The Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival may be an annual Coastside tradition celebrating is 43rd year, but this year there are some new things happening that you'll not want to miss.
Of course we all look forward to the annual events that have become such an ingrained part of the world-famous festival like the weigh-off, pumpkin pie eating contest, pumpkin patches, parade, and pumpkin pancake breakfast, and of course the famous Highway 92 traffic ... well, maybe not that so much.
But the festival is the Coast's very own holiday and is also a fundraiser for so many local nonprofits, from schools and sport teams to organizations for seniors and veterans. It wouldn't be Half Moon Bay without celebrating our pumpkins and community.
So in addition to all of the wonderful annual events that we expect to experience year after year at the Pumpkin Festival, here are eight new things not to miss this year:
1. Photos With Record Breaking 1,985-Pound Pumpkin
The heaviest pumpkin the 40-year-old Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off contest has ever seen will be on display all weekend long at the Pumpkin Festival Oct. 19-20. Get your photo taken with Gary Miller's winning 1,985-pound gourd, which garnered him a prize of $11,910. Your photo will be snapped, then instantly printed and mounted into a cardstock frame for a special take-home keepsake. The cost is $15 per framed 5x7 picture, with discounts for multiple copies or poses. All proceeds benefit the Cabrillo Education Foundation (CEF), a non-profit for the sole benefit of the students attending our local Coastside public schools.
2. S.F. Giants Six-Time Gold Glove Winner J.T. Snow to Serve as Pumpkin Parade Grand Marshal
It's the ultimate old-fashioned small town parade down Main Street featuring the huge weigh-off champion pumpkin and grower, floats, marching band, Halloween costumes, and classic cars. But this year Half Moon Bay will have a star in the parade: All-Time San Francisco Giants Fan Fave J.T. Snow, who will serve as honorary Grand Marshal of the Great Pumpkin Parade. The parade is on Saturday, Oct. 19, at noon, on Main Street. Also, expect to meet the San Francisco 49ers Gold Rush Cheerleaders, who expected to be at the festival all weekend long.
3. “Made on the Coast” Expands With Books, Authors, Music and a Haiku Contest
The "Made on the Coast" (MOTC) Artists' Group, a subcommittee of the Half Moon Bay Beautification Committee (HMBBC), has announced its plans for the 2nd Annual "Made on the Coast" Locals' Block at the Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival. Building on the success of last year's event, MOTC is substantially expanding its offerings in the "Locals' Block," which will be located on Main Street, between Mill and Kelly, and will welcome visitors from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. on Sunday only, October 20th, 2013. Also new for 2013, the Locals' Block will include a music stage featuring three local bands.
4. Half Moon Bay Winery’s Limited-Release 2012 Chardonnay
Rounding out the experience, festivalgoers will have the opportunity to sample exceptional wine as Half Moon Bay Winery returns as the festival’s official wine sponsor. Honoring this year’s 43rd annual Art & Pumpkin Festival is Half Moon Bay Winery’s limited-release 2012 Chardonnay. This handcrafted, small lot production wine is from the finest Mendocino County vineyards. The 2012 Chardonnay will be available by the glass along with Half Moon Bay Winery’s most popular varietal, Fisherman’s Red (a Blend of Carignane, Cabernet and Syrah), at two booths hosted by the Half Moon Bay Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau. The Pumpkin Festival-label 2012 Chardonnay will also be available by the bottle (to take home) at The Beautification Committee merchandise booth.
5. Nationally Televised “The Better Show” Will be On-Site to Film a Show on the Festival
Stop by "The Better Show" filming their "License To Spill" series featuring Half Moon Bay and the Pumpkin Festival in the Cunha Country Store parking lot on Saturday. The show on the Pumpkin Festival, featuring the sights and sounds of Half Moon Bay, festival attractions and interviews, will air at a later date on this nationally televised show which airs on the Hallmark Channel.
6. Ultra-Thrilling Zip-Line Debuts in Stone Pine Center
Kids of all ages will love this new attraction at the Pumpkin Festival. Zip-liners are safety harnessed, then climb a spiral staircase up to the crow’s nest 28 feet in the air. They are then attached to the zipline by our trained team via a redundant safety pulley and prepared for launch. Two at a time can zip side by side so not only will they enjoy the ride but also shriek in unison while in flight. Flying through the air reaching over 20 MPH they approach the specially designed power pack decelerator and come to a gradual stop.
7. Michaels Craft Tour Comes to the Half Moon Bay Arts and Pumpkin Festival
To celebrate its 40th birthday, Michaels craft store will launch the first-ever Michaels Craft Tour this month in a specially designed 18-wheeler that features a fully stocked, 1,000-square-foot craft room on the inside. The tour will travel throughout the U.S. from coast-to-coast, visiting store openings, outdoor festivals and other events along the way, including the Pumpkin Festival. Attendees can craft for free on the Michaels Craft Tour truck. The Michaels Craft Tour at Half Moon Bay Arts and Pumpkin Festival will take place on Oct 19-20 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
8. Fine Art, Harvest-Inspired Crafts Gets a Fresh Look
The festival will feature a fresh look with a new artist coordinator, Pacific Fine Arts, and more than 120 new artists and craftspeople. Buyers and browsers will find thousands of handcrafted items in well-stocked booths covering several city blocks. It's an ideal opportunity to meet 250 of America's top artists and craftmakers—who will be offering great variety and price points to satisfy every budget—on hand with their latest creations. Featuring original work in sculpture, paintings, photography, glass, ceramics, textiles, jewelry, leather, wood, metal and mixed media, the festival is considered among the top art shows in the country.