Merion Village will continue its annual holiday celebration with an area tour early next month.

Merion Village will continue its annual holiday celebration with an area tour early next month.

The seventh annual Holiday Lights Tour will take place 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 7 throughout the area. Organizers expect 30 to 40 homes to be take part in the tour.

"The main thing is that the light tour -- especially in these times -- it's nice to get a little diversion and go out and see something cheery," said Bob Leighty, president of the Merion Village Association.

The tour takes place throughout the area. And though people are welcome to walk, it is considered easiest to drive to all the locations.

"There's nothing that will keep you from walking other than the fact that the neighborhood is big," Leighty said.

Those interested in the free event can pick up tour maps at Gates-Fourth United Methodist Church, 1234 S. Fourth St, the night of the event.

"That map doesn't showcase all the lights going on, it just shows the ones who have signed up for it," said Joe Stefanko, event organizer, noting that other homes in the area will be lit for the holidays.

For those how can't attend, the maps will available on the Merion Village Association Web site,

"If you can't make the night of the tour and you can always download the map and do it anytime during the holiday season," Stefanko said.

There will be several prizes for residents who participate. Judges will present awards for Best Decorated Door, Best Holiday Spirit, The Griswold Award -- for the zaniest decorations and The People's Choice Award.

Award winners will receive prizes from various sponsors.

Winners will be announced 7 p.m. Dc. 10 at the Merion Village Holiday Potluck at Gates-Fourth.

"There is a quiet a little bit of competition that goes on between people who do this," Stefanko said.

For those residents interested in taking part in the tour, entry forms (available online) must be completed and turned in to the Merion Village Information Center, 1330 S. 4th St., by 5 p.m. Dec. 5.

In addition, the Merion Village Annual Cookie Sale will take place prior to the event and the day of. The cookie sale takes place 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Information Center, and 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 7 at Gates-Fourth.

Cookies for the event are made by local residents and are $6 for a bakers dozen. Any proceeds from the event go to the Merion Village Association.

"We do make a little money on selling the cookies ... but it's really just meant to be a social event to give people a chance to chat and enjoy the holidays," Leighty said.