The Grove City Christmas Celebration again will bring some holiday magic to the Town Center.
"With the Christmas decorations up and all the activities going on in the Town Center setting, it reminds me of Bedford Falls in 'It's a Wonderful Life,' " said Kelly Sutherland, city recreation supervisor.
"That's the wonderful thing about our downtown," she said. "Grove City, as much as it's grown, still has that hometown, small-town feel in the Town Center, and that's especially true during the holiday season."
The celebration will be held from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 2. The festivities will close with the annual community parade at 7 p.m., followed by the lighting of the community tree in the George Edge Music Park on Broadway.
"The parade is always a highlight. All the bands and floats are lit up with holiday lights; it just looks incredible after dark," said Andy Furr, the Town Center executive director. "And then the parade ends with Santa riding a fire truck. It's a great kickoff to the holiday season."
A full day of activities will be held Dec. 2 in the Town Center, beginning with a public breakfast from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Grove City Masonic Lodge, 3558 Park St.
The lodge will offer a menu that includes eggs made to order, hash browns, Belgian waffles, pancakes, bacon, sausage, toast, biscuits, gravy, coffee, milk, tea and juice. Donations will be accepted and will help fund lodge activities and charities.
The eighth annual Mistletoe Market will offer a variety of gift items, decorations, artwork and treats from Town Center businesses and vendors.
"We have so many great businesses in the Town Center and we add to that a good mix of vendors," Furr said. "Shoppers will be able to find a lot of unique, one-of-a-kind handmade items that are ideal holiday gifts."
The market will be held in City Hall, 4035 Broadway; Plum Run Winery/Grove City Brewing Co., 3946 Broadway; and the Sommer House Gallery, 4038 Broadway, and in a number of Town Center businesses.
A Secret Santa shop will be open throughout the day at the Grove City Museum & Welcome Center, 3378 Park St.
"Kids can come in and shop for gifts for their siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles," Furr said. "It's something they can do themselves or they can come in and be assisted by our helpers."
Children will be able to meet Santa from 2 to 6:30 p.m. in the George Edge Music Park. Parents can take their own photograph of the moment or receive one for a $5 contribution to Twig 184 benefiting Nationwide Children's Hospital.
Donations of money, food or personal-hygiene products for the Grove City Food Pantry or of toys and gift cards for the Jackson Township Firefighters for Kids holiday toy program will be accepted on the plaza.
The lineup of holiday entertainment will include the Grove City Christian School Choir at 5 p.m.; the Central Crossing High School Choir, 5:30 p.m.; the Grove City High School Choir, 6 p.m.; and Yuletide Brass at 6:30 p.m.
Live reindeer will be on display and an ice sculptor will be at work from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Broadway.
The animated window display portraying scenes from "The Nutcracker" is returning to City Hall. The display will be open throughout the holiday season.
"I think kids are always captivated by the window display. It's the kind of thing you don't see around much any more," Sutherland said. "It's another way the Town Center is special during the holidays."
The city will offer Santa's Mailbox, a direct-mail route to the North Pole. Children can drop off their letters to Santa from Monday, Nov. 27, through Dec. 3 in the mailbox in front of the Grove City Museum and Welcome Center. If they include a self-addressed, stamped envelope, youngsters will receive a response from Santa.
The Grove City Community Winds and Chamber Singers will hold their annual Christmas concert at 11 a.m. Dec. 2 in the Grove City High School auditorium, 4665 Hoover Road. Admission is a donation of canned goods for the Grove City Food Pantry.
Other holiday events in Grove City will include the Century Village open house from 4 to 8 p.m. Dec. 9. The Southwest Franklin County Historical Society and the city of Grove City will present this event.
A Christmas trolley tour will take visitors from the Town Center to the Grant-Sawyer Home on Haughn Road and Century Village.
Century Village will be decorated in the style of the mid-19th century, including live greenery.
The Grove City Welcome Center and Museum will hold a holiday exhibition Dec. 1-29. The building will be adorned with holiday decorations, including more than 15 Christmas trees, and the display will include Snoopy characters, a village with a model train, stuffed animals and vintage toys.
The museum is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and Tuesdays until 8 p.m. Admission is free.