Each holiday season, Grove City offers an animated window display portraying scenes from Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker" at City Hall.

The display will return this year, but the theme will extend outside the confines of the city building's front window.

A "Nutcracker" hunt will offer residents the opportunity to win prizes by finding figurines in 40 locations around the Town Center and downtown, said Kelly Sutherland, a city recreation supervisor.

"They're (the nutcracker figurines are) placed all over the downtown area, especially in many of the stores and restaurants," she said. "Each nutcracker has a number on them and you write down the number. You can win prizes after finding 10, 20 and 30 nutcrackers."

The hunt will continue through Jan. 4. Residents may turn in their numbers at the Visit Grove City office, 3995 Broadway.

"It's just a fun addition to the holiday season and a good way to get people in to visit some of our businesses in the Town Center," Sutherland said.

The city will hold its annual Christmas Celebration in the Town Center from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1.

The activities are sponsored by the city and Heart of Grove City, the new name for Grove City Town Center Inc.

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.

"With all the activities going on that day, it really turns the Town Center into a winter wonderland," said Andy Furr, Heart of Grove City's executive director. "The whole day culminates with the parade, with all the bands and floats lit up with holiday lights, and the tree lighting."

"You couldn't find a better setting for the Christmas Celebration than the Town Center," Sutherland said.

The day will begin with a public breakfast from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Grove City Masonic Lodge, 3558 Park St.

The lodge will offer eggs made to order, hash browns, Belgian waffles, pancakes, bacon, sausage, toast, biscuits, gravy, coffee, milk, tea and juice.

Donations will be accepted, with funds going toward lodge activities and charities, Furr said.

Youngsters will be able to meet Santa Claus at the breakfast.

The ninth annual Mistletoe Market, also planned for Saturday, will highlight gift items, decorations, artwork and treats from Town Center businesses and vendors.

Twenty-two vendors were selected through a juried process to participate in the market from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Furr said.

"We try to choose a variety of vendors offering all kinds of holiday gift items, especially unique handmade items," he said. "When you combine them with all our Town Center merchants, you really have a chance to get a lot of your holiday shopping done."

Market vendors will be at City Hall, 4035 Broadway, and Grove City Brewery, 3946 Broadway, Furr said.

Youngsters will be able to shop for gifts at the Secret Santa shop at the Grove City Museum & Welcome Center, 3378 Park St.

Children will be able to meet Santa in person from 2 to 6:30 p.m. in the George Edge Music Park. Parents can take their own photograph or receive one for a $5 contribution to Twig 184 benefiting Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Holiday entertainment will be presented on a stage set up on Park Street adjacent to City Hall.

The lineup includes the Grove City Christian High School Choir, 5 p.m.; Grove City High School Choir, 5:30 p.m.; Central Crossing High School Choir, 6 p.m.; and Yuletide Brass, 6:30 p.m.

An ice sculptor will be at work from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Jackson Street and Broadway.

The annual Century Village Open House and Historic Christmas Tour has been moved up a week and will be held Saturday in conjunction with the Christmas Celebration, Sutherland said.

"Holding everything on the same day will give people a chance to make a real day of it," Sutherland said. "They can enjoy the festivities in the Town Center, hop on one of our buses to our historic sites, then ride back in time for the parade and tree lighting."

The open house and tour, presented by the city and the Southwest Franklin County Historical Society, will run from 1 to 5 p.m.

The city will operate three buses to take residents on a loop from the Grove City Museum on Park Street to Century Village, 4185 Orders Road, and the Grant-Sawyer Home, 4126 Haughn Road.

"We'll be offering tours of the first floor at the Grant-Sawyer Home and each of the buildings at Century Village will be decorated with traditional holiday decorations," Sutherland said. "We'll have refreshments and Saint Nick will also be there."

The museum will offer a holiday display including a model train village and a player-piano performing period Christmas music.

The Grove City Chamber Singers will perform a holiday concert at 3 p.m. at the Grant-Sawyer Home and 4:15 p.m. in the Century Village Schoolhouse.

Residents who plan to visit each site on their own will find parking in the Town Center near the museum and library, at Century Village and on Gladman Avenue between Columbus Street and Sawyer Avenue.

Tours are free, Sutherland said, but donations of nonperishable food items for the Grove City Food Pantry are encouraged.

Youngsters can drop off their letters to Santa through Sunday, Dec. 2, in the mailbox in front of the Grove City Museum & Welcome Center. For a reply from Santa, participants should include a self-addressed stamped envelope with their letters.

The Grove City Community Winds and Chamber Singers will hold their annual Christmas concert at 11 a.m. Dec. 8 in the Grove City High School auditorium, 4665 Hoover Road. Admission is a donation of canned goods for the Grove City Food Pantry.

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