Parents, children, grandmas and their pets clustered around a Christmas tree in Palo Alto's Lytton Plaza, where they were dressed in warm clothes for the cold weather and sang joyful songs. But they weren't carolers preparing for the holidays.
They were gathered for one of more than 650 rallies held nationwide Tuesday night supporting President Donald Trump's impeachment. The action was partly spearheaded by MoveOn, a progressive public policy advocacy group. About 150-200 people gathered a block away from Rep. Anna Eshoo's downtown office to sing songs of impeachment.
"Jingle bells, something smells, something in D.C.," protesters sang, as the social justice activist group, Raging Grannies, led the impeachment music.
The rally, organized by Stephen Rosenblum and the Raging Grannies, came as the U.S. House of Representatives prepares to vote on two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Wednesday. And though the historic vote is a somber moment for the country, the spirit of Tuesday night's protest was oddly festive.
Menlo Park resident Nancy Wagner held up a sign with the word "impeach" in capital letters and written out with Christmas lights as she yelled "ho, ho, ho" to passing cars on University Avenue. Drivers honked to express support.
Palo Alto resident Emilie Cappella, 41, came with her mother and 4-year-old daughter because she believed the rally was a family event they needed to witness.
"Tomorrow is an important day," she said. "I want my mother and my daughter to share that moment with me."
After the songs, a 12-foot balloon of "Chicken Trump" was inflated in the plaza for people to poke at, take pictures with and eventually deflate. The chicken was paid for by people in Palo Alto and Los Altos, according to Vara Ramakrishman, an active member of Vigil for Democracy, who is responsible for storing the chicken.