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Morgan Hill
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May 22, 2022

Mushroom Mardi Gras Festival Move is Good Idea

We praise the city for working out a deal with the festival to
lease the Community and Cultural Center. Festival organizers wanted
to return to a more park-like setting.
The board of directors of the Morgan Hill Mushroom Mardi Gras, Inc., announced two weeks ago that the 28th annual food and music festival, scheduled for May 26-27, will move from Monterey Road to the Community and

Cultural Center.

The new downtown location, away from the city’s main drag, is a good idea given the amount of complaints received last year from merchants upset that the festival included a Friday night street dance which forced an early closure of the street hurting their businesses and the garbage and heavy drinking that the party generated.

The merchants’ concerns last year were validated. The city’s guidelines for the early street closure made no sense. There was litter and spilled food on the streets, which required some merchants to spend money out of their own pockets to clean up the mess. Others, however, reported increased sales, which is why it’s no surprise that a few businesses are now sad to see the festival move. You can’t please everyone.

We praise the city for working out a deal with the festival to lease the Community and Cultural Center. Festival organizers wanted to return to a more park-like setting. After losing Community Park as a home in 2005, the festival seemed to struggle. As it returns to a place where it will feel more conformable we hope it will strengthen its identity.

The benefits of the festival outweigh the discomforts it seems to have created during the past few years. Thousands of dollars from its proceeds go to provide student scholarships. The non-profit event has given more than $500,000 in scholarships during the past 27 years, as well as thousands of dollars to many non-profit clubs and organizations that participate in the festival.

The move is also happening at the right time considering the improvements being made to Depot Street. The new set up suggested for the booths makes more sense. Having vendors in the center’s parking lot and along Depot Street will move the crowds toward the businesses that want visitors.

We wish Dan Sullivan, president of the Morgan Hill Mushroom Mardi Gras organization, and

Sunday Minnich, event director, success this year and praise

festival organizers for giving the community a fun way to celebrate the beginning of summer while at the same time build community spirit. We also thank them for listening to the merchants, the police, the Morgan Hill Downtown Association, the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce and others who suggested improvements.

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