About The Artichoke Festival

About Castroville Artichoke Food and Wine Festival

Our Mission

To use the artichoke to raise money for the surrounding communities of Castroville, CA.

The Castroville Artichoke Food & Wine Festival is a 501(c)(3) non-profit Organization.

Our Purpose

To engage, inform and excite festival attendees about the unique qualities of artichokes including farming, harvest, preparation, and eating and to demonstrate how the artichoke industry has influenced the history of Monterey County.

Our Community

Proceeds from The Festival will be used to support the following types of community organizations and activities. All donation recipients must be a 501(c)(3) non-profit Organizations.

  • Animal Rehabilitation and Community Education Programs
  • Cancer Support Services
  • Community Programs that serve Seniors and At-Risk Youth
  • Food Insecurity in our Local Community
  • Health and Nutrition Programs
  • Local School Sports and Education Programs

Artichokes: A Peninsula Legacy

Since 1959, the Monterey Peninsula has come together to celebrate California’s official state vegetable. California’s artichoke history begins in 1922 when the first artichoke shoots were planted in Castroville. Today, more than nine decades later, nearly 100 percent of America’s fresh artichoke supply is grown in California and nearly two-thirds is grown in the small town of Castroville.

The annual Castroville Artichoke Food & Wine Festival began in 1959 as a harvest festival to celebrate the iconic artichoke and the region known as the “Artichoke Center of the World.”  Over the years, the festival became a primary source of funding for local non-profit groups that depend upon a successful event for their viability.

Norma Jean Mortenson, better known as Marilyn Monroe, was named California’s first honorary Artichoke Queen in 1948. The official festival started eleven years later and continues to grow, appealing to visitors from near and far. Now an official 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the annual Artichoke Food & Wine Festival continues to support the heritage of Castroville’s farming community.


Guests over 21 can stroll and sip wine and craft beer from some of our favorite California producers.Learn more


Monterey County’s finest chefs and food personalities will showcase the versatility of the artichoke and share their own preparation techniques.
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This popular and anticipated produce market features Artichokes and much, more!
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This quirky competition fosters imagination, creativity, and fun for both participants and the viewing public. Learn More



Two days of live musical acts on our Main Stage and strolling through the NEW Beer & Wine Garden. Learn more


Enjoy a guided tour into an Artichoke field and learn how this unique plant grows from the ground up. Tickets purchased onsite. Learn More



Steamed, Grilled & Fried Artichokes, Artichoke Burritos, Sausage, and Artichoke Cup Cakes. If you dreamt it, chances are you’ll find it at the festival.


Games, face paints,  arts & crafts, live entertainment, and more!