•42nd Annual HALF MOON BAY ART & PUMPKIN FESTIVAL, Oct. 13-14. The World Pumpkin Capital of Half Moon Bay celebrates its bountiful fall harvest and autumn splendor with a special display of gigantically enormous/heavyweight champion pumpkins, three stages of smashing entertainment, stellar live music, the Great Pumpkin Parade with Grand Marshal, Hall of Fame quarterback, Super Bowl MVP and all-time 49er great Steve Young, a bone-chilling Haunted House, harvest-inspired crafts, homestyle foods, expert pumpkin carver Farmer Mike sculpting a monster 1,200+ pound pumpkin into a one-of-a-kind masterpiece, photos with the grand champion mega-gourd, pie-eating and costume contests, pumpkin carving for fun (not a contest), “Smashing Pumpkins: Battle of the Bands”, the Take 5 Lounge with giant screen TV, luscious varietals from Half Moon Bay Winery including their festival-label Red Table Wine, Mavericks Pumpkin Harvest Ale, Pumpkin-ritas (margarita with a splash of pumpkin spice syrup) and Pumpkin-itos (mojito with a splash of pumpkin spice syrup). Admission is free.
The festival is presented by the non-profit Half Moon Bay Beautification Committee which has raised several million dollars for community service organizations and civic improvements in its 42 year history.
•Kicking off the Big Week, the SAFEWAY WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP PUMPKIN WEIGH-OFF –– the Super Bowl of weigh-offs –– will be held on Monday, October 8 (7 a.m. on the IDES Grounds, 735 Main Street, Half Moon Bay). For the first time, a special $25,000 bonus mega-prize will be awarded to the grower of the world’s first 1-ton pumpkin and breaks the world record at Half Moon Bay. The current world record is 1,818.5-pounds, grown by Jim & Kelsey Bryson, set in Wellington, Ontario in October, 2011. Defending champion Leonardo Urena of Napa, CA, obliterated the competition at last year's Half Moon Bay weigh-off with his leviathan, gasp-inspiring 1,704-pound Atlantic Giant that set a new California state record. Urena is expected to return along with a host of accomplished, veteran growers to contend for the $25,000 1-ton/world record prize. The grand champion mega-gourd, along with the top five weigh-off pumpkins, will be displayed at the Art & Pumpkin Festival, October 13-14.
•Live Music and Entertainment on three stages … the sensational lineup includes everything from contemporary country, Latin rock, salsa, blues, folk, and classic rock ‘n roll music by some of the Bay Area’s biggest name bands. Performing on the IDES Main Stage are The California Cowboys, Big Cat Tolefree, The Megatones, Brother Buzz, The Daniel Castro Band, Extra Large, Caravanserai, and Jim Stevens & Friends. The Ritz-Carlton Gazebo Stage will feature The Stan Erhart Band, High Mileage, The Robin Campbell Band, and Battlehooch. Street performers include Glitterface, HeartStrings Music, Emerson, Bob “Stickman” Culbertson and Oscar Reynolds. The Family Stage will showcase talented young performers from Radio Disney’s “Next Big Thing” and “Smashing Pumpkins: Battle of the Bands” featuring the musical genius of sensational, up-and-coming rock bands.
•Food & Drink ... pumpkin-infused treats like pumpkin pie, pancakes, ice cream, smoothies, cheesecake, sausages, churros, cookies and bread, along with hearty stews of artichokes and Brussels sprouts, tamales, macaroni and cheese with pumpkin seeds, corn-on the-cob, roasted turkey legs, hot beef sandwiches, baked potatoes, clam chowder, kettle corn, luscious varietals from Half Moon Bay Winery including their festival-label Red Table Wine, Mavericks Pumpkin Harvest Ale, Pumpkin-ritas (margarita with a splash of pumpkin spice syrup) and Pumpkin-itos (mojito with a splash of pumpkin spice syrup).
•Events and Contests ... Pancake Breakfast (both days, 7 AM), Costume Contest (Saturday, 10 AM), The Great Pumpkin Parade (Saturday, 12 noon), Pie-Eating Contests (Saturday and Sunday, 2 PM), “Smashing Pumpkins: Battle of the Bands” (Saturday and Sunday, 3 PM), 5 & 10k Pumpkin Run (Sunday, 8 AM), Pumpkin Carving for fun/no judging (Sunday, 10 AM).