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Great pumpkins arrive in Half Moon Bay

Over 3,000 pumpkins await visitors
Over 3,000 pumpkins await visitors
L.P. Aiello

The Great Pumpkins are arriving in Half Moon Bay for the town’s 42nd Annual Art and Pumpkin Festival. The Festival takes place on October 13-14 from 9am to 5pm each day with free admission to the venues located along Main Street and the downtown area. But the weigh-in of the great pumpkins will take place on Monday, October 8.

Getting a close look at giant gourds
L.P. Aiello

Last year’s winner weighed in at 1,704 pounds. The winning great pumpkin and the top five runners’ up will be on display at the Festival so visitors can look at these gigantic gourds and take photos.

Half Moon Bay kicks off the Festival with a home-spun parade that, this year, features former 49er quarterback Steve Young as the Honorary Grand Marshall. The Festival includes a pie eating contest, a costume contest, a haunted barn, several bands, food, and a local artists’ area called “Made on the Coast.”

Autumn is a beautiful time along the fertile coast around Half Moon Bay. The seaside farm country is dotted with vast fields of pumpkins of every kind and color and pick-your-own pumpkin patches. Pony and train rides are available at local nurseries along with fall and Halloween handicrafts for sale by local artisans.

The Art and Pumpkin Festival began in 1970 as both a way to celebrate the bounty of the fall season and to raise money for downtown beautification projects. Over the past 42 years the Festival has raised more than $2.6 million for preservation and restoration efforts.

Half Moon Bay’s Art and Pumpkin Festival attracts thousands of tourists. Reservations to stay at one of the many Bed and Breakfasts or hotels in or near town is recommended.

If you prefer a more laid back experience, Half Moon Bay holds a Farmers’ Market every Saturday from May to December and a Flower Market on the third Saturday of every month from May through September.