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The Pioneer

48th Annual Art and Pumpkin Festival in Half Moon Bay

PHOTOS BY DANIELLE DEPP/THE PIONEER

PHOTOS BY DANIELLE DEPP/THE PIONEER

By Danielle Depp, CONTRIBUTOR

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Half Moon Bay’s 48th Annual Art and Pumpkin Festival Event did not disappoint the over 60,000 guests who attended the popular fall event. Coined the “Pumpkin Capital of the World”, Half Moon Bay has hosted the festival since 1971 with a variety of pumpkin-filled activities for friends, family, and date nights.
Half Moon Bay’s Pumpkin Festival started in 1971 as an effort to help beautify downtown Main Street by the volunteer group Main Street Beautification Committee. The committee thought an old-fashioned Pumpkin Festival would be a great way to create funding for the beautification and restoration of historic main street, because of the plethora of pumpkin patches located right there in Half Moon Bay.

Little did they know, what started as just one food vendor and 15,000 people, would now turn into multiple food vendors, sponsors, nonprofits, and about 60,000 attendees. Through years of efforts, the festival has “helped raise several million dollars for civic projects and community service organizations throughout the coastide” according to the Beautification Committee.
This year’s event includes live music, arts, crafts, carving, parades, street performers, and of course pumpkin flavored goods for sale.
Famous participants in the festival have included Farmer John, whose family has been in Daylight Farms since 1947; the world’s biggest mosaic pumpkin weighing 5 tons; and Farmer Mike, a world class pumpkin carver.

“Once I moved to Half Moon Bay, I realized how big and meaningful of event this was for the town,” said Paula Thoren, age 61 and a new three-year resident of Half Moon Bay.
“I went the first year and fell in love with the environment and culture of historic downtown Half Moon Bay. Now, I’ve come every year since and don’t plan on missing it!”
As a helpful hint for potential attendees she said, “If possible I suggest riding a bicycle if you live close enough, because parking and traffic from both pedestrians and cars can be tough.”

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48th Annual Art and Pumpkin Festival in Half Moon Bay