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Christmas caroling comes to Petaluma’s Walnut Park

Paige Juneau serenades Walnut Park in Petaluma, Calif. with Christmas carols Friday, December 23, 2016. Members of the First Presbyterian Church organized the event. (Jeremy Portje / For The Press Democrat)

J.D. MORRIS,

Walnut Park in downtown Petaluma was transformed into a chorus of caroling Friday night for what one local church says should become an annual Christmastime event.

Jane Shelly, a member of Petaluma’s First Presbyterian Church, said she was inspired to help organize this year’s inaugural event by a similar gathering held annually in her former home of New Canaan, Connecticut. Shelly, a professional musician, moved from there to Petaluma two years ago and earlier this year joined First Presbyterian’s outreach commission, she said.

Shelly said she arranged about 21 carols and 15 musicians led the singing, in which dozens of community members participated. Shelly wanted it to be a community event that brought diverse segments of Petaluma together, she said before the event.

“With all the divisiveness in our society these days, it will be nice to have something where people just get together and sing,” she said.