People mingle on 3rd Street in Morgan Hill during Sidewalk Saturday. in November 2022 File photo.
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Downtown Morgan Hill’s Sidewalk Saturday—a weekly outdoor market featuring local makers and retail vendors—returns to East Third Street April 1 for the spring season. 

The weekly market is open to the public 9am-1pm every Saturday through June 24 (except for May 27). Founded in 2020, Sidewalk Saturday has grown steadily in popularity and participating vendors, according to organizers. So far, for the spring 2023 season, at least 60 makers and sellers from San Jose to Hollister have applied to be Sidewalk Saturday vendors. 

Morgan Hill Economic Development Coordinator Brittney Sherman said that’s more applications than the city—which hosts the weekly event—has ever received for Sidewalk Saturdays. The April 1 Sidewalk Saturday will feature not only dozens of vendor booths, but also a “mini-festival” to kick off the spring season and “give the community a taste of what they can expect from vendors during the full season,” Sherman said. 

“We have partnered with some participating vendors to offer (activities) such as photo booths, holiday raffles or the on-site creation of products so patrons can get a firsthand look at how items are made,” Sherman said. 

Local “hallmark vendors” expected to make regular appearances at Sidewalk Saturday this spring include Kane & Ruby leather goods and clothing; California Craft House, which produces custom woodwork products; Elkie Coastal Soaps, with handmade soap, candles and lotions; Nichole Maican Designs, with products made with locally grown and dried flowers; La Casita, which sells home-grown succulents planted in decorative items; and Ivori Boutique clothing, which has participated in Sidewalk Saturday since its inaugural season in 2020. 

Cate Carlin owns and operates Kane & Ruby with her husband, Nick, and their son, Kane. They have been participating in Sidewalk Saturday since its inception, and Carlin has helped the city organize the weekly event for the last year-plus. During that time, Sidewalk Saturday has grown from nine to 20 vendors each week, Carlin said. 

They expect to be back at Sidewalk Saturday every week this spring, with their booth set up in front of a dental office on Third Street. 

“We love the community in Morgan Hill and call this our home event,” Cate Carlin said. “We often have regulars come see us every weekend to get gifts for an upcoming event or pick up a custom order. Sidewalk Saturdays have been a great way to get to know other young families in our community and we have made friends that we enjoy seeing on a regular basis.”

Sidewalk Saturdays are also designed to give patrons, residents and downtown visitors another choice of activities to enjoy at their leisure on Saturday mornings in downtown Morgan Hill. The event is located on Third Street between Monterey Road and Depot Street—in convenient proximity to the Saturday Farmers Market, Railroad Park and a variety of brick-and-mortar shops and restaurants that welcome the extra crowds. 

Since its founding, Sherman noted that Sidewalk Saturday has become an indelible part of the fabric of downtown Morgan Hill commerce. 

“A happy and unexpected result of the Sidewalk Saturdays events are the regular pop-up shop events being hosted by local brick and mortar businesses,” Sherman said. “Retail store owners with physical footprints have teamed up with home-based vendors to host monthly pop-up shopping events, leveraging each other’s followers to expand their collective visibility.”

Examples of these collaborations include Cactus Lounge Boutique, Ivori Boutique, Mainstream Boutique and Tu Si Bella. “The friendship, collaboration and mutual support developed throughout the vendor community has been truly heartwarming to see,” Sherman said. 

While Sherman said Sidewalk Saturday organizers are “thrilled” to see interest expand beyond Morgan Hill-based vendors and merchants, they give placement preference to South County vendor applicants who were the inspiration for the weekly event in the first place. 

Sidewalk Saturday was started as a way for the city to support small retailers and home-based vendors during the Covid-19 pandemic, Sherman added. 

“Since that time, Sidewalk Saturdays has morphed into a beloved community event embodying the Buy Local, artistic and entrepreneurial spirit,” Sherman said. 

For more information about Sidewalk Saturday, visit buylocalmorganhill.com/sidewalk-saturdays-1. To stay up-to-date on the weekly event, follow @sidewalksaturdays on Instagram. 

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Michael Moore is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor for the Morgan Hill Times, Hollister Free Lance and Gilroy Dispatch since 2008. During that time, he has covered crime, breaking news, local government, education, entertainment and more.

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