This weekend, Grove City has a packed lineup of events to kick off the holiday season.
"Everybody's combining together," said Parks and Recreation Superintendent Ed Merritt. "We're always trying to continuously improve our events."
On Saturday, Dec. 7, the Town Center will be packed will a full day of activities sponsored by the city, Grove City Town Center Inc. and the Grove City Arts Council.
Among the scheduled Saturday activities is the Mistletoe Market, a holiday arts and crafts show from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The market, to be located on Park Street west of Broadway, "builds on the old-world charm of the traditional German Kristkindl Market," according to a news release from the city
The show will be inside a heated tent, said Amy Furr, executive director of Grove City Town Center Inc. This year, Furr said, the market has been expanded to a total of 32 vendors, an increase of eight. The
"We're very happy with that," he said. "The majority of vendors are unique, one-of-a-kind handicrafters."
Other activities include photos with Santa on the Town Center Plaza, A Christmas art exhibit in the lobby of City Hall, a Secret Santa station for children to purchase gifts to present anonymously and -- stepping off at 7:30 p.m. -- the annual Christmas Parade.
Oldies band the Gas Pump Jockeys will perform before and after the parade on the stage on Broadway, with festive holiday and rock music from 6 to 7:15 p.m. and from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. to close out the night.
This year, there will be a second stage, Merritt said. Local choirs scheduled to perform include the Grove City Chamber Singers and the choirs of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Grove City High School and Central Crossing High School.
Last year, the Town Center events attracted about 4,000 people, Merritt said.
"We expect more of a turnout," he said. "It all depends on the weather."
For more information about Saturday's events, visit GroveCityOhio.gov or grovecitytowncenter.org.
Christmas Home Tour
The holiday festivities continue from 3 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, with Grove City Christmas Home Tour 2013.
This year's tour features five homes, First Presbyterian Church, 4227 Broadway and Century Village, 4185 Orders Road.
Event coordinator Brenda Hritz said she tries each year to get a variety of homes on the tour.
"If I can, I try to get some of the older homes in Grove City and some of the newer ones," Hritz said. "We have everything from a Victorian look to modern times, a gamut of decorations and houses."
Visitors also can expect to see a variety of decorations on the tour.
"I don't tell (tour hosts) what to do," Hritz said. "Some people do a lot in the outdoors. Some people do a lot indoors. Some people are sparse."
At Barbara Hollingshead's home, visitors will find a lot of Christmas trees.
"I used to put 20 trees up in my home," she said. "I made a tree for each one of my grandchildren."
Some of Hollingshead's trees include a teddy bear tree, an angel in a bassinet tree, a Florida tree made up of seashells, an Alaskan tree made up of ornaments and a pink-and-black decorated tree for her great-granddaughter.
"Hers is a little more eclectic," Hollingshead said. "She's got a little bit of everything. She's kind of our diva."
Other homes on the tour include those of Ken and Kelli Stammen, Steve and Marie Robinette, Scott and Connie Stover and Janet Brunson.
First Presbyterian Church will have six themed trees throughout the building including the Mitten and Hat tree where items are donated and hung on the tree. They are given to The Community Club in Columbus to be distributed for Christmas
Century Village will have four of the historic buildings open, according to a news release from the Southwest Franklin County Historical Society. Hot wassail will be served in the Kegg-Kientz Log House, a harpist will strum seasonal melodies in the school house, a quartet will perform in the general store and the Village Pickers will be in the blacksmith shop.
"I think it's fun for the community," Hritz said. "I have people who tell me they wouldn't miss it for the world."
Tickets for home tour are $10, with proceeds going to the Grove City Food Pantry.
Tickets with full tour details can be purchased at Sommer House Gallery, 4038 Broadway. Hours at the gallery are noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
The Grove City Welcome Center and Museum, 3378 Park St. also will have tickets available Saturday, during the parade and from 2 to 7 p.m. Sunday Dec. 7-8.
A donation box for canned goods also will be available.