Summer is the time to take in outdoor festivals to celebrate theater, music, art, photography, and the culinary arts. Here are some great places to enjoy beer, wine, and chefs’ creations this summer.
Kick-off your long weekend with a Carmel Food Tour on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday. Book soon, as summertime spots fill up quickly.
7 – The 25th annual Monterey Winemakers’ Celebration, presented by the Monterey County Vintners & Growers, takes place Sunday afternoon on Dolores Street between Ocean & Seventh. Enjoy tastings, and view displays of over 100 wines from Monterey County’s world class growing region. (For more info visit: http://www.seemonterey.com/events/food-wine/winemakers/ )
19-21 – The Carmel Art Festival, benefiting local youth art programs, takes place Friday through Sunday throughout Carmel and features a plein air competition, silent auction, live music, and sculpture-in-the-park exhibits by galleries around town. Enjoy the scene from one of the restaurants on the festival’s path, or bring your picnic or doggy bag (but not your dog, sorry) to Devendorf Park to watch artists create and sell their work. There, local artist Steven Whyte, internationally acclaimed figurative sculptor whose work is displayed at the Smithsonian, will create a large sculpture of a famous person in over the course of the festival. Only on the last day will the subject be identified formally. Many galleries will also host receptions to coincide with the event. (For more info visit: http://www.carmelartfestivalcalifornia.com/)
20 – The Monterey Symphony of Flavors takes place before Saturday night’s performance, pairing local wine with tasty bites on the upper terrace of the Sunset Center. (For more info visit: http://www.montereysymphony.org/concerts-events/symphony-of-flavors/)
26-28 – The California Roots Music and Art Festival hosts an Art and Wine Retreat area, 17 eclectic food vendors including two vegan booths, and shuttle service to and from the Monterey Fairgrounds. (For more info visit: https://californiarootsfestival.com/)
3-4 – The Castroville Artichoke Food & Wine Festival takes place at the Monterey Fairgrounds. The nonprofit organization supports the heritage of Castroville’s farming community, where nearly two-thirds of America’s fresh artichoke supply is grown. The event includes chef demos, a wine and beer garden, and a farmers market. (For more info visit: http://artichokefestival.org/)
9-11 – The Monterey Wine Festival at Custom House Plaza has expanded to include a Cocktail Camp featuring craft spirits. Professional chefs will compete in a “Chowdah” Challenge, and highlights include the Kings of Calamari and Masters of Mussels events. (For more info visit: http://montereywine.com/)
16-17 – The Carmel Valley Chamber of Commerce presents the Carmel Valley Art & Wine Celebration in Carmel Valley Village. The event features original works by California artists, musical performances, and creative street food, and celebrates local wineries. You can enjoy celebrating them too, as complimentary shuttle service to Carmel Valley Village and back will be provided by the MST Grapevine Express. (For more info visit: http://www.carmelvalleychamber.com/events/details/art-wine-celebration-2431)
24 – This year’s Monterey Bacon Fest features Baker’s Dry Cured British Style Back Bacon and its creator himself, Montrio Bistro (in Monterey) Chef Tony Baker. Along with musical and comedy acts, the bacon bonanza will include a Bacon Bar serving Bacon Margaritas and Bacon Bloody Marys. (For more info visit:http://montereybaconfest.com/ )
8 – The Monterey Beer Festival is at the Monterey Fairgrounds and is celebrating the Summer of Love theme, marking the 50th anniversary of the world-famous Monterey Pop Festival held on these grounds in June 1967. (For more info visit:http://www.montereybeerfestival.com/)
5-6 – The Monterey Scottish Games & Celtic Festival at the Monterey Fairgrounds celebrates its 49th year! You can drink to that at the educational Single Malt Scotch Whisky Tasting event, and learn about the history, distillation process, and various tasting characteristics of fine whisky. (For more info visit http://www.montereyscotgames.com/)
12 – The Salinas Valley Food & Wine Festival celebrates its seventh year with a Grand Tasting area, demonstrations by renowned local chefs and a Winemaker’s Gala before the event, on the night of August 10th. (For more info visit:http://www.salinasvalleyfoodandwine.com/)
25-27 – The Sand City West End Celebration descends on Ortiz Avenue in Sand City for its 16th year. Local artists and musicians will be joined by others – like the legendary Big Brother & the Holding Company – celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Summer Of Love. Local food and drink vendors will keep the party going, and a mere $5 will buy you a raffle ticket for a chance to win a Dean custom electric guitar signed by Salinas-born rocker Sammy Hagar, and donated by Carmel’s Do Re Mi Music. The raffle benefits the Monterey County chapter of Guitars Not Guns. (For more info visit: http://www.westendcelebration.com/)
For more options, visit the Carmel Chamber of Commerce or the Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau. Or, take one of our tours and ask your knowledgeable, friendly guide! Taking the tour early in your stay will give you plenty of ideas … for this visit and those to come. Bon Apetit!
by: Vanja Thompson