49th Annual HALF MOON BAY ART & PUMPKIN FESTIVAL, Oct. 19-20. The World Pumpkin Capital of Half Moon Bay celebrates its bountiful fall harvest and autumn splendor with a special display of gigantically enormous/heavyweight champion pumpkins, smashing entertainment with four stages of stellar live music, the home-spun Great Pumpkin Parade SF Giants fan fave, all-time, all-out inspiration Hunter Pence as Grand Marshal, Young Actors Workshop bone-chilling Haunted Circus, boo-tiful harvest-inspired crafts, tasty homestyle foods, premium wines, seasonal craft beer, pumpkin-infused ales, pumpkin-flavored artisanal cocktails, expert pumpkin carver Farmer Mike sculpting monster pumpkins into amazing one-of-a-kind masterpieces, photos with the gargantuan grand champion mega-gourd, pie-eating and costume contests, pumpkin carving for fun, the world’s largest mosaic pumpkin sculpture that measures 12-feet long, 11-feet high and weighs 10,000 pounds by artist Peter Hazel, “Smashing Pumpkins: Battle of the Bands”, the Xfinity Take 5 Lounge with giant screen TV, wild and wacky waterballerz, a 24’ rock climbing wall, ultra thrilling bungee jump, selfies and fun with the delightfully rotund, playful and mischievious Pumpkin Festival mascot “Gourdy”, and the Sunday-only “Made on the Coast” local artists block with art and live music. Festival admission is free. Pets are not allowed. Presented by the non-profit Half Moon Bay Beautification Committee which has raised several million dollars for community service organizations and civic improvements in its 49 year history.
46TH SAFEWAY WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP PUMPKIN WEIGH-OFF KICKS THINGS OFF, OCTOBER 14
The Big Week launches with the World's Greatest Gourd Growers and their titanic orbs doing battle in the 46th Annual SAFEWAY WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP PUMPKIN WEIGH-OFF, the Super Bowl of weigh-offs, on Monday, October 14, (7 a.m., on the IDES Grounds, 735 Main Street, Half Moon Bay). Organizers are offering a hefty, world’s biggest top prize of $7 per pound and $30,000 in total prize money for a new world record entered at Half Moon Bay. Four-time Half Moon Bay champion Steve Daletas’s gorgeous and gargantuan 2,170-pound weigh-off champion mega-gourd obliterated a formidable field of heavyweight contenders in winning the 2018 Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off. Daletas is expected to return along with a host of accomplished, veteran growers to contend for the $30,000 world record prize. The Goliath grand champion mega-gourd, along with the top four heaviest weigh-off pumpkins, will be displayed at the Pumpkin Festival, October 19-20.
SMASHING ENTERTAINMENT ON FOUR STAGES
The dynamite entertainment lineup includes non-stop live music on four stages throughout downtown by some of the Bay Area’s biggest name bands. Performing on the IDES Main Stage are Victoria George and The High Lonesome, Featprints, Terrie Odabi Ensemble, Robby James and the Streets of Bakersfield, Haulin' Oats, Samba Dá, and Jim Stevens & Friends. The Ritz-Carlton South Stage at the Gazebo will feature Los Improvidors, Radiograph, Scott Cooper & the Barrelmakers, and Coast Tribe. The Half Moon Bay Brewing Company Made on the Coast Stage lineup and street musicians are yet to be announced. The Safeway Family Stage features “Smashing Pumpkins: Battle of the Bands with the amazing, three-wheeling comic explosion known as Bob at Large, award-winning children’s performer Andy Z, sensational bluegrass band West Coast Ramblers, outstanding singer-songwriter Mark Malec, uniquely talented harpist and singer-songwriter Ella Dawn Jenkins aka EllaHarp, the School of Rock House Band, and tons of kid-friendly fun and games.
FABULOUS FOOD & DRINK
Pumpkin-flavored treats like pumpkin pie, pancakes, ice cream, smoothies, cheesecake, churros, cookies, bread, sticky buns, fudge, soup, soda and seeds, plus hearty stews of artichokes and Brussels sprouts, tamales, macaroni and cheese with pumpkin spice, corn-on-the-cob, roasted turkey legs, hot beef sandwiches, hamburgers, corn dogs, baked potatoes, clam chowder, kettle corn, caramel apples, and popcorn. Beverages include tasty varietals from Half Moon Bay Winery including Sangiovese and this year’s limited edition festival-label Sauvignon Blanc, plus Barefoot Brut Rose, La Nebbia Sparkling Wine, mimosas, and assorted world-class, seasonal craft brews like Pumpkin Harvest Ale, refreshing Kolsch pale ale and deelish hop-happy Full Swing IPA from Half Moon Bay Brewing Company plus Kona Brewing Company’s fabulously delicious Hanalei Island IPA and smooth, bright, sessionable Big Wave Blonde Ale, naturally cloudy and refreshing Widmer Hefeweizen, crisp, award-winning 10 Barrel Cucumber Crush, and low-carb, easy drinking Michelob Ultra. On the spirits side, enjoy deelish artisanal cocktails – pumpkin-flavored Jack-o-tinis and traditional Bloody Mary’s from Half Moon Bay Distillery.
FUN-FILLED EVENTS AND CONTESTS
Pancake Breakfast (both days, 7 AM), Costume Contest (Saturday, 10 AM), The Great Pumpkin Parade (Saturday, 12 noon), Pie-Eating Contests (Saturday and Sunday, 2 PM), Pumpkin Run & Stroll (Sunday, 8 AM), Pumpkin Carving for fun/no judging (Sunday, 10 AM).
Stock up on the latest and greatest official festival gear for men, women and kids including t-shirts, sweatshirts, tank tops, baseball shirts, trucker hats, beer mugs, lapel pins, shopping bags and more.
Download the free Pumpkin Festival mobile app developed by Half Moon Bay’s Phondini Partners which includes an iPad specific version and a helpful “Find Parking” feature! This fantastic app is designed to enhance the festival experience for users by providing everything from a fact sheet with key details, information on special attractions, a detailed site map keyed to specific crafts and food vendors, event and entertainment schedules, door-to-door directions, push messaging alerts, Facebook and Twitter integration, and visitor information via a full-function version of Phondini's iCoastside app. The app, scheduled to be available in early October, is available for Apple and Android devices.
THE HALF MOON BAY BEAUTIFICATION COMMITTEE
The Pumpkin Festival was created by the newly formed Main Street Beautification Committee in 1971 as a means for restoring historic downtown Half Moon Bay. That first year, buildings were painted, trees were planted and a legend was born. Since then, the festival has helped raise several million dollars for civic projects and community service organizations throughout the coastside.
There will be parking at the south end of Main Street at Metzgar, Half Moon Bay High School (Main St. just north of Hwy. 92), Our Lady of the Pillar Church and the Community Center/Shoreline Station complex, both located on Kelly Avenue just east of Highway 1. Many parking lots are operated by local non-profit groups who charge a nominal parking fee. There is also very limited free parking on several side streets. Download the Pumpkin Festival mobile app for help in finding parking.
THE HEAL PROJECT KICKSTAND BICYCLE PARKING
Bicycle parking is available at the Bike Works parking lot, 520 Kelly Avenue near Highway 1, from 9 a.m. tp 5 p.m. both days. Suggested donation is $5 per bicycle. Bicycle parking is managed as a fund-raiser for The HEAL Project. Space is limited. No in and out privileges. Weather dependent. Bikes left unclaimed after the 5:30 p.m. pick up deadline will be left unattended. Learn about the HEAL Project at www.thehealproject.org.
There will be specially marked handicapped parking on Purissima Street between Correas Street and Kelly Avenue.
Main Street will be closed to traffic from Mill Street south to Monte Vista Lane throughout festival weekend. Southbound Main Street will not be accessible from Highway 92 from approximately 7 AM to 7 PM on Saturday and Sunday. Main Street will re-open at approximately 9 PM on Sunday. Departing the festival, Highway 92 eastbound will not be accessible from Main Street (either from the north or the south). The only way to go eastbound on Highway 92 is from Highway 1.
FIRST AID/LOST & FOUND
Festival first aid and lost and found is located in the Small Hall on the IDES Grounds, the main food court and music stage area in the center of the festival.
DIAPER CHANGING/FAMILY REST STOP
The Community United Methodist Church will be hosting the “Rest Your Weary Soles” Diaper Changing/Rest Area. The church is located at the corner of Miramontes and Johnston Streets, one block east of Main Street.