Petaluma Buzz: Gelt-dropping drones and more this holiday season – Petaluma Argus Courier

Petaluma Chanukah celebration to include gelt dropped from a drone: Over the last several years, Petaluma’s Chabad Jewish Center has built up a sense of delight and anticipation for its annual community Chanukah celebrations, incorporating highly entertaining elements that have included escape artists, fire juggling, and what Rabbi Dovid Bush calls, “The world’s largest dreidel” — a clever holiday transformation of what is clearly a cement mixer. For many years, the event was held on Water Street near the Petaluma River Turning Basin, but last year was moved to the local fairgrounds, where a drive-thru version of the celebration turned out to be a huge local hit.
“Following last year’s successful drive-thru, we hit the brainstorming table to increase the Chanukah fun,” explained Rabbi Bush in an email to the Buzz. “We landed — pun intended — on a drone gelt drop!”
Gelt, of course, are coins, often made of chocolate, given as gifts during Chanukah. Often, while playing the traditional Chanukah gambling game using a dreidel, gelt will be used as the money for kids and family members to gamble with. The drone gelt drop sounds like a whimsical, photo-ready blend of the modern and the traditional, and exactly the kind of thing Petalumans have come to expect from the yearly gathering.
“Of course,” said Rabbi Bush, “there will be plenty of other fun as well.”
The celebration will once again take place at the fairgrounds, though without the drive-thru element. All the other Petaluma Chanukah traditions will be taking place, from stilt-walkers, balloons and a DJ spinning tunes to latkes and jelly donuts, but participants will be able to experience the event on foot, masked and socially distant, of course.
“It seems like most folks would rather an in-person outdoor experience at this point,” Bush explained of the choice to move on from the drive-thru version, emphasizing Chabad’s commitment to public safety along with the fun. “We kept it at the fairgrounds, instead of the river, to allow for more distancing.”
Local Thrift Store offering yearbooks to those who lost them in recent fires: Penngrove’s The Hub, formerly Pennygrove Thrift, has gone public with a generous offer to anyone who lost their yearbooks as result of the last few years of Sonoma County fires. The shop’s new owners, Jared and Angela Faustino. In a recent social media post, Angela Faustino announced, “I found all of these local yearbooks and I would love to make someone’s day if they lost theirs.” The store will be holding a liquidation sale on December 3 and 4, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The iconic shop at 9550 Main St., just kitty-corner from Penngrove Elementary, will remain a thrift store, though the Faustinos are planning on turning the spot into a downtown destination for workshops, classes and community events. The website is still under construction, but infromation can be found on Facebook at Penngrove Hub.
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