The Union Democrat's 23rd annual "Pop" Hudson Memorial Christmas Sing will sound off at 12:45 p.m. Friday in Sonora's Courthouse Square, bringing together children and politicians, police officers and firefighters, community volunteers and reporters to warm the chill air of the season.
Started in 1979 by two Union Democrat reporters as a way to mend frayed political fences, the event has grown into a much-anticipated Tuolumne County tradition.
Concert pianist and retired teacher Florence Craig will accompany the singers as she has for most of the Sing's 23 years, and city and county offices all but close down for the 45 minutes of caroling.
As each participating group leads a carol, singers join the crowd in Courthouse Square to finish out the event.
Thanks to a piano loaned from Sonora High School, crews from the city and county and willing singers, the Sing warms the hearts of all who join in, rain or shine.
Song sheets will be provided Friday at Courthouse Square, on the first block of North Washington Street, for people who cannot remember the second and third verses to Yuletide favorites.
Galen "Mut" Mutzner and his crew will provide free beans for lunch, beginning at noon, for people who forgot to pack a ham and Swiss on rye.
Pick up a bowl at the corner of South Washington and Linoberg streets.
Come join the herd.