Elvira Bowers shows her homemade basket of pine needles and a stone particular to Morgan Hill known as poppy jasper, an semi-precious gemstone. Photo: Tarmo Hannula

A first ever picnic and holiday craft sale unfolded Saturday at the 1895 Machado School on Sycamore Drive in Morgan Hill. Scattered about the grounds, both indoors and out, local merchants staged their wares, from homemade candles, lotions, aprons, and handmade signs, to pine needle baskets and on and on.

While the craft fair is now in its 12th year, it was combined for the first time this year with the picnic, which was a summer event that dates back to the early 1900s.

As the live bluegrass music of Blue Violin wafted across the grounds, under warm and sunny conditions, visitors browsed through the displays of goods and dined on a barbecue lunch.

Janie Knopf, who has lived in the area for the past 60 years and is a member of the Morgan Hill Historical Society, said she’s attended the event several times in the past.

“It used to be two separate events—the picnic and the sale—but now they’re combined,” she said. “It looks great and it seems bigger this year. Everyone is having a good time.”

Erin Goodwin, also of Morgan Hill, set up her table of scented soaps, bath salts, scented hand sanitizers and other items. She shared the table with a business partner, Ashley Rowan, and her homemade candles under the name Heaven Scent Candle Co. 

“I did really well today,” Goodwin said. “It was great. The hot weather brought people out and it really felt like people just wanted things made closer to home. And that is what our products are about.”

Also on hand was a group from the 4H Club who offered slices of pumpkin pie, cookies and brownies, for $2 a piece.

“Where do you find anything for $2 nowadays, let alone fresh, homemade treats?” Sarah Ringler asked.

Ron Ward, whose family stretches back generations in Morgan Hill, took time to set up a memorial display of photos and information cards for his father, Paul Ward (1923-2023). Paul Ward was one of the founders of the Machado School Heritage Society. His great-great grandfather, J.P. Ward, helped establish the school in 1894. Paul’s father, Harold Ward, attended the school in the early 1900s and Paul entered first grade there in 1929. 

Paul Ward went on to study forestry at UC Berkeley and then went into the redwood lumber business. Growing up, he lived across the road from Machado School and often walked through his father’s prune orchard to class. 

The bluegrass band, Blue Violin, delivers a mix of tunes for the crowd at the Nov. 11 event at Machado School. Photo: Tarmo Hannula
Photo: Tarmo Hannula
Photo: Tarmo Hannula
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Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. More recently Good Times & Press Banner. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.


  1. How could I get in touch with the organizers if I wanted to get involved in the next craft fair?

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