It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, Chanukah, Solstice, Kwanzaa, and (eventually) New Year’s Day. Here’s the Argus-Courier’s round-up of events and activities, concerts, shows and fundraisers, all taking place in and around Petaluma. Happy Holidays to all of our readers.
Community events & celebrations
HOSPICE TREE LIGHTING
Friday, Dec. 1, 6 p.m.
It’s a tradition as visually beautiful and enchanting as it is inspiring and healing. Petaluma Hospice’s annual Light Up a Life celebration honors those we’ve said goodbye to, with a moving ceremony combining group song, special readings, and the climactic lighting of a massive tree, each light representing someone spe-cial the community has lost. This year, for the first time, the event moves to Walnut Park. Dress warmly and weather-appropriately, as this ceremony takes place whether it’s wet or dry. To sponsor a light on the tree with your donation, contact Petaluma Hospice, HospiceLightUpaLife.org.
DOWNTOWN MERCHANTS OPEN HOUSE
Saturday, Dec. 2, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
As if downtown Petaluma at the holidays isn’t enticement enough to brave the local parking garages, the merchants are once again throwing their annual downtown-wide ‘open house,’ with special deals, holiday treats and libations, horse and carriage rides, balloon artists and face painters in Putnam Plaza (noon-4 p.m.), kid pictures with Santa at the Lan-Mart Building from 10 am-5 p.m., pet pictures with Santa (he’s AMAZING) at Hotel Petaluma from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.), Morris Dancers at various outdoor locations throughout the day, live music breaking out in certain shops, and much, much more.
HOLIDAY SPICES DEMONSTRATION WITH THE SONOMA SPICE QUEEN
Saturday, Dec. 9, 10:30 a.m.
Drop by the Petaluma Library for a seasonally directed cooking demo featuring a nose-gladdening array of spices from around the world. Enjoy samples of festive holiday foods, and take some spices home with you to better season your own holiday, um, season. Petaluma Library, 100 Fairgrounds Dr.
LIGHTED BOAT PARADE
Saturday, December 9, 6:15 p.m.
It’s one of Petaluma’s most magical annual events. Just after dusk, when the Petaluma River is good and dark, a parade of specially decorated boats – from yachts and inflatable rafts to rowboats and kayaks – will make their way up past the drawbridge and into the turning basin. Bundle up, and prepare to take some amazing pictures, because you never know quite what’s going to sail, steam, paddle and float into magical, memorable view.
CHANUKAH AT THE RIVER
Sunday, Dec. 17, 4:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Presented by Chabad Jewish Center of Petaluma, the third annual Chanukah at the River celebration will include a dazzling array of festivities, including fire juggling and a live “escape-act,” plus face painting, mu-sic, crafts, raffles, the serving of latkes, jelly donuts, and chocolate coins, a photo-op with a life-sized dreidel, and the main event: the lighting on nine-foot-high Mega Menorah. The Water Street Promenade, 100 Petaluma Blvd. N. Free, with RSVP to JewishPetaluma.com/river or by calling (707) 559-8585.
PENNGROVE HOLIDAY PARADE OF LIGHTS
Sunday, Dec. 17, 6 p.m.
Pengrove’s Main Street will be aglow with beautiful light, as the second annual Parade of Lights turns the tiny town into a magical wonderland. You’ll see glammed-up tractors and farm vehicles covered in Christmas lights, and much more. The idea was brought to light (literally!) by JavAmore Café’s Kim Hanson, who also produces Pengrove’s annual 4th of July Parade. The parade begins in Pengrove Park, and moves on up through Main St.