Popular Saturday Night Street Dance features Isaiah Pickett and Faithfully Live on Third Street stage

Morgan Hill Life file photo
Taste of Morgan Hill attendees stroll through downtown during a recent festival. This year’s festival takes place Sept. 28 and 29, with the Saturday Night Street Dance from 6 to 10 p.m.

By Robert Airoldi

This year’s Taste of Morgan Hill, the 30th annual version, will carry on the momentum built from some of last year’s successful additions, including the Sangria station, the House of Thunder Harley Davidson Harley Show Sunday, and the ever-popular Saturday Night Street Dance.

Other popular items returning are the Baby Friendly Station by Saint Louise Regional Hospital that will be located on Monterey Road at the intersection of W. First Street, the Valet Bike Parking once again sponsored by Bike Therapy and located at the corner of East First and Depot streets, the Pony Rides & Petting Zoo located in the Sinaloa Parking lot and the California Sports Center is once again sponsoring the Kids Stage which will be located on Monterey Road near Main Street in the Kids Zone.

And perhaps the most popular of all is the musical lineup that will feature the Acoustic Stage on W. Second Street and the tradition of having South Valley people grooving and moving to the music will continue with the popular Saturday Night Street Dance from 6 to 10 p.m. featuring Isaiah Pickett, singer/songwriter who will open for headliner Faithfully Live, a Journey tribute band.

“The Taste of Morgan Hill will provide continuous musical entertainment all day long both days,” promised Sunday Minnich, the event’s chief organizer.

And, in the wake of the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting, organizers have increased security. On board this year is former Morgan Hill Police Corporal Michael Brookman, who is trained in large event safety, as the guest safety coordinator.

“Security is our No. 1 priority,” Minnich said. “We are very lucky to have Michael on board. He has created a guest safety guideline for the festival and has worked with MHPD and private security on a security plan for our guests to feel safe while enjoying all the festival has to offer.”

There will be increased police presence at each main entrance, a MHPD command center and surveillance trailers/cameras placed throughout the festival. Private security will also be posted throughout the festival so entry points are monitored.

Morgan Hill file photo
A Gilroy Elks Lodge volunteer cooks mushrooms during last year’s festival.

Minnich said vendor space in the Artists Area, where attendees can find that unique, one of a kind handcrafted gift, are sold out. Business display booths will be promoting their services while handing out samples and giveaways and the marketplace vendors will have a wide variety of retail items.

The Kids Zone will have a mixture of rides and games for all ages to enjoy. The food court is sold out and will be located on E. Third Street.

“There’s something to please every palate from pizza, Mansmith’s tri-tip sandwiches, kabobs, kettle corn, baked potatoes, Thai food, seafood, sandwiches, melts, fried and sautéed veggies, burgers, hot dogs, desserts and a variety of beverages,” she said.

And as usual, there will be an assortment of beer and wine choices at the main wine tent on Monterey Road at Third Street and two satellite booths at Fourth and Second streets.

Back by popular demand is the South Valley Quilt Show, which will be held at the Methodist Church 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.”

Robert Airoldi