Summer is just around the corner and by now the planners in the family would have had camps booked, trips planned, and tickets purchased. But these are not normal times, and it’s been difficult to plan ahead with COVID-19 restrictions and changes to safety protocols. Fortunately, more businesses and events continue to reopen, including festivals and fairs! If you’re looking for a local road trip this summer, a drive to the 61st Annual Artichoke Festival in Monterey could be a fun – and delicious! —way to spend a sunny weekend in July.
The annual festival celebrates the region known as the “Artichoke Center of the World.” This year’s theme is “Thistle be a Good Time!” promising festival goers a weekend of food and fun. Festival goers of all ages will enjoy gourmet artichoke dishes prepared in different forms like lumpia, burritos, sausage, cupcakes and ice cream. Cooking demonstrations from local chefs will showcase the star ingredient’s versatility. An ARGO Art competition will showcase 3-dimensional fruit and vegetable “sculptures” by artists of all ages. Festival goers can also shop the bountiful farmer’s market, get inspiration from arts and crafts vendors, and learn something new at the agricultural education exhibit.
Festival proceeds will benefit nonprofit partners and gives back to nonprofit programs including local senior centers, sports and parks and recreation activities in North Monterey County schools, and other community enrichment programs.
The Artichoke Festival will be held at the Monterey County Fair and Event Center on July 24 and 25 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for active military and seniors, $5 for children ages 6 – 12 and free for children under 6. Early-bird tickets go on sale July 10. Current safety and social distancing protocols will be followed.