Artichoke Festival returns to Monterey Fairgrounds on July 24-25, 2021, with renewed focus on Local Food, Fun and Entertainment With a renewed focus on local food and entertainment, educational agricultural activities, and fun for all ages, the Artichoke Festival returns to the Monterey County Fairgrounds on July 24-25, 2021, with one promise —“Thistle be a Good Time!” Monterey, CA, June 29, 2021 — With a renewed focus on local food and entertainment, educational agricultural activities, and fun for all ages, the Artichoke Festival returns to the Monterey County Fairgrounds on July 24-25, 2021, with one promise —“Thistle be a Good Time!” Following a year of shelter-in-place restrictions and social distancing, the festival is eager to celebrate the region fondly known as “the Artichoke Center of the World.” With the 2021 theme promising fun for all ages while celebrating the famous thistle, the 61st annual event expects to host at least 8,000 visitors over two days. California residents are invited to join in the fun, confident that current safety and social distancing protocols will be followed. Advance festival admission tickets will soon be available at www.ArtichokeFestival.org and at the door, ranging from $15 for adults; $5 for youth 6-12, $10 for active military and seniors (62+). Children under 6 are free. Special early-bird ticket packages will be on sale until July 10. Back on the menu for 2021 are gourmet artichoke dishes, with products supplied by the region’s top growers. Artichokes will be prepared in a variety of ways, including: fried, steamed, grilled, and in unique forms such as lumpia, burritos, sausage, cupcakes and even ice cream. There will be daily cooking demonstrations with local chefs, who will showcase the artichoke’s versatility and unique cooking techniques. The first three chefs confirmed so far for the daily Chef Demos include Chef Daniel Elinan, Executive Chef at The Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa; Eduardo Coronel, Executive Chef of Rio Grill in Carmel; and Chef Ivan, part of the Culinary Team at Tarpy’s Roadhouse in Monterey. This year’s Chef Demos will be hosted by Partnership for Children, which has been providing transportation to medical care and family support services for children with life-threatening conditions living in Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Benito counties since 2007. Partnership for Children’s transportation and financial assistance programs increase access to compassionate care for children on the Central Coast. For more about Partnership for Children visit their website at www.partnerforkids.org. The festival is also looking for chefs who would like to demonstrate their creative artichoke recipes at the Artichoke Festival Chef Demos. Interested chefs can call Jennifer Ramirez at 831-422-3002, or send her an email at Jennifer@partnerforkids.org.
Families and festival-goers will enjoy the world-famous farmers’ market, sponsored by Ocean Mist Farms, the largest grower of artichokes in the U.S. New this year are an ag education exhibit and a hot rod car show. Other popular features returning this year are arts and crafts vendors, the artichoke harvest and artichoke eating contests, an artichoke themed quilt competition, and more. The Artichoke Festival has plenty of fun for the whole family, including lots of artichoke dishes, chef demonstrations, entertainment, competitions, arts and crafts, and family-friendly activities. Fresh from the Fields Visitors will enjoy a world-famous farmers’ market that offers fresh artichokes, along with other seasonal produce such as asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, corn, peas, fennel, green onions, leeks, mixed lettuce, rapini, spinach and so many other fruits and vegetables, at prices that can’t be beat. Enjoy special delicious dishes from the Artichoke Food Court, made with artichokes harvested in Monterey County. From appetizers to dessert, this is how you do chokes: fried baby artichokes, grilled and steamed artichokes, barbecued artichoke sausage sandwiches, artichoke burritos, artichoke lumpia, artichoke soup, and artichoke cupcakes. Entertainment The Central Coast hosts a wondrous array of local entertainment talent, and the Festival’s main stage will showcase some of the most popular from the area, such as “Lost and Found Band” and “Chicano All Stars.” Live music and family stage entertainment are free to all attendees. A local arts advocacy program will showcase the talents and works of community artists from throughout the area, featuring video, digital, and visual works of art. See hot street rides at the car show, both days of the Festival, along with specialty auto vendors and a gift basket raffle. Hosted by Gold Coast Rods, a car club for owners of pre-1985 American cars, viewing is free for general admission attendees. An awards ceremony for winning entrants will be held on Sunday afternoon. Arts and Crafts A Quilt Competition will feature one-of-a-kind handmade quilts made especially for the Artichoke Festival, and will be on display on Saturday, July 24 and Sunday, July 25. Festival attendees can vote their favorite for the People’s Choice Award, to be announced on Sunday. Local treasures abound! Arts & Crafts vendors will set up shop for guests to peruse everything from candy apples and artichoke hummus, to beautiful jewelry, soaps and lotions. You’ll find the fun, unique handmade items you can’t find in stores. Children’s Activities Family members of all ages will have fun at the carnival, complete with rides and games, like the 100-foot Super Slide, a Ferris Wheel, and more to keep the excitement flowing. Kids of all ages love Arti the Artichoke – the official mascot of Ocean Mist Farms, voted the Salinas area fan favorite mascot. Arti will be present at the Festival for photo opportunities and awards ceremonies.
Festival Traditions Attendees can learn about what it takes to grow this unique vegetable. Get a crash course in artichoke husbandry by Castroville’s Artichoke growing experts at the “Talk to a Grower” exhibit in the Farmers Market, both days of the Festival. An artichoke-harvesting competition using the same authentic “canasta” baskets used in the artichoke harvesting process, is a race against fellow festival-goers. It’s not as easy as it looks! How many artichokes can you choke down? Find out, and win bragging rights at the Artichoke Eating Contest, both days at the Main Stage. Festival proceeds will benefit nonprofit organizations and programs that serve the greater Castroville community. This year, onsite activities will directly benefit nonprofit partners, which include Partnership for Children and the Marina Lion’s Club. The festival gives back to nonprofit programs that include local senior centers, sports and parks and recreation activities in North Monterey County schools, and other community enrichment programs, to name a few. For more information on this year’s festival, visit www.artichokefestival.org. Contact: Marci Bracco Cain The Buzz PR LLC Salinas, CA (831) 747-7455 http://www.artichokefestival.org