Crowds enjoy Taste of Morgan Hill

Locals Mia, 5, and her brother Hayden Penrod, 9, enjoy their cherry and berry blue volcano splash Saturday during the Taste of Morgan Hill.

A few thousand Morgan Hill residents and visitors gathered downtown this afternoon to shop, browse, eat and dance at the 23rd annual Taste of Morgan Hill festival.

Street festival aficionados Kimba and Patti showed off some of the jewelry they purchased Saturday morning from some of the 80 or so vendors in downtown Morgan Hill for the weekend.

“The big decision now is what to eat,” joked Patti just before lunch time, alluding to the food vendors offering a variety of dishes scattered throughout the festival.

The two Gilroy residents, who have been friends for about 15 years and declined to provide their last names, have attended the Taste of Morgan Hill numerous times in previous years.

“One of our favorite things to do is go to art and wine festivals on the weekends,” said Kimba.

They also noted the pleasant weather, with temperatures reaching into the upper-80s with a slight breeze, according to the National Weather Service.

The Taste of Morgan Hill, which is sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, will continue until 6 p.m. today, and resume from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. The festival takes place on Monterey Road between Main and Dunne avenues, and admission is free.

The festival features a wide variety of vendors selling arts and crafts, designer clothing, decorations, jewelry, home improvement items and other merchandise, as well as fundraising booths.

Retired couple Mike and Bobbie, who were just passing through Morgan Hill in their motor home on their way home to La Mirada, were lured downtown by the classic car show, another part of the Taste of Morgan Hill.

“It looked like a car show at the other end (of the venue) and we found out you hav a whole street fair,” said Mike, who was carrying an outdoor decoration the couple had purchased at one of the vendors.

The car show this year included a special category for 1955, 1956 and 1957 Chevrolets, and the winners of that contest were scheduled to be announced at the end of the day Saturday.

Two stages of live music, one at Monterey Road and Third Street, and one at Monterey Road and Second Street, will host live entertainment throughout the festival.

The festival also includes a kids’ area with rides and games, near Monterey Road and Main Avenue.

A festival quilt show is also taking place both days, inside the Community and Cultural Center at the corner of Monterey Road and Dunne Avenue.

Also on Saturday, after the festival attractions close, a free concert featuring Mike Amaral’s California Beach Boys, with Gilroy resident and X Factor finalist Austin Corini as the opening act, will take place 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Community and Cultural Center, 17000 Monterey Road. 

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