The second Half Moon Bay Wine and Jazz Festival brought thousands of people to the city’s downtown on Saturday and observers would be hard-pressed to find anyone who wasn’t enjoying their taste of the San Mateo County coast.
A steady stream of visitors walked Main Street between Mill and Correas streets, visiting booths with 40 California wines and listening to jazz that was worth the trip all by itself. The event benefited from a chamber-of-commerce day with bright sun and temperatures in the mid-60s.
Julie Lindsay came a long way, with family and friends in tow, and the music aficionado was leaving impressed by what she saw.
“I love it,” said Lindsay, who is the president of the Folsom High School Band Boosters and as such helps to organize a festival there. “It’s amazing. I love all the wineries and that they are arranged by region.”
Tom Sinton, owner of Starfield Winery in the Sierra Foothills, said the event was already notable in its second year. He said he was at the Rhone Rangers wine event in Paso Robles recently and that the Half Moon Bay extravaganza was a better fit for his winery despite the pedigree of Paso Robles. He said there were more people walking the streets and just the right number of wineries present.
“These are the type of people we want to attract to our wines,” he said as he surveyed the crowd. And the crowd was notably diverse — a mix of young and older people as well as more people of color that might otherwise come downtown on another Saturday.
“An eclectic mix,” Sinton said.
It was a good opportunity for local businesses too, as strollers happened into brick and mortar stores up and down Main Street and bought food from vendors who secured space along the street.
“I’m not a guy who gets out much,” said Douglas Nelson, who stood behind his table filled with his Moss Beach Kombucha and other merchandise. “This forces me to get out and have a good time.”
There are bigger plans for the festival in years to come. The event is sponsored by the Half Moon Bay Downtown Association. Organizers say the affair could grow into a multi-day event that focuses on single locations on the coast — perhaps with a name jazz act at a local restaurant or other venue — on each of the days leading up to the weekend street fest.
Hmmm. Not a Word about Jazz or music?
It would be helpful for the organizers to share on their website that people can still access the food court and beer/cider areas without needing a general admissions ticket.
Yes, a nice event but at $55 per person general admission and $125 per person for VIP, but at these prices it excludes a lot of local people. Perhaps it should have been held at the Ritz.
No, it shouldn't. You could just stay home and relax. It costs a lot in liability insurance alone to put on these events and obviously they were enjoyed by many and HMB tax revenues went up. This was not billed as a low income fund raiser.
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