Christmas cheer will soon be here as two communities prepare for their annual holiday festivities.

The Mercer Area Chamber of Commerce hosts Christmas on the Square Friday, Dec. 6, in Mercer, and An Olde Town Christmas will be held Saturday, Dec. 7, in Olde Town Grove City.

Both events are free. Mindy Trepasso, who became executive director of the chamber earlier this year, said the Mercer celebration is a mix of old and new for all ages.

“That’s a big part of what’s exciting about it,” she said.

The event runs from 6 to 8 p.m. in the area of South Diamond Street. Santa Claus will be arriving on a firetruck to light the Christmas tree with Landon Chapin, this year’s “honorary elf.”

The chamber chose the 6-year-old Mercer boy to help light the tree because of his dedication to the community. Landon has been raising money and collecting donations for local animal rescues.

“He is amazing,” Trepasso said.

Landon’s efforts have inspired others to give back. One young lady is gathering socks, gloves and scarves, which will be placed outside the chamber office for anyone who needs them.

Christmas on the Square will include local organizations and businesses, Christmas tree cornhole with the Mercer County Conservation District, a kids’ activity with the Girl Scouts, Christmas carols, and more.

J. Hicks on the Square will present a toy donation to Mercer County AWARE; dancers from The Academy of Dance Anatomy will perform; and the Mercer County Animal Response Team will demonstrate how to do CPR on a dog.

Food will be sold, and it will be a great chance to shop local, Trepasso said.

Grove City’s An Olde Town Christmas runs from noon to 6 p.m. New this year is a cookie crawl, said Ann Marie O’Rourke, Olde Town Grove City manager.

“We have 20 participating merchants,” she said.

Each cookie flavor will be different, and the treats will be homemade. Olde Town visitors are encouraged to start the cookie crawl at Hairtique and More, 215 S. Center St.

The salon will be handing out bags courtesy of Connect Hearing for folks to collect their cookie samples. Each shop with cookies will have a gingerbread man displayed in the front window.

Cookie recipes will be on display or copies will be available. A list of cookie crawl participants will posted on the “Olde Town Grove City” Facebook page.

Olde Town stores will have shopping specials, product samples, and other holiday fun, O’Rourke said.

At noon, Outta Theatre, 109 Blair St., is hosting Peppermint Wonderland, a walk-through holiday display, and Santa Claus is coming on a fire truck at 1 p.m.

“When Santa comes to town, they’ll have a police escort,” she said.

Santa will be meeting with visitors inside Saxony House from 1:30 to 5 p.m.

There will be hayrides from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Joseph D. Monteleone Youth Festival Park; ice-carving with Erie Ice Works at 12:30 p.m. at the gazebo; Pittsburgh Youth Chorus concert at 3 p.m. at Tower Presbyterian Church; Bach Society concert at 7:30 p.m. at Tower Church; plus strolling handbell players and carolers.

Tower Presbyterian Church will also be hosting its annual holiday train display from noon to 6 p.m.

Cookie crawl bags will contain an entry form to win a basket filled with gift certificates for Olde Town merchants.

FOR MORE information about the Mercer Area Chamber of Commerce, 143 N. Diamond St., Mercer, check out “Mercer Area Chamber of Commerce, Mercer, PA” on Facebook, visit www.mercerareachamber.com or call 724-662-4185. For more information about Olde Town Grove City, call 724-458-0301, visit www.oldetowngrovecity.com or check out “Olde Town Grove City” on Facebook.

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