Gary Linehan, The Union Democrat

The Union Democrat will sponsor the 33rd annual Pop Hudson Memorial Christmas Sing on Friday afternoon at Courthouse Square in downtown Sonora.

Admission is free.

The sing will be preceded by Galen "Mut" Mutzner's annualfree bean feed beginning at noon at Washington and Linoberg streets.

At 12:45 p.m., The Union Democrat staff will take the steps of the courthouse and kick off the popular event with "O Come, All Ye Faithful." Several other agencies and organizations will complete the repertoire.

Groups leading songs are asked to assemble in the park at 12:30 p.m. The sing goes rain or shine.

Two former Union Democrat reporters, Teresa Baggot and Diane Nelson, created the sing in 1980.

Baggot conceived the idea while listening to the St. Patrick's Church choir on a Sunday morning. She envisioned a day where the community would come together in harmony and leave politics behind.

The Union Democrat publisher at the time, Harvey McGee, agreed to sponsor the event. It was named after Pop Hudson, a community activist and downtown Sonora merchant who embraced the Christmas spirit until his death in 1977.

Hudson owned an electronics repair shop on Washington Street and wired downtown Sonora to play Christmas music.

Here are the groups taking part:

• Union Democrat, "O Come, All Ye Faithful."

• Sonora Regional Medical Center, Tuolumne General Medical Facility and Tuolumne County Mental Health, "Let it Snow."

• Stanislaus National Forest, "We Wish You a Merry Chirstmas."

• Sierra Conservation Center inmates, "Winter Wonderland."

• Tuolumne County law enforcement officers, "Deck the Halls."

• Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools Office, "Jingle Bells."

• Summerville Parent Nursery School, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."

• Downtown Sonora merchants, "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree."

• Tuolumne County Chamber of Commerce and Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau, "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear."

• Jazz@8 choir, "What Child is This."

• Jazz@8 choir, "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen."

• Tuolumne County and City of Sonora, "Silver Bells."

• TBA, "Feliz Navidad."

• Amador-Tuolumne Community Action Agency and YES Partnership, "Hark the Herald Angels Sing."

• Central Sierra Arts Council and Mother Lode Art Association, "Silent Night."

• Sonora-area service clubs, "Joy to the World."