It might not have felt like Christmas, with the thermometer reaching 50 degrees, but Grove City's Town Center again was turned into a holiday wonderland Dec. 2.
The annual Christmas Celebration included the holiday parade and tree-lighting ceremony, seasonal music, live reindeer and the chance for youngsters to have their picture taken with Santa Claus.
Young and old alike could take care of some holiday shopping at a Secret Santa shop in the Grove City Welcome City and Museum and the Mistletoe Market.
More than 20 vendors participated in the market, held in City Hall and at Town Center businesses.
Danielle Lowe of Columbus was offering customers materials to make their own pearl pendant or ring.
They could choose an oyster -- guaranteed to contain a pearl -- and a pendant or ring in which to place the jewel.
"It's amazing that something so beautiful could come out of an oyster, which is kind of ugly," Lowe said.
"I love watching people's reaction when they open their oyster and find out the color of their pearl," she said. "It's like a scratch-off lottery ticket, except you know you're going to get a prize."
Lowe started her business, Danielle's Pretty Pearls, about three months ago. She gets her oysters from a pearl farm in Japan.
The Mistletoe Market was the third time she has participated in a craft fair. Lowe also holds pearl parties in person and via her Facebook page.
"I always donate a portion of my sales at any event or party to a charity chosen by whoever's hosting the event," Lowe said. "I like to say I'm selling 'pearls for a purpose.'"
At the Mistletoe Market, Lowe was donating a portion of her proceeds to the event's Secret Santa Shop.
While Lowe was participating in her first Mistletoe Market, Linda Neff of West Jefferson has been involved for so long, "I remember when the market was held in a tent outside."
Lowe and her partners, Donna Tyst and Rick Sargent, were selling a variety of hand-knitted items, from hats to mug rugs.
The mug rugs, which serve as a decorative place to set a mug, cup or glass, are among the most popular items she makes and sells, Neff said.
Another popular item is a bowl cozy.
"They're microwave safe and it allows you handle a bowl of soup after you've heated it up in the microwave oven," Neff said. "Or they're good for a bowl that's ice cold, too."
Neff participates in both the Mistletoe Market and the Wine and Arts Festival each year in the Town Center.
"The best part is just meeting the people," she said. "I love the Mistletoe Market especially, because families come in together and it's just so festive."
Crocheting is a relaxing pastime for Neff.
"It's something I can do while I'm watching TV," she said. "It's soothing."
She especially enjoys making crocheted hats, she said.
"There are so many patterns to work with," Neff said. "And you really don't know exactly how it's going to turn out until you're finished."
Outside, ice sculptor Greg Butauski created Santa and teddy-bear sculptures from blocks of ice he had shaped using a chain saw and die grinder.
It was far from freezing when he began, but Butauski said that was no problem.
"The biggest problem you have is the wind and the sun," he said. "Unless the temperature's in the 70s, that's what you have to worry about."
Butauski owns Rock on Ice, whose team of artists are able to create sculptures from pumpkins, cheese and sand, among other materials, in addition to ice.
"The thing about ice sculpting is that it's quick," he said. "You don't have time to fool around. It's not like making a sculpture out of granite or wood. As long as I don't have to worry about wind or the sun, I'll get an ice sculpture down in about 45 minutes."
He became interested in ice sculpting while a student at the University of Akron.
"I lived in a dorm that had a lot of culinary arts students," Butauski said. "The first time I watched someone doing an ice sculpture, I knew it was something I wanted to do. I can't describe what it was that grabbed my attention -- it just did.
"I had been an engineering student, and I immediately switched to culinary arts," he said. "My parents weren't too crazy about that."
Rock on Ice personnel create sculptures at hundreds of events each year, Butauski said.
"People are really interested in the process," he said. "They want to know how we do it. In a way you're putting on a show for them."
A steady stream of youngsters lined up with their parents to visit Santa Claus at the George Edge Music Park.
Grove City resident Jason Johnson brought his children, Lillian, 1, and Shane, 5, to the Christmas Celebration.
"They loved visiting with Santa," Johnson said. "It was Lillian's first time to meet Santa and she was pretty excited. Her eyes were wide."
The Christmas Celebration is "a wonderful family event," he said.
"With the tree and all the decorations and the parade, it gets you into the spirit of Christmas," Johnson said.