Donations  support the maintenance of downtown twinkle lights which MHDA funds.

By Suman Ganapathy

Suman Ganapathy

On a clear and sunny autumn morning a lengthy line of stylish automobiles cruised slowly through downtown Morgan Hill as spectators cheered and waved from their outdoor restaurant seats. A striking red 1957 Porsche 356A roadster led the convoy — MHDA president and Bubbles & Brew Restaurant owner David Dindak’s pride and joy. Following close, a long line-up of more than 85 chic and classic Corvettes, Mustangs, Porsches, BMWs, Jaguars, and many other beauties dazzled and delighted even people like me for whom cars are merely a means of transportation. The atmosphere was electric and exciting.

The Morgan Hill Downtown Association hosted the first organized Annual MHDA Classic Downtown Car Cruise Sunday, Oct. 11. Due to the pandemic, MHDA had to cancel their popular annual community events and fundraisers: the ‘Wine, Art, & Music Stroll’ and the ‘Beer Crawl.’ The Car Cruise is a new fundraiser to help us reach out to the community and provide an engaging and safe event.

Attracting customers to downtown retail shops and restaurants, were specials for the day of the event that included various discounts and BOGOs, promoted on the MHDA website, newsletter, and social media.

While the event was free for participants and spectators, donations were requested to support the maintenance of downtown twinkle lights which MHDA funds.

As Dindak put it perfectly: “It is an expensive commitment, especially with little revenue generated this year. But the ambiance those lights add to our downtown are well-worth it. Come on down during the evening and see for yourself.”

Powered with the passion of local car enthusiasts for their magnificent automobiles and their desire to show them off in a leisurely downtown cruise, it was a successful and synergistic fusion that brought excitement and stimulated businesses downtown. The 85 cars left the cruise’s starting point at Tennant Station, but many more joined en-route. From the safety of their cars, in keeping with the government’s directives about social distancing, participants displayed their showy cars while driving up and down our beautiful downtown, lifting spirits everywhere.

The MHDA board has worked diligently and doubly hard all through the uncertainties of this pandemic, in our attempt to help downtown businesses, organizing, reorganizing, and finally cancelling events which expended a lot of energy and time. Event chair, MHDA board member Laura Bertoldi, grew up in a family that participated regularly in car shows and parades, and suggested that MHDA could join the nostalgic national trend of the organized car cruise as an event to support local classic car owners, downtown businesses, and connect with one another safely.

We teamed up with local car clubs “On the Road Again Classics” and “Cars and Coffee, Morgan Hill” who were our sponsors, and provided many of the cruise participants too. Special thanks go out to John Bautista and Rachel Hill from the two local car clubs, for all their enthusiasm, help and support, and to the city of Morgan Hill for their lightning fast permit, and everything else they are doing to help our city during this time. We owe all of them many thanks for the success of this first downtown car cruise that we hope will be a new Morgan Hill annual tradition birthed during this pandemic. Morgan Hill, join us again next year.

Suman Ganapathy is a Morgan Hill Downtown Association board member. She is also a Leadership Morgan Hill Class of 2018 alumnus, President-elect AAUW Morgan Hill, volunteer docent with the San Jose Museum of Art ‘Let’s Look at Art’ program, and Vice-Chair, Morgan Hill Library, Culture and Arts Commission.

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