After taking a year off from any Christmas-themed events last year because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Grove City is seeking to start this year’s holiday season with a collaborative celebration.
In previous years, the city and the Heart of Grove City would hold their respective events – the annual community parade and the Mistletoe Market – separately.
This holiday season, both groups plan to hold their events in tandem, beginning Dec. 3 and continuing through the weekend.
“This is the first year that the Heart of Grove City and the city have really teamed up to try to make this a weekend-long event,” said Grove City recreation supervisor Kelly Sutherland. “Usually it was just the day, and they had the Mistletoe Market and then we had the parade and the tree lighting on Saturday night; it was kind of two different events.
“We’ve always done these events, but it’s never been in a partnership like it has this year.”
Sutherland said Dec. 3 is being described as “the kickoff to the holiday season,” with the community parade beginning at 7 p.m.
The parade will progress along Wilbur Avenue and Columbus Street, Broadway and Park Street, according to a Grove City news release
Afterward, Mayor Richard L. “Ike” Stage and Grove City Council members will be joined by Santa Claus for the Christmas tree lighting at the Grove City Town Center.
In addition, the Heart of Grove City’s Mistletoe Market Christmas shopping event will begin Dec. 3 and will continue through Dec. 4 at the Town Center.
Dec.4 events include photos with Santa at the Mistletoe Market, the Masonic Lodge Breakfast with Santa at the lodge, 3558 Park St., and the Grove City Community Winds Christmas concert at Grove City High School, 4665 Hoover Road.
The weekend events will culminate Dec. 5 with the seventh annual Cram the Cruiser gift drive, organized by the city of Grove City and Grove City Division of Police. The drive collects donations of toys, books and gift cards for the benefit of children and teenager under the care of Franklin County Children Services.
“Cram the Cruiser is going to tie the weekend up,” Sutherland said.
Cram the Cruiser takes place at the Grove City United Methodist Church, 2684 Columbus St.
“I am proud of our community supporting this important fundraiser each year,” Stage said in a statement. “I’m truly appreciative of the tremendous work and support of the many volunteers representing the Grove City Division of Police, Citizens Police Academy, Grove City United Methodist Church, city of Grove City, Parks and Recreation VIP youth, area businesses, local civic groups and residents.”
Those interested in donating to the Cram the Cruiser event may drop off items from 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 5 at the church via a drive-thru, according to the city’s media release.
Quin Wells of the Grove City Division of Police said donations also may be dropped off in collection boxes at the Safety Complex, City Hall, the Kingston Center, the Evans Center, the Grove City Welcome Center and Museum and the Grove City Service Department.
Cram the Cruiser has collected more than 30,000 items and gift cards and more than $5,000 in donations since 2015, according to the city.
For more information, go to grovecityohio.gov.