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Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival set
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HALF MOON BAY–– Autumn is a spectacularly special season on the fertile, scenic coast around Half Moon Bay on the picturesque San Mateo coast just south of San Francisco.

 The world-famous Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival is the season’s signature event, drawing hordes of visitors to the “World Pumpkin Capital” for an epic festival on historic Main Street. This year’s 44th annual festival will be held this Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

There’s a smashing lineup of entertainment on three stages featuring everything from contemporary country, pop reggae, Latin rock, salsa, blues, folk, classic and Celtic rock music by some of the Bay Area’s top bands. Performing on the IDES Main Stage are The California Cowboys, Claddagh, Shana Morrison, The Inciters, Bump City, Extra Large, Caravanserai, and Jim Stevens & Friends. The Ritz-Carlton Gazebo Stage will feature She’s Got A Ticket To Ride, Rockin’ Down the Hiway, Wendy DeWitt, and The Daniel Castro Band. Street performers include HeartStrings Music, Emerson, John Clarke, and Bob Culbertson. The Family Stage features kid-friendly amusements, fun and games plus “Smashing Pumpkins: Battle of the Bands.

 Shop for one-of-a-kind handcrafted items by America’s finest artists while browsing among 275 booths featuring original work in glass, ceramics, metals, fiber, leather, wood, jewelry, and fine art. “Made on the Coast”, a dedicated Locals’ Artists Block, returns with an expanded lineup of fine art, crafts, and live music (on Sunday only). Enjoy popular events like pumpkin pie-eating contests (2 p.m. both days), a Halloween costume contest (10 a..m Saturday), pumpkin carving for fun (10 a.m. Sunday), Young Actors Workshop’s bone-chilling Haunted House (all day, both days), the Great Pumpkin Parade (Saturday 12 noon), a Pancake Breakfast (7 a.m. both days), and the Pumpkin Run & Stroll (Sunday 8 am). Get your picture taken with the grand champion gourd for $15 to benefit the Cabrillo Education Foundation. See the spectacular display of the top 5 pumpkins from the weigh-off. Soar high above the crowd on  awesome zip-line in the Stone Pine Center lot. Catch massive air on Spider Jump’s super fun bungee jump in Kitty Fernandez Park. Test your mountaineering skills on Mobile Rock’s climbing wall. Create your own unique, colorful wax hands at the Boys & Girls Club booth. 

Complementing the delicious eats are delicious varietals from Half Moon Bay Winery including this year’s festival-label Red – a blend of Sangiovese, Syrah and Petite Sirah – plus Barefoot Pink Moscato and Citrus Fusion, La Nebbia Sparkling Wine, 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. Cocktail fans will love the deelish new artisanal cocktails – pumpkin-flavored Jack-o-tinis, classic Cosmos and traditional Bloody Mary’s from Half Moon Bay Distillery.

 The festival is on Main St. between Mill and Spruce Streets in Half Moon Bay. Admission is free. Pets are not allowed. The festival is presented by the non-profit Half Moon Bay Beautification Committee. For information, call 650.726.9652, check out and download the Pumpkin Festival mobile app for Apple and Android devices.