Bacon or Artichokes? June’s Festival of Food includes both! The month starts with the Castroville Artichoke Food & Wine Festival, and closes with the Monterey BaconFest.  Healthy and delicious!

Castroville Artichoke Food & Wine Festival

Do you love the sometimes maligned – but hugely nutritional and delicious – artichoke? Are you loyal to it? Did you know you can join The Artichoke Club, and have a chance at winning a whole case this field-fresh veggie? All true. The California artichoke should perhaps be in a food group of its own. It’s celebrated all of the time. In fact, the annual Castroville Artichoke Food & Wine Festival has just about arrived again. Yes; wine too! Here are a few details so you can plan your visit…

  • The dates are June 4-5, 2016.
  • The event takes place at the Monterey County Fair and Event Center.
  • On Saturday, the Festival is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Children under 3 are free. Children 4-12, Seniors (62 or older), or Active Military pay $7. Adult admission is $12.

There are all sorts of fun and interesting events at the Festival. Argo Art is “3-dimensional fruit and vegetable artwork”. The Festival features a one-day Argo Art competition on June 4, 2016 at 10 a.m.  Competing artists must enter the arena, supplies in hand, at 10 a.m. and may begin building their sculptures at that point. Judges will examine the artwork at 1 p.m., with winners being announced at 2 p.m.  In addition to the Ocean Mist Argo Art competition, there are many more events or activities featured this year, including:

  • Wine and beer tasting at the California Wine & Beer Tasting Pavilion. If you get a chance to purchase tickets online before June 1, you’ll get a commemorative glass and five tasting tokens for only $10. The wineries include Hahn Family Wines, Social Impact Winery, and others, while breweries featured include Beer Republic Brewing, Ninkasi Brewing, and several more. You can of course purchase tickets the day of.
  • Each of the two days will feature several chef demonstrations with some well-known celebrities included. You’ll see Chefs Todd Fisher and Tony Baker (mentioned below in the BaconFest article), as well as Chef Rene Herrera of Alfonso’s Authentic Mexican Food, Pat Hopper, Chef Dyon Foster of Monterey County Club & Chef’s Palette Spice Rubs, and several others.
  • In addition to artichoke field tours and a farmers’ market, there will be live entertainment on the Main Stage each day. If you like classics from the 60s and 70s, you can catch Kindred Soul on Saturday morning. Into Latin Rock or Latin Jazz. You’re in for a treat on the Sunday as the fantastic 11-piece band known as Everyday People will perform for you. There are many other artists appearing as well.

You can buy your tickets now, or if you want more general information about the Festival, performers, featured chefs, and so forth, you can visit the host’s main website here.

Monterey BaconFest

We live in the United States of Bacon. Did you know that? According to Chef Todd Fisher, the host of this popular TV show, and Purveyor of Baker’s Bacon, Chef Tony Baker, it is true. One could come up with all sorts of catchy catchphrases – bacon is the new black, etc. – but if you’re a bacon lover, however you serve it up, you know you’re indulging in the unprecedented popularity of this specialty. So it’s fitting we introduce you to Monterey BaconFest!

The venue is Monterey Fairgrounds, and the dates, June 25-26, 2016. The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. Music kicks in at 11:30 a.m. The festival has lots to eat, of course, and lots more. Here are some of the highlights:

  • For starters, all kinds of food featuring or made with bacon!
  • Craft and product vendors
  • Up and coming, and well-known performers on the Garden Stage
  • Chef Todd Fisher and Chef Tony Baker
  • A BaconBar!

Perhaps best of all, this two-day event is family friendly. Bring everyone along. Bring your own chairs or blankets. Ticket prices are reasonable, with special prices in place for children, and for military personnel. Children under 7 are free. Tickets may be purchased online or the day of. For more information on BaconFest, please visit their main website.

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

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