Celebrate Monterey County's favorite thistle this weekend at the 56th Annual Artichoke Festival. The Monterey County Fair & Event Center turns into an artichoke lover's paradise with cooking demos, artichoke-themed art and souvenirs (and a contest to make art out of actual artichokes!), artichokes (and other vegetables) for sale at the farmers' market, a wine exposition, and of course artichokes prepared in every way imaginable. There will also be various concerts throughout the weekend from Dallas Smith, High Valley, Blackjack Billy and more (additional concert fees apply). Saturday from 10am-7pm and Sunday from 10am-6pm. 2004 Fairgrounds Road, Monterey. General admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children.
Catch a performance of Tony Award-winning Broadway show Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at the Circle Theatre this weekend. This hilarious comedy is sure to have you rolling in the aisles. Friday and Saturday at 7:30om and Sunday at 2pm. Casanova between 8th and 9th, Carmel-by-the-Sea. $8-$36.
Tonight Show regular Willie Barcena performs his hilarious stand-up comedy at Planet Gemini Friday and Saturday nights. Stay afterwards for karaoke and dancing. Friday and Saturday at 9:15pm. 2110 Fremont Street, Monterey. $10-$15.
What better what to start your weekend than with a stunning sunset at Asilomar Conference Grounds. Every Friday the iconic property opens its doors for Sunset on the Deck at Phoebe's featuring live entertainment, weekly grill specials, craft beers, regional wines, and cocktails. Tonight's featured act is Fred McCarty. 6:30pm. 800 Asilomar Avenue, Pacific Grove. Free event.