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Weekend Long Pumpkin Party in Half Moon Bay

field of pumpkins in Half Moon Bay

Photo courtesy Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival 2012

This time of year it’s all about being orange in Half Moon Bay. Farm after farm in the seaside community is loaded with colorful pumpkins of all shapes and sizes, just waiting to take up residence in your window or on your front door step. In case you need more motivation to get moving in search of a great gourd to call your own, the self-proclaimed World Pumpkin Capital is throwing a party this weekend that’s worth marking on your busy calendar.

The 42nd Annual Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival runs Saturday and Sunday, October 13th & 14th from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Admission is free. Hoards of visitors turn out for the festival centered on historic Main Street, so come early. It’ll be easier to park and breakfast will be waiting for you. Both days kick off with a pancake and sausage breakfast. Both plain and pumpkin pancakes will be served hot off the griddle at MacDutra Park, Main Street at Kelly Avenue. Cost is $10.

Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Parade

Photo courtesy Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival 2012

Things really get rolling Saturday at noon when the Great Pumpkin Parade rolls down Main Street. Hall of Fame quarterback, Super Bowl MVP and all-time 49er great Steve Young will serve as honorary Grand Marshal of the parade. The old-fashioned parade will feature the weigh-off winning pumpkin and grower, along with floats, marching bands and an assortment of all Halloween ghouls and goblins.

They’ll be live music and entertainment on three stages, including a family stage. The lineup has a little bit of everything from   contemporary country, Latin rock, salsa, blues, folk, and classic rock ‘n' roll.

Bring your appetite and your sweet tooth to sample some of the many pumpkin recipes that take front and center in the festival fare choices. Pumpkin rolls, bread, pie and ice cream.  There’s also pumpkin cheesecake, cookies and if you’re trying to be healthy, pumpkin smoothies. Beer fans, be sure to look for Half Moon Bay Brewing Company’s Mavericks® Harvest Pumpkin Ale, made with locally-grown Sugar Pie pumpkins.

Throw in expert pumpkin carvers, costume contests, pie-eating contests and the hardest part just might be finding everything you want to do. Good news, there’s an app for that! You can navigate your way through the festival using, you guessed it, iPumpkin.

glass pumpkin patch half moon bay

Photo courtesy Half Moon Bay Art Glass

While the Art & Pumpkin Festival tends to steal the headlines, if you’re coming to town, don’t head home without a pumpkin patch stop. There’s no trudging through dusty fields required and there’s wine involved. La Nebbia Winery takes on a little holiday sparkle when a glass pumpkin patch takes root for a long weekend. The thousand plus one-of-a-kind works are made by glass blower Douglass C. Brown, owner of Half Moon Bay Art Glass. Brown will be on hand giving hot glass demonstrations so you can see how the pumpkins are created. La NebbiaWinery, 12341 San Mateo Road, (650) 726-9463

You can find Dana on Twitter @drebmann