Concert, proclamation honor David ‘Lumpy’ Williams
David “Lumpy” Williams was known to attract a crowd. As Sonoma’s beloved Santa Claus, Williams often was surrounded by his many admirers.
When he unexpectedly died in October at age 61, friends knew they needed a large-capacity venue for his memorial service. They were right. The celebration of his life brought a full house to Sebastiani Theatre on the Sonoma Plaza.
In honor of Williams and the more than 30 years he served as Sonoma’s Santa, the city council recently declared Nov. 30 David “Lumpy” Williams Day.
The date wasn’t random. It was the day Williams planned to don his authentic red and white costume and ride aboard a vintage fire truck to the awaiting crowd gathered at the Plaza for the official lighting of the City Hall Christmas tree.
“He was really looking forward to doing that again for our community,” said Mayor Joanne Sanders as she proclaimed the special day in his honor.
The proclamation recognizes Williams’ “unselfish and untiring service to the community.”
Iconic in the valley as both Santa and an active community volunteer throughout the year, Williams’ death leaves a void at the North Pole and beyond.
While the Plaza holiday tradition goes on as usual, it’s with heavy hearts for those who knew Williams. Gifted with equal amounts of warmth and wit, his fans ranged from wide-eyed toddlers to senior citizens.
To further honor Williams, the 16-voice chamber choir Music Works!/Sonoma presents Christmas in Sonoma!, a holiday concert dedicated to his memory. Williams was scheduled to appear at the concert, one of his many Santa bookings during the holiday season. Instead, performers will sing in his memory.
The event begins at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2 at St. Francis Solano Church, 469 Third St. W.
The Faith Lutheran Church choir also will perform, along with guest musicians who were Williams’ close friends.
Selections will range from Spanish Renaissance to Broadway and from classical to contemporary carols.
The program is free, with donations accepted. Seating is first-come, first-served.
— Dianne Reber Hart