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Halfmoon Bay Pumpkin Festival

Every year, Half Moon Bay, a relatively small coastside community just 30 miles south of San Francisco, hosts one of the largest Pumpkin Festivals in the nation, if not the world. This year, the Safeway World Champion Pumpkin Weigh-in contest took place on October 14 and 15, clogging the area with bumper-to-bumper traffic as per usual.

For the pumpkin weigh-in farmers from all over the west coast haul their comically massive pumpkins into town on trailers and place them on the scale to win a decently large cash prize. This year the winner of the weigh-in was also able to grow the second heaviest pumpkin ever grown in the world. Joel Holland, a seven time winner at this particular festival, from Sumner, WA won $16,541 for his gourd that weighed-in at a whopping 2,363 pounds.  That is just over 1071 kilograms for those of you who who use the metric system! That is almost as heavy as a Fiat 500. The runner up, Cindy Tobeck from Olympia, WA, received $2,000 for her gourd that weighed 2,002 lbs. Needless to say, that could make a lot of pie. 

Apart from the weigh-in, there are always numerous other activities at the festival as well. Naturally, there are all sorts of pumpkin themed and flavored food stalls where people can try some new foods. There are also activities like rock climbing and face painting, and you can watch as incredible artists carve fun and festive faces into gourds. Local bands and musical groups join with the town’s school band to provide a continuous live soundtrack to the event. Throughout the town there are numerous other, normal-sized pumpkin patches where you can go and purchase some fun gourds to take home and carve yourself. As we quickly approach the costume and treat filled night, remember to go out and buy yourself some of your favorite candy, a pumpkin to carve and a costume to scare your friends in.

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