A Party with Heart(s): Artichoke Festival

Ready to leaf the world behind and head for Monterey for a day?

THE WEEKEND... following a holiday weekend tends to be a quieter one, at least in many households. Maybe you're eating a little lighter, and resting up a bit more, and taking it rather easy, in general. But when a major food festival, the kind of delectable bash that's gained fame far beyond its home region, pops up, well, you have to go, especially if you love good grub that's been beautifully made in a host of ways. That this good grub also involves something healthy, a thistle, a superstar of the produce aisle, is further inspiration to follow up a holiday weekend with a trip to a eat-and-sip festival that's become legendary. It's the Castroville Artichoke Festival we're talking about here, and we hope that we don't "leaf" anything out when singing its many praises.

OKAY, so not making "leaf" asides or "heart" references while talking about the dippable favorite is nearly impossible to do, so we won't deny ourselves the pleasure. But we will also, at the same time, give some important details about the weekend-long party, such as the fact that it takes place not in its namesake city, but fairly close-by, at the Monterey County Fair & Event Center in Monterey. There the festival spreads out, incorporating a Quilt Challenge, AGRO Art competitions, chef demonstrations, a wine, beer & spirits garden, and, of course, all of the chokie goodness an artichoke-obsessed person could desire. General admission is $15, but there are some other get-in options, including the Arti-Family Pack and It's a Date. Details? Right here.

AS FOR THE DATES? Hello, June, you're looking mighty tasty. All of that yummy goodness, and peninsula history, is in the spotlight on Saturday, June 2 and Sunday, June 3.

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