35th Annual Morgan Hill Mushroom Mardi Gras
This weekend the Morgan Hill Mushroom Mardi Gras returned for its 35 year with arts & crafts, food, entertainment, wine & beer, vendors, rides, street performers, games and cooking demos. This local festival provides educational scholarships to high school seniors living in our school district. The festival also supports non-profit clubs and organizations by providing booths for their fundraising efforts. There's also a 5K and 10K fun run tied to the event which supports a local high school.
But why mushrooms? Little known fact: California ranks 2nd in the US in mushroom production, and Morgan Hill is the Mushroom Capital of the Western US. Look at that, you learned something new today!
The festival always runs for 2 days on Memorial Day weekend. Because of our work schedules, Starlight and I originally planned on skipping the festival this year. But Sunday morning we decided we'd squeeze some fun into our busy weekend and make the less than 1 mile trek from our house to the festival. Her boyfriend met us there and we had a really nice time together.
We strolled around the festival area and the kids even learned a few things along the way. This glass artist explained how she creates her pieces.
They are so darling they were serenaded by a strolling musician.
The Mushroom Mardi Gras is known for its variety of food choices, from BBQ to garlic fries to oysters, and of course - mushrooms! Mushrooms are available any way you can dream of: fried, stuffed, grilled, sautéed, marinated and more.
I love to "window shop" all the booths and then circle back on my way out to pick up the one or two items I can't live without. Starlight picked up a hairband, and I picked up Dia de Los Muertos jewelry from one of my favorite vendors.
There were 3 different entertainment stages throughout the festival: The Main Stage, The Music Tree Stage and the MunchkinLand Stage. We saw the Hackhammers perform on The Music Tree Stage, and The MunchkinLand Stage was were Radio Disney LIVE was on-hand along with Leo Howard from Disney XD's "Kickin' It". Leo was here for an autograph signing / meet and greet session, as well as to play Win, Lose or Draw with the crowd. Really nice to see Radio Disney make their way back to the Mushroom Mardi Gras. There were here a few years ago and my daughter and friends performed karaoke on their stage.
Once again we had a fun time at the Mushroom Mardi Gras! This is a great way to spend time with the the family on Memorial Dy weekend without traveling or sitting in traffic. My advice: get here early, bring water, bring cash (not all vendors accept credit cards) and wear sunblock. We always leave before it gets too hot and the crowd gets too thick.
I look forward to next year, and really hope to be able to run in the 10K or 5K race before the festival. You can learn more about mushrooms and check out some neat (some are meatless) recipes at mushroominfo.com and learn more about the Mushroom Mardi Gras.