the associated fundraising efforts within the community, click this link.

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