They changed the name of this long-running festival some years back to the Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival, but let’s face it: If you loathe pumpkin, you’re not the most likely candidate to make the trek to the coast. But if you love pumpkin, then every bumper-to-bumper mile brings you closer to pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin churros and even chicken pumpkin sausages. Yum.
And you can cram a lot of fun inbetween bites. Here are the details on this year’s offerings:
BASICS: The 46th annual festival runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, and Sunday, Oct. 15, along Main Street, between Mill and Spruce streets, in Half Moon Bay. Admission is free. Pets aren’t allowed. Details: http://pumpkinfest.miramarevents.com.
THE WEIGH-IN: Not you, the gourds! Will any pumpkin grower be able to beat last year’s record-setting 1,910-pound entry? The sponsors of the 44th annual weigh-in, Safeway, have beefed up this year’s prize money in anticipation: It’s now $7 a pound. If you want to watch the scales, the contest will start days ahead of the festival, at 7 a.m. Monday, Oct. 9, at the IDES grounds, 735 Main St. Details: http:/weighoff.miramarevents.com.
FESTIVAL FUN: The costume contest for kids and adults will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Cunha School parking lot, and pie-eating contests (adult, child categories) will be held about 2 p.m. each day in the Bank of America family fun zone. All day both days, Farmer Mike will show off his carving skills at 766 Main St. For additional fees, you can visit the Haunted Barn or have your photo taken with the Great Pumpkin or the runners-up.
FOOD, DRINK: Besides the aforementioned pumpkin cheesecake, churros and sausages, booths along Main Street will sell pumpkin smoothies, bread, cookies, fudge, ice cream, soup, curry and more. Follow up with the beverages: pumpkin soda, pumpkin-tinis or pumpkin ale.
Craving pumpkin pancakes? The Half Moon Bay High School’s varsity basketball team will serve those from 7 to 11 a.m. Sunday at Mac Dutra Park.
The festival’s non-pumpkin favorites will be back too: Look for linguica sausages, tamales, clam chowder, hot beef sandwiches, burgers and coastal produce like Brussels sprouts in marinara sauce and garlic-steamed artichoke hearts.
ART, CRAFTS: A whopping 275 artists and craftspeople selling everything from glass pumpkins to hand-woven clothing will set up booths along Main Street. On Sunday, one full block will feature local artisans with their “Made on the Coast” art and entertainment.
MUSIC: Rock, folk, jazz, salsa and more will be performed on four stages. From 3 to 5 p.m. daily, the “Smashing Pumpkins: Battle of the Bands” will feature local talent in the B of A lot.
GETTING THERE: Organizers call the line of cars along Highway 92 the “orange crush.” Consider riding stress-free on SamTrans, which runs buses from the Hillsdale Caltrain station and other sites. Schedules, fares: www.samtrans.com.
PARKING: Download the festival app for options. There will be parking at Half Moon Bay High School, Our Lady of the Pillar Church, the Community Center/Shoreline Station and the south end of Main Street at Metzgar. If you use the lots run by local community groups, you’ll be helping out a local nonprofit. Disabled parking will be located on Purissima Street between Correas Street and Kelly Avenue.
Source : MercuryNews