Petalumans get ready for festive activities from tree-lightings to Krampus games

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It’s beginning to look a lot like the holidays here in Petaluma.

From trees in store windows downtown (and in the Ballroom of the Hotel Petaluma), to a giant Menorah going up at the river, to lights being hung on the Hospice tree in Walnut Park, to odd, horned creatures lurking about the local bookstore in celebration of Krampusnacht, there are no shortages of way to be entertained, amused, enlightened and inspired.

Here are a few of the many events and activities taking place in and around Petaluma and Sonoma County this holiday season.


Friday, Dec. 7, 6 p.m.

Walnut Park

St. Joseph Health’s Hospice Services return to Walnut Park this year for the annual Light Up a Life celebration. Chris Falley, Director of Hospice Services for St. Joseph, will be speaking and live music will be performed by the Casa Grande High School Concert Choir and the Casa Grande High School Chamber Choir, led by Sadie Sonntag and accompanied by Lauren Haile. During the festivities, the enormous tree will be lit, with bulbs representing all those our community has lost since last Christmas.



Saturday, Dec. 8, 7 p.m.

Copperfield’s Book Store

A popular European holiday tradition comes to Petaluma as Copperfield’s Books gives props to the spookier side of Christmas with its first-ever celebration of Krampusnacht. In some parts of the world, Krampus – a tall, hairy guy with horns and his own version of Santa’s sack - is St. Nick’s sidekick, tagging along to collect any naughty girls and boys. Copperfield’s resident experts on off-the-wall folklore, Ray Lawrason and Ross Lockhart, will be sharing tales from classic folklore, leading games, and more. Krampus costumes are encourages. There will be light refreshments, of a Krampusnacht nature.



Saturday, Dec. 8, 7 p.m.

The Phoenix Theater

The Phoenix Theater presents a massive rock show a benefit for Toys for Tots. Featuring Points North, Tempest Knights, the Bill Decker Band, and EM K, the benefit will also have a raffle with “big prizes.” Tickets $12-$15. 7 p.m. show, doors open at 6:30. The Phoenix Theater, 201 E. Washington St.



Sunday, Dec. 9, 7 p.m.

Spreckels Performing Arts Center

A popular Sonoma County holiday tradition returns, with more off-the-wall stories read loud by some of the funniest people in the Bay Area: Will Durst, Reed Martin, “America’s Got Talent” star Oliver Graves, Debi Durst, Brad Surosky, Charles Siebert and Robin Pressman, with outrageous, “Frozen”-inspired musical satires by Petaluma’s Katie Kelley and Lucy London. The event is hosted by the Argus-Courier’s David Templeton. Oh, there will also be singing zombies. And ‘A Night Before Christmas Bingo’ game. $30.



Tuesday, Dec. 11, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 15, 3 p.m.

Petaluma Valley Baptist Church

Under the direction of Linda Evans Manuilow, the Petaluma Chorale presents its annual holiday show, featuring a seasonal showcase of tunes from such composers as John Rutter, Eric Whitaker, and Irving Berlin. With piano accompaniment by Colleen O’Malley, the concert is designed to put all attendees in a mood for Christmas. Tickets $10-$12. Kids under 12 free.

WANT TO KNOW MORE? Get information or reserve tickets at, or purchase tix at the door.


Dec. 13, 14, 15, 8 p.m.

Hotel Petaluma

The Petaluma Radio Players present their annual holiday “radio show,” live from the Ballroom of the Hotel Petaluma. This year’s show features two short radio plays: “The Misadventure of the Devil’s Whisper,” and “The Misadventures of the Malevolent Mathematician,” plus the super-short “comedy “Psycho Santa.” Apparently, the two main plays feature appearances by Sherlock Holmes himself, thus the title of the show. This popular show generally sells out each year, and has become a kind of local institution at the Holidays.


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