What to Know
- Monterey County Fairgrounds
- July 24-25, 2021
- "Thistle Be a Good Time!" is the theme of the 61st annual festival
THE LATER PART OF JULY? It's an especially leafy time of the year in many California communities. Branches are at their fullest, lovely limbs are sprouting the greenest shoots, and leaves seem to be poking out of every tree, flower, shrub, and plant. But what if you were focused on a different sort of leaf as the sunny seventh month winds down, the kind of leaf that has a poky top, a wide bottom, a distinctive flavor, and plenty of dippable panache? Then you'd almost certainly be singing the praises of the artichoke, the leaf-laden, peel-it-away, dip-it-in-aioli icon of appetizer menus everywhere.
AND IN CENTRAL CALIFORNIA, the artichoke is royalty, a globular giant of the produce aisle. For the last six decades, plus a year, this fry-it, boil-it, throw-it-in-a-salad superstar has had its own flavorful festivity, one that features entertainment, lively activities, and, yes, caboodles of chokies brought in expressly for eating and enjoying. The party with heart is set to return on July 24 and 25 in 2021, to the Monterey County Fairgrounds, and tickets are available now. "Thistle Be a Good Time!" is the clever theme of the 61st Artichoke Festival, which has regularly included informative demonstrations by artichoke-knowledgeable chefs, a kids zone, and a beer & wine garden, too. And the Agro Art presentation, which calls upon creative types to make treasures out of tasty veggies and fruits? That has long been an offbeat and enchanting element of the beloved bash.
YOU CAN READ MORE... about how organizers are planning a festival that is safe for all, and what you can expect in terms of visitor guidelines once you reach the fairgrounds. Is the Artichoke Festival the leafiest lark on your own annual calendar? Best look to late July, a lush and leafy time of year, when the dip-ready, scoop-up-the-flavor favorite stars in its own major Monterey celebration.