Castroville is a census-designated place (CDP) in Monterey County, California, United States. Castroville is located 9 miles (14 km) northwest of Salinas, at an elevation of 23 feet (7 m).The population was 6,724 at the 2000 census. Castroville calls itself "Artichoke Center of the World" and hosts the annual Castroville Artichoke Festival. Marilyn Monroe was named the festival's Artichoke Queen in 1948 and William Hung was named the Artichoke King in 2006. The community also displays the world's largest artificial artichoke. 75% of the US supply of artichokes is produced in Castroville. The local high school, North Monterey County High School, Castroville, fields a Marching Band which has traveled to China, performed at Bill Clinton's second Inaugural Parade, and traveled to Italy in April 2007. North Monterey County Middle School and Castroville Elementary are also located in Castroville.
Castroville was founded by Juan Bautista Castro in 1863 and is the second oldest town in Monterey County. The original old school house is a historic landmark. Castroville was named for Castro's father, Simeon Nepomuceno Castro, owner of the Bolsa Nuevo y Moro Cojo land grant on which the town is located. The Castroville post office was founded in 1867.
Castroville is located at.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 1.0 square miles (2.6 km²), all of it land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,724 people, 1,434 households, and 1,280 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 6,656.1 people per square mile (2,570.4/km²). There were 1,462 housing units at an average density of 1,447.2/sq mi (558.9/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 36.56% White, 1.06% Black or African American, 1.04% Native American, 3.26% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 53.15% from other races, and 4.83% from two or more races. 86.29% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 1,434 households out of which 58.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.2% were married couples living together, 17.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 10.7% were non-families. 7.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 4.69 and the average family size was 4.78.
In the CDP the population was spread out with 37.1% under the age of 18, 13.2% from 18 to 24, 30.4% from 25 to 44, 13.7% from 45 to 64, and 5.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 25 years. For every 100 females there were 106.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 109.9 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $38,594, and the median income for a family was $38,021. Males had a median income of $25,781 versus $23,409 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $10,729. About 14.6% of families and 19.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.0% of those under age 18 and 5.4% of those age 65 or over.
As an unincorporated area, the Monterey County Board of Supervisors administers Castroville. Castroville is part of District 2 whose current supervisor is Louis R. Calcagno. The Board is responsible for providing all local public services.
California Highways 1, 156, and 183 intersect in Castroville. Highway 156 connects to the 101. Highway 1 provides access from Monterey and Santa Cruz. Highway 183 connects Castroville to Salinas. Merritt Street serves as Castroville main drag. Most of Castroville's commerce and the post office are located on Merrit Street. Other major roads include Castroville Blvd., Blackie Road, and Preston Street.
The most notable event in Castroville is the Castroville Artichoke Festival, which first took place in 1948 in Castroville and celebrates the area's primary crop. The event features an annual artichoke parade; the coronation of the Artichoke King and Queen; the Agro Art competition, in which competitors make sculptures from artichokes and other vegetables; a classic car show; tours of the artichoke fields; cooking demonstrations; arts, crafts, food and produce vendors; and the California Wine Exposition.