Published in the May 8 – 21, 2019 issue of Morgan Hill Life

The wildly successful sold-out 7th Annual Morgan Hill Downtown Association Wine Stroll was the grand finale to Wine and Food Week. On April 27 Morgan Hill lived up to its promise with clear skies and dazzling sunshine. The main draw was the tastings from 23 local wineries in 22 downtown restaurant and retail locations. Happy sounds, swift footfall, fun and laughter filled the air as attendees went on a mission to sample them all.

Adding to the festive atmosphere, a diverse offering of live, local musical talent in multiple locations enthralled attendees.

Sipping for Diamonds was a new draw this year. Attendees had a chance to win a half-carat diamond donated by Jewel Box. The drawing at Bubbles & Brew was won by Mary Kampe, an event volunteer who simply wanted to support Morgan Hill. In addition, the Keep the Lights On drive to maintain our downtown lights, with donors entered into a drawing to win a floral display donated by The Leafy Lady was won by Desiree Stanley from San Jose.

The poster art contest to select next year’s poster was held at the Methodist church downtown. Twenty-one original entries were submitted, in styles ranging from fine-art to digital-art and digital-Photoshopped creations. A record number of attendees viewed and voted for their favorite poster art. Every entry received votes, underscoring that each was someone’s favorite. The public has spoken, and our winner, artist Ken Schwab, secured more than double the number of the next highest votes.

A delightful amuse bouche adding to the gracefulness of the stroll, was our first art exhibition at the Grange Hall. We are thankful to artists Mark Fiorenza, Ignacio Moya, Elwira Maszara, Gabriella Woodson, Regina Simmons, Sanjay Batra, Jann Griffiths, Susan Graeser, Dana Mattson and Teresa Anguiano for displaying their beautiful creations. Each artist is unique, with a special story, and will be featured on our website. Attendees expressed delight at seeing such stunning local talent. We are proud to support our local artists and give them an opportunity for exposure and networking. Artist Jann Griffiths, who painted the ‘Let Nature Sing’ Leadership Morgan Hill Class of 2018 Utility Box artwork on Hill and Dunne avenues last year, said she learned a lot from showing her work and meeting with other artists. “One of my paintings is going to be displayed in the New York State Museum of Natural History and this event was great preparation for the opening reception,” she said.

This event would not have been successful without the countless hours of volunteer work by the event committee, day-of-event volunteers, and fantastic marketing team.

We have already started working on our next big event, the Downtown Brew Crawl scheduled for Sept. 7. We look forward to another rush of eager attendees.

Suman Ganapathy is a Morgan Hill Downtown Association board member. She is also a Leadership Morgan Hill Class of 2018 alum, AAUW board member, volunteer docent with the San Jose Museum of Art Let’s Look at Art program, and a Morgan Hill Library, Culture and Arts Commissioner.