In 1959, the Central Coast community gathered to celebrate the harvest of the iconic vegetable and the region that became known as the “Artichoke Center of the World.”
Castroville, CA, Feb 04, 2019 — In 1959, the Central Coast community gathered to celebrate the harvest of the iconic vegetable and the region that became known as the “Artichoke Center of the World.”
In June of this year, festival goers will gather again, this time to celebrate the 60th anniversary of what is now known as the Castroville Artichoke Food & Wine Festival, set for June 1-2, 2019, at the Monterey County Fair & Event Center in Monterey.
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 near 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.
Advance tickets and discounted ticket packages are available online for the 60th annual festival at https://artichokefestival.org/.
General admission is $15 for those 13 and older; seniors 62 and older and military personnel with ID are $10; children ages 6-12 are $5; general admission for one adult, with wine tasting pass, is $40 (must be 21 years or older); wine tasting alone is $30; and field tours are $10 (daily tour schedules to be announced at the Festival), good for adult or child 5-12. Online purchases are available through 9 a.m. June 2, 2019. No refunds.
Two discounted packages are also available, the Arti-Family Pack and the It’s A Date package. The former is $30, a $10 saving over the regular price. It includes two adult tickets and two children’s tickets, good for Saturday or Sunday. This early bird discount ends May 18, 2019, at 12 a.m. No refunds.
The It’s A Date package for 21 and older, $60, a savings of $20, includes two adult tickets and two wine and beer tasting tickets, good for Saturday or Sunday. This early bird discount also ends May 18, 2019, at 12 a.m. No refunds.
The festival’s live entertainment lineup, free with festival admission and held on the Main Stage.
The Wine & Beer Garden is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Must be 21 to enter.
Over the years, the Castoville Artichoke Festival has been dedicated to informing attendees about the unique properties of artichokes, showcasing dozens of delicious artichoke dishes, cooking demonstrations, and field tours. A wine and beer garden, live entertainment, arts and crafts booths, and artichoke eating contests add to the festive atmosphere. As a 501c3 organization, the festival has become a primary source of funding for many local non-profit organizations that depend upon a successful event for their viability, such as:
The following are the 2018 Artichoke Food & Wine Festival Donation Recipient Organizations:
Ag Against Hunger
Sun Street Center
North County Baseball
North County High School Golf
North Salinas Athletic Booster Club
Hope Horses & Kids
Bikers for Bikes
Ashleigh Nicole Swain Memorial Scholarship
Ag History Project
Ord Terrace Elementary School
North County Wrestling Team
Monterey County Middle School
Golden State Elite
North County Recreation & Park
North County Bulldogs Cheer
North County Bulldogs
Monterey County Girls Basketball
Members of the current board of directors are:
Angie Micheli (Honorary Member)
Terry Bei Rohrs