43rd Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival, "The World Pumpkin Capital's Epic Celebration of the Great Gourd"
Kicking off the Big Week, the SAFEWAY WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP PUMPKIN WEIGH-OFF –– the Super Bowl of weigh-offs –– will be held on Monday, October 14 (7 a.m. on the IDES Grounds, 735 Main Street, Half Moon Bay). Organizers are offering $25,000 in prize money for a new world record entered at Half Moon Bay. The current world record is 2009-pounds – the monster pumpkin was grown by Ron Wallace and set at a weigh-off in Topsfield MA in September, 2012. Defending Half Moon Bay champion Thad Starr, of Pleasant Hill OR, obliterated the formidable field of heavyweight contenders at last year's Half Moon Bay weigh-off with his humongous, mind-blowing 1,775-pound mega-gourd that set a new California state record. Starr is expected to return along with a host of accomplished, veteran growers to contend for the $25,000 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 19-20.
Live Music and Entertainment on three stages … the diverse lineup includes 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 Robin Campbell Band, Pamela Rose & Her B-3 Party, Extra Large, Caravanserai, The Stan Erhart Band and Jim Stevens & Friends. The Ritz-Carlton Gazebo Stage will feature Wendy DeWitt, Claddagh, South City Blues Band and Rockin’ Down the Hiway. Street performers include Glitterface, HeartStrings Music, Emerson, and Bob Culbertson. The Family Stage features talent from Radio Disney and “Smashing Pumpkins: Battle of the Bands.
Food & Drink ... pumpkin-flavored treats like pumpkin pie, pancakes, ice cream, smoothies, cheesecake, sausages, churros, cookies, bread and seeds, plus hearty stews of artichokes and Brussels sprouts, tamales, macaroni and cheese with pumpkin spice, corn-on the-cob, roasted turkey legs, hot beef sandwiches, baked potatoes, clam chowder, chili, nachos, luscious varietals from Half Moon Bay Winery and Half Moon Bay Brewing Company’s Mavericks Pumpkin Harvest Ale made with locally-grown pumpkins that are roasted with a secret blend of spices.
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).