Entrace fee required to bring residents together and keep all involved safe while attending

By Dan Keith

Dan Keith

After two years being absent from our community, what a rush to have the festival back. The 2024 Morgan Hill Mushroom Festival is now behind us. The board of directors would like to thank the community for their involvement, participation, volunteering, attending, and enjoying this two-day Memorial Day event.

By most standards, this year’s festival was a huge success. Saturday and Sunday’s line-up of entertainment was first-class. Saturday evening ended with Hotel California, the Eagles’ tribute band from Ontario, Canada.

There were 160 food and craft vendors, nine bands on the amphitheater stage, 10 acoustic artists, 400 volunteers, and nearly 12,000 festival goers.

Since 1980, the Mushroom Festival (formerly the Mushroom Mardi Gras) has supported non-profit organizations donating about $1 million to local school groups, Rotary, Kiwanis, and animal rescue groups, just to name a few. In 1984, the festival began awarding scholarships to high school seniors within the Morgan Hill Unified School District. It has awarded nearly $2 million in scholarships in the past 40 years. The festival board feels strongly about continuing the work of supporting local non-profit groups and awarding scholarships.

It was a difficult decision for the board to implement the entry fee of $20 per person, but due to the unfortunate circumstances that have occurred at festivals, parades, concerts and other community events across the country, rising insurance and security costs have become a factor.

In order to maintain the goal of supporting local non-profit groups and high school scholarships, the board made the difficult decision to charge for entry. As late as 2000, when the festival was held at Community Park, the fee for entry was $10 per adult and $5 for children. At the 2024 festival, the general entry fee was $20 per adult and children 15 years and younger were free of charge.

To increase security, the Mushroom Festival was moved to the Community Center where the perimeter was fenced off and attendees entered through metal detectors. These additional security enhancements are things the board plans to keep in place going forward. The board members desire to keep the festival going, bring residents together, support the community and keep all involved safe while attending the event.

We are listening to your suggestions and plan on bringing back the “Kids Play Area,” more mushroom-inspired dishes, top notch entertainment, local foods, and arts and crafts vendors

See you Memorial Day weekend 2025!

Dan Keith is the president of the Morgan Hill Mushroom Festival Board of Directors. He wrote this column for Morgan Hill Life.