Tickets Available 2023

Tickets On Sale Today, March 3 and Announces a NEW Saturday Night Comedy Show

CASTROVILLE, Calif. (Mar. 3, 2023) — Celebrating the theme “Thistle be Fun,” the 63rd annual Artichoke Festival takes place June 10-11 at the Monterey County Fair & Event Center, with online ticket sales now available.

The 2023 festival will feature a wide-ranging variety of entertainment, including the popular Chef’s Demo, a farmers market, live music, wine tasting, NEW this year a Saturday Night comedy show, and a quilting challenge.

Following is this year’s lineup, with information about tickets:
who wish to sign up should contact

Comedy show

A new event this year is a Saturday night-only standup program called “Thistle Be Funny Comedy Show.” It features comics K-Von at 6:30 p.m., and Jose Sarduy at 8 p.m. The festival offers a special Comedy Combo discount package (two festival tickets, two comedy show tickets, two Saturday wine tasting passes) for $170 plus processing fee. A standalone comedy ticket is $40 for adults only, must be 18 and over.

Doors open to all comedy show guests at 6 p.m., with the entry for festival attendees at the Monterey Room east entrance. Entry for non-festival guests is at the Monterey Room street entrance, on Fairground Road. Remember, children are not allowed inside the Monterey Room for this event. Participants must show a valid ID to enter.

  • K-Von could be the most famous half-Persian comedian in the world. Millions have seen his appearances on Netflix, NBC’s ‘Last Comic Standing’, and his popular TED Talk that introduced him to a global fanbase. He is the author of the book “Once You Go Persian,” a funny detailing of his upbringing and how he got into comedy.
  • Jose Sarduy takes audiences on the rollercoaster ride that’s been his life. Born in Cuba and deported because of his father’s political prisoner status, he came to the U.S. at a young age. Growing up with a hard working, and always quirky Cuban family brought loads of funny moments. A graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and former officer in the Air Force, Sarduy is also an accomplished aviator and war veterans.

Chef’s Demo

  • Currently five chefs have confirmed participation for the Chef’s Demo in the Seaside Room, including Chef Brandon Miller of Paella LLC, who will open the demos at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, June 10-11. He will offer recipe inspiration, tips and tricks for cooking artichokes, as well as samples and small bites to enjoy.
  • In addition, Kevin Fisher from Sea Root at Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa will return to the stage at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, June 11. Chefs Ivan Guadarrama from Tarpy’s and Chef Luis Osorio from Rio Grill will also be back for a second year performing demos at 1:30 and 3 p.m., on Saturday, respectively. More chefs are expected to be announced by festival organizers.

Live on the Main Stage

Free with festival general admission, the festival’s lineup of live music Saturday June 10th features the John Michael Band at noon, followed by Wild at Heart at 2 p.m. and Mustache Harbor hardcore soft rock band at 4:30. Sunday June 11th The Chicano All-Stars will start at 12:30, with Shane Dwight appearing at 3 p.m. Also on the Main Stage will be volunteer awards at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, an artichoke-eating contest at 3:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, and a canasta contest at 4 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

  • John Michael Band formed in 2010, and features the following: guitarists Dylan Rose, Markus Yamamoto, D.B Walker, Patrick Golden, Vinny Johnson and 17-year-old Becca Kachman; drummers John Brearton, Keith Wieland, Keith Graves (played with Starship, The Tubes and Quicksilver Messenger Service), Tim Burke, Ric Williams, Craig Underwood; bassists Tiran Porter (Doobie Brothers) David De Silva, Ryan Price, Avey Gonzalez, Chuck Pagano. An upbeat and versatile band playing rock, funk, soul, blues and reggae, they perform all over the Central Coast.
  • Wild at Heart holds a reputation as one of the Central Coast’s premier country/classic rock music, dance, party and show bands This dynamic band includes Lisa Kincad (lead vocals), Sam Nilsson (lead guitar and vocals), Jack Aiello (percussion), Eric Rowe (keyboards and vocals) and Jon McClean (bass guitar). They play everything from RnB and folk-Americana to electronica and synth-pop.
  • Shane Dwight is a critically acclaimed blues maverick  best known for his hit song “No One Loves Me Better,” out on Red Parlor Records. He is known for blues, rock, soul, country and a little bit of hip-hop that shows his California roots. Shane grew up on a ranch in Morgan Hill. His musical roots were FM radio, Album Oriented Rock artists. He has performed over 3,500 shows over the past 20 years, headlining at some of music’s most significant events, including Beale Street Festival, Portland Waterfront, Reno Blues Festival and Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise.
  • Known as a Mustache Harbor hardcore soft rock band, has thrilled audiences across the country with their spot-on renditions of the smoothest music from the 1970s and ’80s. The group performs with the highest level of musicianship and state-of-the-art sound and lighting.
  • The Chicano All Stars, led by Sam Martinez (lead vocals, guitar and percussion), The Chicano All Stars have established themselves as one of Monterey’s local legends as a favorite dance band and has been quoted to be the top Latin Rock band in the area. The band was voted the Monterey County Herald Reader’s Choice “Best Local Band” Award for 2019. They have had the pleasure of performing and sharing the stage with such names as: Los Lobos, Tierra, Malo, Tower of Power, El Chicano, La Sonora Dinamita, Jorge Santana, Brenton Wood, Eddie Money, The Turtles, Ramon Ayala, Los Tucanes, Sista Monica, The Delfonics and The Intruders.

Wine tasting

Pouring of quality wines from around the state begins at 11 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Sunday. A raffle drawing for a barrel of wine takes place at 2 p.m., on both days.

A one-day Wine Tasting Pass for one adult (does not include general admission) costs $30 (plus $3.85 online fee), with onsite purchases $40. Pouring stops one hour before festival gates close.

Participants must show a valid ID to enter the wine tasting room, and no children are allowed.

Quilt Challenge

The fourth annual Artichoke Festival Quilt Challenge invites fabric artists to win prizes and show off their quilting talents in two categories. The Judge’s Choice winner gets a $250 cash prize.

With the help of the Valley Heritage Quilt Guild from King City, the Quilt Challenge has been a resounding, creative success.

Farmers Market

Some claim this to be the “crown jewel” of the Artichoke Festival. Where else can you shop for the best locally grown, hand-harvested fresh vegetables at amazingly low prices? The farmers market includes artichokes in a variety of sizes, lettuce, spinach, cauliflower, onions, berries, peaches, apricots, plums, and so much more. The market is open Saturday and Sunday in the Salinas Room, at the festival grounds.

Ticket information

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.