The Year-Round Source for Monterey Bay EventsFriday Oct 19, 2018Monterey Bay Weather


    La Merienda and City of Monterey's Birthday

    La Merienda and City of Monterey's Birthday

    Presented by Brickman Marketing

    June 1, 2013

    Add Review/Comment

    The Monterey History & Art Association will again hold its popular historic annual La Merienda celebration on Saturday, June 1, 2013, from 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM, to celebrate the City of Monterey’s 243rd Birthday. La Merienda is held at the Memory Garden in the patio of the Old Pacific House, a State Historic Monument, 20 Custom House Plaza in downtown Monterey, CA 93940. For more information about La Merienda, call Eric Sand at (831) 372-7788 or Annamarie Stanton at (831) 241-2484. For more information about Monterey History and Art Association and the Museum of Monterey, go to The community is encouraged to attend this outstanding event that attracts over 500 people, but due to limited space in the Memory Garden, tickets should be purchased by Friday, May 17, 2013. Tickets are $55 for Monterey History and Art Association members and $75 for non-members. The non-member price includes a one-year membership to the Monterey History and Art Association and the Museum of Monterey (new members only). Tickets are now available at the Monterey History and Art Association’s office, located above the Museum of Monterey at 5 Custom House Plaza. Please call 372-2608 for office hours or send a check to La Merienda – MHAA, 5 Custom House Plaza, Monterey, CA 93940. For more information about La Merienda, please call Eric Sand at (831) 372-7788 or email or Annamarie Stanton at (831) 241-2484 or email

    La Merienda, Monterey’s birthday party, is a colorful fiesta of delicious foods, red wine, gallant dons, lovely senoritas, lively music and festive dance. La Merienda (the Spanish term for afternoon picnic or mid-day meal) re-enacts an elegant 18th century fiesta. It celebrates the founding of the town of Monterey on June 3, 1770 when Padre Junípero Serra, father of the California missions, and Captain Gaspar de Portola, a Spanish military leader, joined forces to establish the pueblo of Monterey, California’s first Capital. Their meeting also honored the founding of the “Royal Presidio Chapel”, which today is known as San Carlos Cathedral. After the ceremonies that day, everyone sat down for a picnic under a large oak tree near their ship, the San Antonio, which rested in the harbor. The first modern Merienda was celebrated in 1929, two years before the formation of the Monterey History and Art Association. A ceremony at Colton Hall and a small luncheon at the Memory Garden marked the occasion. It was presided over by Carmel Martin and Harry Greene. The next year, 350 people joined Carmel Martin, who again acted as Master of Ceremonies, in the Memory Garden and once again celebrated Monterey’s birthday. The Monterey History and Art Association has celebrated this important early California historic event every year since the Association was established in 1931.

    Each year since La Merienda was founded, a local young woman with historic connections to Monterey is chosen as La Favorita, and with her lovely court, reigns over this unique celebration of Monterey’s history. Two other young women are selected to serve as her attendants (“Doncellas”). The women who are chosen for these roles, accompanied by a chaperone (“La Duena”) can trace their ancestry back through Monterey history many generations. These attractive young women dress in traditional white Spanish gowns and mantillas (scarfs) and greet guests, cut the birthday cake, and hold court at the celebration.

    The event includes a delicious barbecue and lively entertainment, as well as a huge 75-pound birthday cake beautifully decorated with fresh roses. The cake is carried in by local young men (“cake-bearers”), and is sliced with the sword of Colonel Roger S. Fitch, the first President of the Monterey History and Art Association. This event has been sponsored annually by the Monterey History and Art Association for over 80 years. Members of Monterey History and Art Association serve as voluntary hosts and hostesses in period costumes at colorfully decorated tables. All guests are also welcome to dress in 18th century costume.


    • At-a-

      • Venue Info

        Old Pacific House Memory Garden

        20 Custom House Plaza
        Monterey, CA 93940

        Full map and directions

      • Admission Info



      • Dates & Times

        June 1, 2013


        11:00 AM

      • Accessibility Info

          Currently, no accessibility information is available for this event.

      • Member Reviews

        There are currently no reviews/comments for this event. Be the first to add a review/comment, and let folks know what you think!

    • Member

    • Media

      • Media Reviews

        There are currently no media reviews for this event.

      • Announcement




          has moved. For local arts and cultural events please visit: