Tickets on Sale Now — Includes The Quilt Challenge, Saturday Night Comedy Show

2023 Quilt Post

CASTROVILLE, Calif. (March 22, 2023) — Celebrating the theme “Thistle be Fun,” the 63rd annual Artichoke Festival, which takes place June 10-11 at the Monterey County Fair & Event Center, has added a Quilt Challenge to its lineup of attractions.

The fifth annual Artichoke Festival Quilt Challenge invites fabric artists to win prizes and show off their quilting talents in two categories, Judge’s Choice, with cash prizes, first place, $250, second place, $150, and third place, $75; and Peoples’ Choice, first, second and third-place ribbons.

The Quilt Challenge is an amateur show, but that doesn’t mean the work is subpar. The People’s Choice winners are judged by popular vote during the festival. Sometimes People’s Choice winners coincide with the Judge’s Choice winners, and sometimes they don’t.

Quilters must pick up a packet containing rules of the competition, an entry form, and a piece of required fabric. All quilt entries are dropped off or sent by mail by their owners, along with the proper entry forms. Each quilt entry is assigned a number and formally entered into the competition. Judging is done early before the festival. The event’s judge makes thoughtful comments, both positive and constructive about the design, workmanship, fabrics, etc. for the quilter’s encouragement and improvement.

Quilt Challenge Rules:

Theme: The required theme is anything the quilter wants it to be, but must depict at least one artichoke on the front.

Fabric: Contestants must use “some” of the provided fabric and can add as many other fabrics as you like, as well as any embellishments.

Specifications: Each quilt must be 20 x 20 inches, have three layers and a 4-inch sleeve. Quilts must be labeled on the back with your name, the quilts name, and event name and year.

Quilts must be received one week before the Festival at The Artichoke Festival Office, 11402 Merritt St., Castroville, CA 95012.

All quilts will be displayed at the Artichoke Festival on June 10-11. To enter, mail a completed entry form with $5 per fabric package requested to Artichoke Festival Quilt Challenge: 11402 Merritt St., Castroville, CA 95012 and the festival will mail out the rules and fabric.

With the help of the Valley Heritage Quilt Guild from King City, the Quilt Challenge has been a resounding, creative success. To download the 2023 entry form, go to: Quilt Challenge.

In addition to the Quilt Challenge, the festival has added a Saturday Night comedy show to go with its usual wide-ranging variety of entertainment, including the popular Chef’s Demo, a farmers market, live music, wine tasting, and more.

The Artichoke Festival sells a variety of ticket packages available online here. The popular Family Pack includes general admission for two adults and two children, good for one day only, with the cost $50 (processing fees).

The special It’s A Date package costs $90 (processing fees.) and includes general admission for two adults (21-over), plus two wine tasting passes. The festival also offers special rates for seniors, children and military. Parking passes are available for $15 an $20. There are no refunds.

All guests will be required to comply with current CDC, California Dept of Public Health and Monterey County public health guidelines regarding safety protocols. A clear bag policy will be enforced, with clear bags available for sale on the website store and at the gates.

For more information, go to

About the Artichoke Festival

California’s artichoke history began 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 first Artichoke Festival was held in 1959 under the sponsorship of the Marinovich Marching Units, with the assistance of the Castroville Rod and Gun Club. In 1961 it was a joint venture of the Marinovich Marching Units and the Castroville Chamber of Commerce to produce a larger festival, and Sally DeSante was chosen as the first Artichoke Queen. In 1963, 1964 and 1965 it was solely sponsored by the Castroville Chamber of Commerce under the direction of the Artichoke Festival Board with Bill Price, one of the originators of the festival idea. In 1994 the Artichoke Festival became a non-profit and became the sole producer of the Artichoke Festival. The festival is currently held at the Monterey County Fair & Event Center, 2004 Fairground Road, Monterey.