The Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival is an annual festival held in the coastside community of Half Moon Bay, California. It is one of the oldest and largest local festivals in California, you can always expect for a HUGE crowd, and sometimes a bit of logistical difficulties.
The Half Moon Bay Festival is a weekend of famous coastal food, world-class art and fabulous entertainment held during pumpkin harvest season. This 2014, the annual festival was held last October 13-19. Here are the highlights of last week’s festivities…
1. Winner of the 41st Annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off
The award for this year’s biggest coastside pumpkin was John Hawkley’s gargantuan pumpkin measuring 2,058 pounds! Hawkley’s leviathan gourd is the third heaviest pumpkin worldwide in 2014 and has established a new North American record.
Rob Globus of Walnut Grove CA came in second with a 1,740 pounder and defending Half Moon Bay Champion Gary Miller of Napa CA was third with a 1,393 pounder.
2. Most Beautiful Pumpkin
Eric Carlson of Portola Valley won the 2012 Most Beautiful Pumpkin category, weighing in at 380 pounds
3. Expert pumpkin carver Farmer Mike sculpting a monster 1,200+ pound pumpkin into a one-of-a-kind masterpiece
On his Pumpkin Festival stage, Farmer Mike created whimsical faces, movie characters like MEGAMIND, the Wells Fargo stage coach, Puff the Magic Dragon, and even enshrined Pigeon Point Light House into the shell of a pumpkin.
4. Pie-eating and costume contests
The pie eating contest took place in the Bank of America Family Fun Zone, located in the Bank of America parking lot, 620 Main Street in Half Moon Bay.
The Haunted Johnston Barn featured live (and definitely undead) actors from The Coastside Young Actors Workshop alongside audio-animatronic figures, projected and transparent ghosts, intense lighting, sound, and fog effects, and unexpectedly dropping and shwooping objects caused by unseen forces.
The Coastside Young Actors Workshop has been presenting themed haunted houses at the Half Pumpkin Festival since 1990, in various locations. Past themes have included a Haunted School, Haunted Dentist Office, Haunted Toy Store, Haunted Mini-Mall, Haunted Gym, Haunted Laboratory, and many others.
6. Playful and mischievious new Pumpkin Festival mascot “Gourdy”
Gourdy has been chosen as the name for the new Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival mascot.
7. 2014 Parade
Major League Baseball Hall-Of-Famer and legendary San Francisco Giants first baseman Orlando Cepeda served as honorary Grand Marshal of the world-famous Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival Parade last Saturday, October 18.