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Downtown Holiday Open House
by Petaluma Downtown on 

Saturday, December 1st, the downtown will be exploding with merriment. Starting at noon, you can find free entertainment in Putnam Plaza with horse & carriage rides, face painting, balloon animals, caroling, live music, ornament forgings, gift wrapping and more.

In the Bank Building, the small vendor faire will help you shop for those "who have everything" and children's entertainment inthe form of puppet theatre, songs, and storytime with Benedettiville and Love, Hope & Magic.

But that's not all! Around town you will find caricature drawings at Flower Child, harpist and ornament making at Seed Bank, cookie decorating at iLeoni, latke tasting near the Water Street Bridge and more.

For a complete list of entertainment and merchant specials visit our page here.

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Santa's Riverboat Arrival
by Petaluma Downtown on 

When Santa arrives in Petaluma, he leaves his sleigh at home. Instead, he and Mrs. Claus make a uniquely Petaluma arrival. They sail up the Petaluma River on a tugboat and dock at River Plaza Shopping Center on E.Washington to the cheers of hundreds of excited children.

Everyone will get into the spirit of the season with live entertainment by the Pacific Empire Chorus and Petaluma Pete while waiting for Santa and Mrs. Claus to arrive. The Christmas couple are welcomed by costumed dancers from the Petaluma School of Ballet’s “Nutcracker.” Then Santa and Mrs. Claus make their way across the shopping center parking lot – handing out candy canes along the way – where they will be available for family photos in their special tent. Be sure to bring your Christmas wish list!

Don’t’ let the fun stop there! Keep the festive mood flowing by making the short walk to historic downtown Petaluma for Shop Small special offers and activities.

See a short video here>>

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Utility Box Art
by Petaluma Downtown on 

You may have noticed that the utility boxes around town have been getting a make-over. Once the target of graffiti, they are now being transformed into works of art by local Petaluma artists, thanks to the Business Improvement District.

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Join us on Halloween!
by Petaluma Downtown on 
Downtown Trick or Treat Trail

Parents- Be sure to gather your little ghosts, goblins, monsters, Harry Potters, witches on broomsticks and princesses, and join the participating downtown merchants for the annual Trick or Treat Trail.


Date: Halloween day, Wednesday October 31st


Time: 3-5:30 P.M.


Place: Downtown Petaluma merchants on Kentucky St, Fourth St, Western Ave, Petaluma Blvd, 2nd St, “C” St., “B” St., the Putnam Plaza, and the River Plaza Shopping Center


***Participating merchants will have orange & black balloons placed outside their stores.


Come and celebrate a safe and spooktacular time in our wonderful downtown.



For more information contact The Petaluma Downtown Association at 762-9348





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Fall Gathering October 17
by Petaluma Downtown on 

Save the Date for the Fall Gathering of downtown merchants and friends. Find out what's new for the Holiday Open House, what is going on in the Business Improvement District and mingle with your fellow merchants. More details will be emailed out to anyone on our Newsletter Mailing List. If you are not on the list and would like to be, please email

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Call for Antique Vendors
by Petaluma Downtown on 

Applications are now available for Antique Fair vendors. The faire takes place September 30, 2018 in Historic Downtown Petaluma. Attracting residents from all over the Bay Area, and beautiful weather at that time of year, it is one of the most popular antique faires to attend. Go to the Antique Faire page on our website.

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The Great Summer Sidewalk Sale!
by Petaluma Downtown on 

Join the downtown merchants Thursday, July 19 through Saturday, July 21 as they roll out savings for you! Look for the Sidewalk Sale Flyers in their windows then shop til you drop! You can see who is participating by clicking here.

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Volunteers Needed for Festival
by Petaluma Downtown on 

Hello wonderful people! We need volunteers for the Art & Garden Festival on July 8! We have all kinds of opportunities available. From helping kids make crafts and bounce in the jump house to making sure beer booths have ice and everything in between. Volunteers get a discount tasting package, lunch and an exclusive t-shirt. Click HERE to go the the online volunteer form or call Kathy for more information at 707-769-0429.

Thank you for your consideration!

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Art & Garden Apps Now Available
by Petaluma Downtown on 

All applications for Vendors, Restaurants, Wineries, Breweries and Distilleries are now available online as well as Sponsorship and Commercial Vendor Packages. Please go to the Art & Garden Page to find them.

This event, taking place on July 8, 2018, attracts 12-14,000 visitors and is the ideal showcase for your business. Now, in it's 17th year, the opportunity to market to new customers couldn't be better.
Seize the day!

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Tom Gaffey named 2018 Good Egg
by Petaluma Downtown on 

Phoenix Theater general manager keeps the doors open for Petaluma teens

When Tom Gaffey returned to Petaluma in 1983 after running a theater in Cloverdale and was asked by friends if he would manage the Phoenix Theater, he said yes, thinking to himself that he would stay for six months, or at the most, a year. It would be a short-term gig before buying the perfect RV and heading out to cruise the country.


“But things never work out the way I plan it,” Tom says.


As the Petaluma community will attest, thank goodness Tom’s plans went awry because as the general manager of the Phoenix Theater, Tom has been nurturing creativity and confidence in Petaluma’s teens and giving them the space to express it for 35 years.  For his selfless dedication to fostering community spirit and positive promotion of Petaluma, Tom Gaffey has been selected at the 2018 Good Egg Award recipient.


“Our young people are our most valuable resource and Tom has dedicated his life to ensuring a great start for these talented Petalumans. He is a local hero,” Eric J. Adams stated in his nomination form.


Local therapist Kathleen Adams who specializes in working with teens made a powerful statement in her nomination form about the impact that Tom has had on Petaluma’s youth. “I know for a fact that Tom has saved lives! Tom has invested in our youth and offers a safe haven for them to explore their music, art and soul.”


One of the reasons that Tom has had such success in working with teens is that he doesn’t have an agenda for the way the building is used or the activities at the Phoenix, as long as it is safe and law-abiding. Tom jokes in his characteristic humility that his main talent is “opening the doors and saying ‘no.’” In actuality, he is a facilitator, empowering teens to bring their ideas for music, art and self-expression. He doesn’t take on their project; ownership stays with the originator.


“People come up with ideas. Can we do murals on the wall, or build a skate ramp? I said no three times to the ramp, until they showed up with tools and built it. When I’m doing it best, I’m keeping my eyes open but getting out of the way.”


Tom’s history with the Phoenix Theater, originally built in 1905 as an opera house, began when it was a discount movie house in the early 1980s. “With the advent of movie multiplexes, the handwriting was on the wall that it couldn’t stay a theater, but what to do with the big, creaky, drafty building?”


With a capacity of just over 700, Tom saw the opportunity to experiment with booking live bands at the Phoenix including nationally known musicians such as the Neville Brothers. He recalls a sold-out show for the Violent Femmes in 1985. “The place erupted and that was really the starting gun. Let’s keep doing that.” Tom and some of the teens who frequented the shows worked together booking bands. He was eventually joined by Jim Agius, president of operations for Petaluma Market, who Tom describes as “a consummate booker for their market.”


Tom has been behind the scenes and sometimes literally in the middle of the action when he and 500 other audience members are on the floor at the Phoenix, feeling the energy of rock, metal, punk, alternative, or rap performances. “It’s been an incredible ride for me, through no design of my own.”


The positive impact that Tom has had on the community goes far beyond establishing the Phoenix Theater as a popular music venue. It’s his open-door policy that gives teens the space to play music, rehearse on stage, jam, skateboard or just hang out after school…all under Tom’s supportive and watchful eye.


“Ask around and you’ll find story after story of Tom taking the time to get to know our local kids, guide them, and teach them self-confidence,” says Kathleen Adams.


Tom recalls how thrilled he was as a young man to meet newspaper columnist Bill Soberanes and walk in the footsteps of people important to Petaluma’s history. By giving back to the “town that raised me,” Tom is building a legacy of young people who will continue contributing to the community. “I found life serving the youth audience and I would like it to continue. It is my honor to see these kids grow up to be successful people.”

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