Festival this weekend: Get a taste of Morgan Hill

Local Lorraine Kalenda enjoys her Sycamore Creek sauvignon blanc as she holds her 12-week-old Charles charles king cavalier spaniel named Dusty during the Taste of Morgan Hill Saturday.

Big things are scheduled for this weekend’s 23rd annual Taste of Morgan Hill, which for the first time will feature a Saturday night concert at the downtown community center amphitheater, with a cameo appearance by the next rising local “superstar,” according to the festival organizer.

The festival, which takes place on the streets of downtown Morgan Hill, will continue to offer the food, arts and crafts, beverages, restaurants and shops and two full days of live music that Taste of Morgan Hill-goers have come to expect, according to Chamber of Commerce director Rich Firato.

“It is designed for people to come down to downtown Morgan Hill, and have some wine, some beer, some food, enjoy the arts and crafts, and have some great entertaining music to keep them there all day,” Firato said. “It’s built with you in mind. You’re not going to want to leave the Taste of Morgan Hill.”

The festival goes from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

After the festival, Saturday night promises to offer a spectacular show at the Community and Cultural Center amphitheater, at 17000 Monterey Rd., Firato said, as Mike Amaral’s California Beach Boys will perform from 6 to 9 p.m.

It’s the first time the festival has offered after-hours entertainment, and it will be topped off with a cameo opening performance by Gilroy crooner and “The X Factor” finalist Austin Corini from 5:30 to 6 p.m.

Corini, 16, a junior at Christopher High School who has recorded in Morgan Hill, has impressed the “The X Factor” celebrity judges on Wednesday night’s broadcast of the prime-time competition.

“If you’re a Morgan Hill resident, here’s your opportunity to see the next superstar,” Firato said.

Plus, the night show will offer more local wine, with Jason Stephens Winery hosting a 21-and-over tent as the concert’s “exclusive” wine vendor, Firato said.

Both festival days will offer a wide variety of food vendors, as well as arts and crafts booths. The Third Street wine tent will showcase some of the Santa Clara Valley’s best wines, Firato added.

Live bands will keep crowds entertained all day both days, with longtime festival favorite Shane Dwight gracing the Third Street stage from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday.

For more information about the Taste of Morgan Hill, go to www.morganhill.org.

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