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5 New Attractions Not to Miss at the Pumpkin Festival

Here's a look at some all-time firsts for the Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival today and this coming weekend.

The Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival may be an annual Coastside tradition celebrating is 42nd 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 five new things not to miss this year:

1. Special $25K bonus mega prize for world's first 1-ton pumpkin

For the first time ever, a special $25K bonus mega prize will be awarded for the world's first 1-ton pumpkin or $10K for a new world record entered at Half Moon Bay. The 39th Annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off is today, Monday, Oct. 8, from 7 to 11 a.m. on the IDES Grounds, 735 Main Street, Half Moon Bay.

2. All-time 49er great Steve Young to serve as Great 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: Hall of Fame quarterback, Super Bowl MVP and all time 49er Steve Young, who will serve as honorary Grand Marshal of the Great Pumpkin Parade. The parade is on Saturday, Oct. 13, at noon, on Main Street.

3. Arists Peter's Hazel's mosaic-style pumpkin

On Saturday's parade, there will be quite a spectacle to behold when sculptor Peter Hazel's 7-by-12-foot 7,000-pound pumpkin made of concrete and rebar and covered in bright orange tile pieces and green stems and leaves passes by. The Half Moon Bay Beautification Committee will announce a permanent spot for the sculpture.

4. "Made on the Coast" art show

To highlight local artists at the festival, "Made on the Coast" is a special one-day art show, featuring 18 Coastside artists representing a wide variety of artistic mediums from ceramics, sculptures, watercolors and oil painting to jewelry, photography and glass-blowing creations. Sixteen booths will be set up on Main Street between Kelly Avenue and Mill Street from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14.

5. Spider Jump bungee jump

Kids of all ages will love this new attraction at the Pumpkin Festival. But what is a Spider Jump exactly? Bungee jumping has traditionally been an attraction that is more admired than executed. Trampolines are a more common activity but require a safe setting. Now, however, these activities are combined, producing a new, safe and exhilarating interactive sport: Spider Jump. While on a trampoline, the jumper is connected by special elastics to the structure. These elastics increase the height and velocity of the jump while stabilizing the jump.

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Christa Bigue October 09, 2012 at 02:33 PM
I'm looking forward to seeing Peter Hazel's sculpture and the Made on the Coast art show, a great idea to showcase local artists. My kids can't wait for the parade, candy of course, and now the Spider Jump! What are you excited about for this year's pumpkin fest?
Laura McHugh October 09, 2012 at 03:03 PM
An added bonus to the Made on the Coast part of the festival will be a booth staffed by members from various local arts groups to showcase events these organizations hold for their members throughout the year. Half Moon Bay's artists are a well-kept secret. Numbering in the hundreds, they have produced fine art that has made it's way around the world.
Cid October 10, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Also, one last chance for locals to Register to Vote (Yes, there is an Election coming up in November!) and to sign the Fire Board RECALL petitions in various locations on your way to the pumpkin festival! The town will have many Non=Profits selling all kinds of food at the IDES Hall on main Street, and various other organizations will also have booths. For me, the best part is the Pumpkin Pancake Breakfast at Mac Dutra Park. Get there early!

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