The Pumpkin Capital of the World is priming itself for one of its most celebrated seasonal events, the 49th Annual Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival. On October 19 and 20, the seaside town will brim with happy festival goers in this Epic autumnal celebration of the gourd, which spans historic Main Street and the surrounding coastal areas.
The small town’s magnificent fall transformation entices in every sense, as the coastal community joins together early in preparation for this spectacular celebration, including all the delightful harvest activities along the way.
ENJOY THE Abundance of Pumpkin Patches
Each year droves of visitors carve out extra time for the season’s bountiful harvest, enjoying the vibrant orange landscape that trails the picturesque ride into this quaint coastal area. Seeking out that perfect shaped gourd for jack-o-lantern carving is easy with a multitude of pumpkin patches to choose from.
Festival goers can make an early stop to visit Lemos Farm which includes pony rides and a petting zoo, or head north to Farmer John's Pumpkins which features an authentic Native American Teepee, and south of town is Bob’s Pumpkin Farm, with its one-of-a- kind corn maze and an impressive pyramid made of hay.
The 2 day Festival Promises to Gratify All Senses
The elated festival atmosphere promises a weekend of merriment from 9am to 5pm, and for early risers, a pancake breakfast is served up each day at 7am at City Hall (at the corner of Main and Kelly Streets), with proceeds benefiting the Half Moon Bay High School Basketball Team. The events and entertainment seem limitless with lively musical entertainment spanning 4 stages, a creepy haunted Barn, a pie eating and costume contest, a world famous pumpkin carving station, a thrilling zip-line and bungee jump, plus photo opportunities with Gourdy, the jovial festival mascot, and so much more!
Harvest Inspired crafts dominate the event, including an entire block reserved for the “Made on The Coast” artist group, which features imaginative crafts and music made just by locals, on Sunday. For the sports minded, the Xfinity Take 5 Lounge has a giant LED screen televising MLB and NFL games plus its own beer garden!
But don’t forget to settle into a curbside spot for the Great Pumpkin Parade which begins promptly at noon on Saturday, where spectators delight in everything from marching bands, to colorful floats, to spooky costumed Halloween characters.
Relish in Luscious PUMPKIN Festival Fare
Dozens of discriminating cuisine options are peppered throughout the festival areas including the main food court located at IDES Hall, which features home-spun options crafted and served up by community groups. Pumpkin smoothies are blended by Half Moon Bay High School Water Polo team, the local 4-H club dishes out slices of their famous pumpkin rolls, and sautéed coastal artichokes are served up by the Knights of Columbus… just to name a few! Plus a bevy of tasty adult beverages are available, including artisanal cocktails, wine, and craft beer like Half Moon Bay Brewery’s Pumpkin Harvest Ale.
World Champion PUMPKIN Weigh Off
The excitement builds earlier in the month when the Safeway World Champion Pumpkin Weigh Off takes place on October 14, 2019 (always on Columbus Day) from 7am to 11am. With vendors and local media coverage, the “Superbowl of Weigh offs” dispenses a $30,000 grand prize to the winning colossal gourd. Last year’s winner, Steve Daletas, took the prize with his 2,170-pound champion mega-gourd. The 2019 Grand champion, along with the top five weigh-off pumpkins, will be on display at the Pumpkin Festival.
PUMPKIN FESTIVAL History and Community
Established in 1970 by the non-profit HMB Beautification Committee, the famous festival was created in effort to restore downtown, and it has since raised millions of dollars for civic projects and community services organizations. Today the festival is among the best-known events in the nation, and is arguably the most celebrated event in this sleepy coastside town.
Admission is Free but pets are not allowed.
If you're planning to stay in the area for a few days — and you should, the fall is beautiful on the coast — book a room now, since lodging is in high demand over the festival weekend. A complete list of area lodging can be found on our Stay page.