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Thursday, May 5, 2022


California's popular veggie festivals start tomorrow with Stockton's Aparagus Festival

nly in California can a 42 year old garlic festival die thanks to Covid-19 complications. But when the vying asparagus festival folks want to step in and save the garlic festival the garlic promotor says mind your own festival. “No thanks!” 

Meanwhile the asparagus and artichoke festivals are doing just fine. 



Celebrating 36 years of the biggest Asparagus Festival in the West, the San Joaquin valley event is set for May, 6, 7 & 8 2022. 

The San Joaquin Asparagus Festival draws a considerable amount of visitors in the Spring that come together to enjoy the fun, savor the food and catch up with old friends, all while making new memories! Join us back at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds. 

Every year we have several more Asparagus related dishes to our already outstanding Deep Fried Asparagus and Asparagus Ice Cream. Some of the delicious Asparagus Dishes we have had are Asparagus Lumpia, Pulled Pork Sandwich with Asparagus Slaw, Asparagus Chicken Bowl, Asparagus Corn Dogs, Asparagus Polish Corn Dogs, Asparagus Chili Cheese Fries, Asparagus Nachos, Chicken Asparagus Burrito, Steak Asparagus Burritos, Veggie Asparagus Burritos, Asparagus Pasta, Bacon Wrapped Asparagus, Deep Fried Ground Beef & Asparagus Wrap, Steamed Asparagus with Garlic Butter, Crab & Asparagus Balls, Asparagus Churros, Asparagus Fried Rice & LoMein, Mac & Cheese with Asparagus and more! 

WHERE: San Joaquin County Fairgrounds 1658 S. Airport Way, Stockton, CA 95206 


Artichoke Festival Family Fun Run is Back at the Festival June 12 and Moves to the Monterey County Fair & Event Center. 

ALSO, Lace up your running shoes and dress up as your favorite vegetable — The Artichoke Festival Family Fun Run is back, with more fun and a move to the Monterey County Fair & Event Center on June 12, 2022. 

Runners of all ages are invited to join in for fun and goodies the morning before the last day of the Artichoke Festival, Sunday, June 12, 2022, at the Monterey County Fair & Event Center. 

Celebrate Monterey County’s bounty of fresh produce and fresh air with healthy exercise and super fun activities appropriate for all ages — including obstacles, mazes, and bubbles. 

In addition, favorite children’s book characters will be on hand for photo opps and air hugs. Meet Pete the Cat, Curious George, and a surprise veggie or two. 

Come dressed as your favorite vegetable to win the “Best Veggie Costume Award!” New participant registration begins at 7 a.m.; preregistration check-ins begin at 7:30 a.m.; and all races start at 8 a.m. 

You’ll get to run through some fun way-stations, such as an inflatable obstacle course, bubbles, and much more. Race will take place rain or shine. 

This is a Fun Run, so the course will not be timed. Participants are encouraged to come dressed as your favorite vegetable, otherwise, wear comfortable clothing and good running/athletic shoes. 

Bring: Fellow runners to cheer you on; sun block, sunglasses, a windbreaker in case the weather changes, and a towel to wipe off any sweat, and water. 

Please leave your pets at home, animals are not allowed on Fairgrounds property. 

Eat something at least an hour prior to the start of the race. For questions about the Family Fun Run, please contact the Artichoke Festival office at (831) 633-2465, email the Family Fun Run team at, or visit the festival website at or the event page at: 

About the Artichoke Festival 

The festival will showcase the full range of tastes that the Monterey County farming community has to offer: artichoke cooking demonstrations by local celebrity chefs; a bountiful farmer’s market with freshly harvested produce from Monterey County and beyond; an artichoke agricultural education exhibit; live stage entertainment; family-friendly fun activities; and artichokes prepared in a variety of delicious ways, including the fan-favorite fried baby artichokes, plus artichokes steamed, grilled, and in unique forms such as soup, burritos, sausage, cupcakes and even ice cream. 

Again this year, festival-goers will enjoy artichoke eating and harvest contests, arts and crafts vendors, the family fun run, and the ever-popular wine tasting event, featuring the wines of small-production, boutique wineries from around California. 

 WHERE: Monterey County Fair & Event Center. 2004 Fairground Rd, Monterey, CA 93940 For more information on this year’s festival, visit 


GUEST BLOG / By Jesse Gary and KTVU staff, Oakland--A promoter affiliated with Stockton's Asparagus Festival had plans to revive the recently canceled and iconic Gilroy Garlic Festival, but it wouldn't be in Gilroy CA. 

HOWEVER, The family affiliated with the Gilroy Garlic Festival has rejected the offer. The Gilroy Garlic Festival could happen after all, as new festival organizers are pitching to be hosts of the annual event. 

But original Gilroy planners, however, say not so fast. 

The CEO of the Noceti Group, and the San Joaquin Asparagus Festival said they want to host the Garlic Festival in Stockton and NOT in Gilroy, CA.

The announcement was made Sunday in a Facebook post. "We heard the extremely sad news that the Gilroy Garlic Festival will not be holding their annual big Garlic festival," the post said. "We just couldn’t let that happen!" 

The Gilroy association which has run the 42-year-old tradition, however, said the claim that the festival is happening again and in Stockton, no less, is false. 

Ken Christopher, Executive Vice President of Christopher Ranch and festival organizer said no one on the governing board of the Gilroy Garlic Festival Association has heard of, or is affiliated with the Noceti Group. "It looks like the Noceti group, at best, is ignorantly trying to use a news cycle to promote a future Stockton-based garlic event, and at worst, is using the national press surrounding my grandfather’s and my hometown’s legacy to self-promote," said Christopher. "If the Noceti group is earnestly trying to have a garlic promotion in their hometown, god bless them," he continued. "But claiming to bring back the Gilroy Garlic Festival, without comment or cooperation from our Association, Board, President, or Christopher Ranch is malicious." 

Christopher called it, "A bit of a vulture feeding off a wounded corpse. It’s a bit of a parasite. It’s a bit of a tick." 

"I’m not here to steal their festival. I’m here to help out, and keep things alive here," said Stockton developer Tony Noceti. Earlier on Monday, Noceti Group said they are currently setting up for their Asparagus Festival May 6-8, and are a "bit busy right now." 

Noceti said his experience with non-profits, available land, and in-place organization can pull of the Gilroy Garlic Festival too -- with the caveat it take place 110 miles away, in Stockton. "I spoke to some of the people that (have) worked with the garlic festival in the past. But I guess there are some higher ones up the ladder that are a little upset. Maybe they should call me. Because I’m more than happy to work with people," he said. 

"Our community has been through enough, and doesn’t need misinformation from those that aren’t affiliated with our annual homecoming," said Christopher. "We’re here to promote garlic everywhere. If Stockton wants to have the Stockton garlic festival, we’re one hundred percent behind it. The problem is he tried to use our hometown and my grandfather’s legacy to self-promote." 

Last week the Association said the pandemic and the skyrocketing insurance premiums were the driving reasons to cancel the event. They said the City of Gilroy was requiring that the festival have more insurance than the minimum general liability coverage of $1 million. 

Gilroy Garlic Festival said "It is a frustration because we know, we have the same passion. We know what it represents to Gilroy, but also like you say, the greater Bay Area, and the surrounding…throughout the state," festival board member Tom Cline said during an April 22 interview with KTVU. 

The City of Gilroy also said they have no prior knowledge nor any information concerning the Noceti Group's announcement. It’s been a disappointment for long-time Gilroy residents. "It’s a fab festival. Everyone loves it. People come from all over. I’ve been going to it for some 30-something years," said Gil Barry. 

Although currently there’s no festival, the City of Gilroy plans a garlic tournament, and a garlic dinner as a type of bridge to a hoped festival return in 2023. Noceti said he’s holding a news conference very soon, to better hash out his plan to host the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Stockton. 

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