The Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival is back, and it’s a big one! This year is its 50th annual event, taking place on October 15-16, 2022 from 9am-5pm on historic Main Street in Half Moon Bay. Get ready for a day of picturesque coastal views, live music and dancing, masterful pumpkin carvers, harvest-inspired crafts, endless pumpkin pie and other festive food, and of course thousands and thousands of pumpkins.
The accompanying 49th Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off will occur on October 10 ahead of the festival. This is where pumpkin masters from around the country duke it out for a chance to win the “Super Bowl of weigh-offs” and thousands of dollars in prize money. Last year’s winning pumpkin clocked in at 2,191 pounds, and champion Jeff Uhlmeyer of Washington took home over $19K ($9 per pound). There is a $30K mega-prize on the table for anyone who can manage to break the 2,703-lb world record. This year’s winning pumpkin will then be displayed at the Pumpkin Festival for all to admire.
As for the festival on October 15-16, Half Moon Bay is pulling out all the stops for a delightful day celebrating the “Great and Almighty Gourd.” Here are just a few of the attractions you can look forward to.
Great Pumpkin Parade
This old-fashioned parade will happen at noon on Saturday. The procession will include the weigh-off championship pumpkin and its grower, marching bands, classic cars, fall-themed parade floats, and a Mardi Gras-style spooky procession of ghosts, goblins, and more.
Pumpkin carving from Farmer Mike
Farmer Mike has been wowing festival crowds with his creations for over 3 decades. He creates enormous detailed sculptures using the massive Atlantic Giant variety of pumpkins, which can be between 300 and 1,500 pounds.
World’s largest pumpkin sculpture
Check out a massive mosaic pumpkin sculpture by Reno-based artist Peter Hazel. It measures 12 feet long, 11 feet high, and weighs 10,000 pounds.
Harvest-inspired crafts by local artisans
Over 275 top artists and makers will be lined up on Main Street with original paintings, photography, glass, ceramics, textiles, jewelry, leatherworks, and much more for sale at every price point.
Pancake breakfast and food vendors
The festival will host a tasty pancake breakfast on both days 7-11am in the City Hall lot near Kelly Avenue. Other food options during the festival include sausage sandwiches, tamales, corn dogs, roasted turkey legs and turkey sandwiches, mac ‘n’ cheese, garlic fries, clam chowder in sourdough bread bowls, burgers, corn on the cob, baked potatoes, caramel corn, and caramel apples.
But not to worry, the star of the show is still pumpkin. You’ll be up to your ears in pumpkin pie, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin bread, pumpkin churros, pumpkin cheesecake… you get the idea.
And much more…
- “Made on the Coast” Locals’ Artists Block (Sunday only)
- Four entertainment stages
- Great Pumpkin Run/Walk
- EveryBodyCanPaint Art Temple
- Xfinity Take 5 Lounge
- Family-friendly events and contests
- Pumpkin festival mascot “Gourdy”
- Costume contest
- Pie eating contests
- 3,000+ tons of pumpkins waiting to be picked!
Festival parking is available at the south end of Main Street, Half Moon Bay High School, Our Lady of the Pillar Church and the Community Center/Shoreline Station complex. Some nonprofit groups will also be operating paid parking lots. Bike parking is available at Kelly Ave and Purrisima Street, and you can also take SamTrans bus service. Be advised that pets are not allowed.
Featured image: Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival