Annual downtown event offers free entry to live music, art and Kids Zone
Published in the September 13 – September 26, 2017 issue of Morgan Hill Life
Visitors to the 28th Annual Taste of Morgan Hill held downtown Sept. 23 and 24 will experience a different look and feel to the family-friendly art and food/wine festival. Because of the major construction taking place in the downtown, organizers of the event had to make a few changes to the festival layout. A bonus is the return of the Saturday night concert tradition to keep people entertained into the late evening hours.
The Taste will provide continuous musical entertainment beginning at noon each day, promised Sunday Minnich, organizer of the Taste. The organizers are combining the Food Court, which will be located on East Third Street across from the parking garage, with an outdoor seating area. The Kids Zone will be expanded with more rides, games and entertainment for the whole family to enjoy.
This year’s Taste will also provide visitors with a wider variety of handmade arts and crafts merchandise, Minnich said. Another change is the popular Quilt Show has moved from the Morgan Hill Community and Cultural Center to the heart of the Taste at the historic United Methodist Church located on the corner of Fourth Street and Monterey Road.
“Everyone from locals to visitors from around the Bay Area love coming to the Taste of Morgan Hill because of the amazing entertainment and people-watching opportunities,” said John Horner, president and CEO of the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce which puts on the event. And for people on a budget, it’s a bargain. Entry to the Taste is free, he said.
“By keeping the festival free, attendees and families of all income levels can enjoy a fun-filled weekend,” he said. “It is thanks to our sponsors and money raised at the festival that we are able to keep the festival free admission.”
A variety of bands performing tunes from classic rock and blues to R&B, top hits and Motown will entertain the crowds beginning at noon each day on the Festival Stage located on West Third Street. Back by popular demand is the Kids Stage which will have a variety of local dance, gymnastics, martial arts and musical demonstrations as well as Peter G Magic who will dazzle youngsters and parents alike with two magic shows each day on the Kids Stage.
For those who prefer oldies, they can visit the Car Show and listen to yesteryear hits spun by a dee-jay. Wandering around the crowds will be strolling entertainment with magic acts and the gravity-defying Chiquy Boom stilt walker.
Pacific Soul is the headline band at the Saturday Night Street Dance which kicks off at 6:30 p.m. The popular group provide a unique blend of options for all ages covering music from R&B, old school, funk, hip-hop, soft rock, and Top 40 dance from the past and present.
The Classic & Custom Car Show will be bigger and better this year, Minnich promised.
“The Car Show and Quilt Show offer festival-goers different options to enjoy that other festivals don’t provide,” she said. “Not only are you getting a great opportunity to eat, drink and shop at the festival, but you can browse the many antique cars and chrome-gleaming hot-rods on Monterey Road from East Dunne to Fourth Street.”
The Kids Zone at this year’s taste has been expanded with an entertainment stage, more rides and games. Back by popular demand are the pony rides and petting zoo which moved to West Second Street and Monterey Road.
Visitors to this year’s Taste will find new and interesting vendors that will tempt them to take home gifts and goodies to friends and family. This year’s festival will provide visitors with a variety of handmade arts and crafts from jewelry, clothing and pottery to wine barrel creations, custom doors, wood creations and skincare accessories and candles.
“There’s something for everyone,” Minnich said. “The Taste of Morgan Hill is one of the largest fundraisers for the Chamber with proceeds used to continue the its business advocacy programs, including economic development, educational programs, visitor services, member and community promotions and other programs.”