Community groups in Bala are getting an early Christmas present tonight. Money raised during this year’s Cranberry Festival is being donated to 26 different organizations. Meals on Wheels, youth sport teams, and two public skating events at the arena during Christmas and the March Break will all benefit from $35,000 in funding.

The scholarship and bursary program will provide $4,000 to students in Muskoka Lakes Township going to college and university.

The board says the festival this year was one of the most successful to date, with around 12,000 people visiting on Saturday.