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N.B. nursing home fights the winter blues with Festival of Lights


A seniors' home in New Brunswick is boasting their best year yet for their annual outdoor Festival of Lights, with a record number of Christmas trees lining their entrance.

The Pine Grove Nursing Home has been lighting up their long driveway since 2010, but this year is a new record on trees.

"We have 138 trees, and as you go around the home, there's wings and there's one at back that you don't see at each wing, so the residents in their living rooms at the ends can sit and see a tree as well,” said Marti-Lou Neill with the Pine Grove Foundation.

Watching cars spin through the courtyard has become an annual tradition for the nursing home's 70 residents.

Jackie Durnford's father has lived at Pine Grove for two years.

"It's so nice. I was just in having lunch with him and they were just remarking that even in the daytime, there's so much traffic coming through,” Durnford said. “They have so much enjoyment out of just seeing all of the decorations," she said.

The trees are part of an annual fundraiser, and uplifting the spirits of the residents.

"Giving back to the community is an important thing for us at our agency. We try to do as much of that as we can,” said Jordan O'Brien, whose company sponsored one of the trees. “Everybody wants to feel the Christmas spirit, and some of these folks, particularly the last couple of years, haven't had much chance to have a lot of joy brought in. They've been locked in there a lot of the time and so it's wonderful to be able to contribute to a little smile.”

The Festival of lights give the opportunity for the nursing home to pay for the extras.

"A number are in memory of someone or this one back here is Merry Christmas to Mom and Dad, so it's really broadened in its scope,” Neill said.

The trees will be out for all to see at Pine Grove Nursing Home until Jan. 1.

“This year, most of our funds will go towards providing new mattresses on a rotational basis,” she said. “And they are special mattresses, so they’re expensive.” Top Stories

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