88th La Merienda

Event Date:
Jun 1, 2019 at 11:00 AM - 3:15 PM
Memory Garden
5 Custom House Plaza
Monterey, CA 93940


Monterey, CA. Don’t miss it! The 88th Annual La Merienda will be held on Saturday, June 1, 2019. It sold out early last year so consider becoming a MHAA member to support the organization and save money on the tickets, too! 


About La Merienda


La Merienda celebrates the City of Monterey's 249th birthday with a very special BARBECUE BUFFET EXTRAVAGANZA, a five-star culinary experience created by the OLD FISHERMAN’S GROTTO CHEFS and the VIP Merienda Barbecue Committee, with entertainment by Mike Marotta, Jr. & special guests, mariachis, folklorico dancers, and a festive "Californio" party in the historic Memory Garden on Custom House Plaza on Saturday, June 1, 2019.


Monterey's 248th birthday celebration "La Merienda", the City's oldest and very significant annual event, will be held on Saturday, June 1, 2019, from 11:15 am to 3 pm in the Memory Garden on Custom House Plaza. For the past 88 years, the Monterey History & Art Association has hosted this community fiesta to commemorate the founding of the City of Monterey when in 1770 Father Junipero Serra and Captain Gaspar de Portola celebrated with a picnic overlooking the Monterey Bay.


The OLD FISHERMAN'S GROTTO CHEFS and the VIP Merienda Barbeque Committee will once again create La Merienda's BBQ BUFFET EXTRAVAGANZA, a five-star culinary experience that includes Certified Angus Beef New York Steak, BBQ chicken breast, mild Italian sausage, salmon, sautéed shrimp scamp, Paella and more delicious accompaniments and a few culinary surprises. This mouthwatering feast will be followed by the La Merienda traditional dessert, a beautiful multi-layered birthday cake decorated with roses, from Layers Bakery, cut ceremoniously with the historic sword of Colonel Fitch.


La Merienda also features Master of Ceremonies David Marzetti and outstanding entertainment by local legend and accordion player extraordinaire Mike Marotta Jr. and his special guests, mariachis and folkorico dancers. Gallant dons, donas and senoritas in 18th century costumes will be the order of the day at this festive "Californio" party. For more details for this not-to-be-missed event, go towww.montereyhistory.org/LaMerienda.


Community Members are invited to Host a Party Within the Party! 


La Merienda can be described as a “party within a party” with uniquely decorated hosted tables. Attendees invite friends, don a costume, decorate a table, and have fun at this festive event! Local companies are encouraged to purchase a table for their staff or special customers. Or, just come for the celebration, join a table and make some new friends. Meet elected officials, military leaders, and local dignitaries at this not-to-be-missed annual event! This outstanding party attracts over 500 people each year. Monterey History & Art Association (MHAA) has hosted this party for the last 88 years and all proceeds go towards supporting Monterey's history and arts programs, Mayo Hayes O’Donnell Library, Sloat Landing, Casa Serrano, Doud House and Garden, Dali 17, and La Merienda.  


For further information, go to www.MontereyHistory.org or call (831) 372-2311 or email  [email protected]com To schedule an interview, contact Wendy Brickman at (831) 594-1500 or email [email protected]brickmanmarketing.com


At a Glance:


What: 88th Annual La Merienda Celebration - City of Monterey’s 248th birthday party features a BARBECUE BUFFET EXTRAVAGANZA by Old Fisherman’s Grotto Chefs and the VIP Merienda Barbecue Committee who will create a five-star culinary experience featuring Certified Angus Beef New York steak, BBQ chicken breast, mild Italian sausage, salmon, sauteed scampi shrimp, Paella, complemented by 3 salad choices: mixed greens, pasta, and fruit salad, fire roasted sweet corn, fresh-made chili beans, fresh grilled garlic bread, fresh-made salsa and more. Like last year, there will also be a NEW special culinary surprise! Included with the meal are complimentary wine, beer, coffee, tea and soft drinks. The mouth-watering feast is followed by the traditional outstanding dessert, a beautiful multi-layered birthday cake from Layers Bakery donated by Tina Del Piero and Lynn Tomlinson and decorated with fresh roses by Jackie Craghead. 


This festive event includes Master of Ceremony David Marzetti, entertainment by musicians including Accordion player extraordinaire Mike Marotta, Jr. & special guests, mariachis, and folklorico dancers, gallant dons and donas, and lovely senoritas.  The Barbecue Committee headed by Chris Shake is composed of local elected officials and well-known community members that prepare and serve the food at this event. There will also be a Silent Auction. All guests are also welcome to dress in 18th century costume (optional). 


Congratulations to Marc Del Piero, the winner of the 2018 Laura Bride Powers Award, Monterey History & Art Association’s most prestigious award who will be honored at this year’s La Merienda. This award is named after the woman who is credited with conceiving both the idea of the Association and the Merienda celebration, which antedated MHAA’s founding.  Mrs. Powers was the Curator of the Custom House and First Theater and an ardent student of California history. The 2017 Laura Bride Powers Award recipient was Joan Keyser

When: Saturday, June 1, 2019 from 11:15 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.


Where: Memory Garden, 20 Custom House Plaza, Monterey, CA 93940 (Enter La Merienda at the Memory Garden Gate near the entrance to Peter B’s.)


Parking: With the purchase of a ticket, FREE PARKING will be available in the City of Monterey’s WEST GARAGE parking lot on Franklin Street behind the Wells Fargo Bank. Your free parking pass will be given to you upon check in at the Memory Garden Gate as you enterLa Merienda. Additional paid parking is available in the Waterfront parking lot adjacent to Monterey’s Old Fisherman’s Wharf or in the parking lot on Scott Street above Pacific Street.





La Merienda tickets will go on sale March 1st through March 31st for Monterey History & Art Association members ONLY at a $55 member price. 


On April 1st, members can purchase tickets for $65 and ticket sales will be open to (non-members) the general public for $75.

MHAA members table of 10 for $550 before April 1st or $650 on or after April 1st.


Non-MHAA members may only purchase tickets on or after April 1st at $75 per ticket or $750 for a table of 10.


To take advantage of the members discount and early ticket sales, please be sure your Monterey History & Art membership is current.

Tickets will go on sale on March 1, 2019 for MHAA members only; general public April 1st.


For more information or to be added onto the VIP Waiting List, call (831) 372-2311 or email [email protected].


La Merienda’s valued sponsors in 2018 were Monterey County Bank, 1st Capital Bank, Rabobank, Fenton and Keller Law Firm, Anthony Lombardo & Associates, Cannery Row Company, Mahoney & Associates, Law Offices of Nicora & Hespe, Morgan Stanley, Old Fisherman’s Grotto, Mission Linen, Monterey Bay Restaurant Equipment, Shankle Real Estate, Portola Hotel & Spa and Peter B’s Brew Pub. The media sponsors were KSBW TV, Central Coast ABC, Estrella TV Central Coast and The Monterey Herald.


The La Merienda committee is already planning its 89th event in 2020 in conjunction with the City of Monterey’s 250th Birthday series of outstanding events.