One does not have to think hard when coming up with reasons to celebrate in beautiful Monterey County. The breathtaking sights alone are worth bringing out the party hats. With the picturesque location and a plethora of activities and attractions, visitors travel from all over the world to commemorate anniversaries and life’s major milestones in the destination.
As we look back at 2016, Monterey County had a glittering year of anniversaries including Carmel-by-the-Sea’s centennial celebration which was capped off with a parade led by Grand Marshal and former Mayor Clint Eastwood. The Monterey Regional Airport celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2016 and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. toasted to 20 years on Cannery Row.
With a New Year right around the corner, Monterey County is gearing up for another milestone year filled with festivities and celebrations honoring the past and with an eye to the future. Here is a list of some notable anniversaries coming up in 2017:
• It was 50 years ago this June that folks from all over gathered in Monterey for the first ever commercial American rock festival, the Monterey Pop Festival. Now in 2017, Monterey is expecting to bring that energy back to the peninsula by celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love with several special events including musical performances and art exhibits. Organizers are planning the main celebration for the weekend of June 16-18th, exactly 50 years to the day of the original Monterey Pop to be held at the original venue, the Monterey County Fairgrounds.
• In September, the Monterey Jazz Festival will be celebrating its 60th anniversary and continues to be the longest running jazz festival in the world. The event is held annually at the Monterey County Fairgrounds, which has been the site of the festival since the beginning. Attendees can expect to see more than 500 top jazz artists perform throughout the weekend of September 15-17th and on 8 different stages spread throughout the fairgrounds.
• 2017 is proving to be quite the celebration of music in Monterey County. The Carmel Bach Festival celebrates its 80th anniversary! From July 15-29th, maestro Paul Goodwin has assembled some incredibly exciting programs including featuring Bach’s Ascension Oratorio and selections from Handel’s Messiah on opening night as well as a grand finale of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, “Ode to Joy,” his expression of universal brotherhood and ecstatic joy.
• Cheers to the 10th anniversary of the Pebble Beach Food & Wine, a gourmet event with more than 250 acclaimed wineries paired with 100 celebrity chefs. From April 20-23rd, attendees will have the opportunity to taste award-winning wines and enjoy culinary innovations with one of the world’s most recognized coastlines as the backdrop.
• The oceanfront retreat Hyatt Carmel Highlands will be celebrating 100 years of sophisticated hospitality with the completion of one of the most exciting renovations in its history. The property opened 21 years before scenic Highway 1 and has been undergoing a series of upscale enhancements inspired by its charm, Pacific Ocean backdrop and rich history, preparing the luxury hotel for its grand centennial celebration. The renovations include the guest rooms and lobby area, the award-winning restaurant as well as the sunset lounge and bar, creating an unforgettable experience for its guests. They have a number of special events planned to commemorate their upcoming centennial.
• This April, the Monterey Conference Center is celebrating its 40th anniversary and will be opening its doors in the early spring after undergoing more than $60 million in renovations. The Conference Center reflects the City of Monterey’s continued tradition of hospitality while providing visitors an upscale facility for both meetings and activities within walking distance of Fisherman’s Wharf and several restaurants, beachside activities and sights. The goal of this modern, state-of-the-art meeting facility is to welcome and encourage cultural and economic prosperity for the city.
• In charming Carmel-by-the-Sea, the Hofsas House, a boutique family-owned and operated hotel, is celebrating 70 years of European hospitality. The Bavarian-inspired property is commemorating this special birthday with several new hotel packages as well as a leisurely, fun and informative two-hour history tour around the one-square mile city. Discover secret pathways and hidden courtyards, and when you are finished, you will feel like you have been a Carmel local for decades. The cost is $25 per person, and when booking, use promotion code: 70thANNI.
• Dali17, the first permanent Salvador Dali exhibition on the West Coast and the largest private collection of the Spanish surrealist work in the country, will be celebrating its first anniversary in July of 2017. The exhibition includes more than 570 pieces such as original etchings, mixed media, rare sculptures and lithographs. Dali was an original in the Carmel Art Association and a regular in Monterey County during WWII.
With a new year full of milestones and moments worth recognizing, Monterey County invites visitors to join in the celebrations! For more information on events and happenings throughout Monterey County, please visit seemonterey.com/events.