Monterey Speedway

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October 15, 2014

Special Events & Festivals in Monterey

Music Festivals

There is something to please every music lover in Monterey County with festivals geared towards jazz, reggae, blues, swing and much more. From the Jazz Bash by the BayCarmel Bach Festival to the California Roots Music and Arts Festival, Monterey County's line-up of music festivals makes for a invigorating getaway. June 16-18, the Monterey International Pop Festival - the first commercial American rock festival - returns for the 50th anniversary in 2017 during the Summer of Love at the Monterey County Fairgrounds. And in September, the annual Monterey Jazz Festival hits a chord as the world's longest continuously running jazz festival delivers a showcase for such artists as India.Arie, Sonny Rollins and Poncho Sanchez. See a list of music festivals events here.

Sporting Events

Monterey County plays host to several world-class spectator sporting events each year, drawing visitors and competitors from all over the world. For golf fans, there's AT&T's star-studded celebrity golf tournament. If car racing is more your speed, check out the Indy cars and other racing events at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Salinas plays host to an annual air show featuring military-precision flight squadrons and showcases bronco-bustin' cowboys at the rodeo. Finally, if sheer determination and human willpower is what you're after, check out the world-class runners puffing down 26 miles of Highway One in what's been consistently called one of the best marathons in North America. Click here for a list of exhilarating sporting events.

Food & Wine Events

Nearly every event on Monterey County's jam-packed calendar features a collection of culinary creations and wine celebrations reflective of the destination's people, culture and agriculture. A handful of events, though, are dedicated primarily to gastronomical pleasures. For die-hard foodies, Pebble Beach Food and Wine in April matches 200 acclaimed wineries with 60 celebrity chefs for a weekend of wine and beverage tastings, cooking demonstrations and some of the most exclusive, unique dining opportunities available in the world. Ever tried artichoke ice cream? Here's your chance! Castroville is the Artichoke Center of the World and proudly celebrates its title at the annual Artichoke Festival every May. For a full list of foodie events click here.

Art Festivals

Monterey County celebrates the arts through festivals, performances, tours and more. The Carmel Art Festival educates and inspires people of all ages about the visual arts. In addition to Plein Air and Sculpture in the Park events, the festival is host to the Carmel Youth Art Show, Quick Draw, Kids Art Day and more. The funky streets of Sand City shut down during the last weekend in August for the Sand City West End Celebration. Unique artwork is on display accompanied by live entertainment and food vendors. Last but not least, the best cowboy poets and balladeers are featured at the Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival. This three-day event features a western art and gear sale, a Saturday night western dance, a "cowboy" church service, and a silent auction, among others. Click here for a list of art festivals throughout Monterey County.

Community Events

It seems that something special and exciting is always going on in Monterey County; local community events such as Pacific Grove's Good Old Days and the Monterey County Fair give every visitor a slice of hometown Americana. Community events showcase the local heritage and unique cultures that Monterey County has to offer, while giving locals and visitors a chance to come together as one. For a list of other events throughout the community click here.

For a complete overview of events, visit's Events page here.


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