In the spirit of Halloween, I thought I would share my Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival experience with you all. It’s been 16 years since my last visit! Can’t really say if it’s changed since I don’t remember anything from back then, but this is such a wonderful festival and I highly recommend going at some point if you haven’t already (next year, that is…since it happens over a single weekend in October).
The weather was sort of gloomy at this year’s festival. I went on Saturday and it was drizzling basically the entire time I was there. Of course, things could have been worse, so I was just happy that it wasn’t pouring. Weather aside, though, everything else was good! I highly recommend getting there early. The festival opened at 9am and we got there around 10. Pretty early (considering the festival goes until 5pm or something), but the traffic was already starting up. There are several lots around the area offering parking, with prices ranging anywhere from $5-$40. I recommend parking at Half Moon Bay High School. It is a bit of a walk to get to the festival, but it was $5….definitely worth it in my opinion.
The festival itself is HUGE. There were so many vendors selling all kinds of things–soap, hats, paintings, clothes, scarves, etc. Even if you don’t plan on buying anything, it’s a lot of fun just walking/looking around. There was also a pretty epic acrobatic show going on when we first got there. Orion Griffith. Remember the name. He’s amazing at what he does and so good at engaging the audience!! I was almost crying from laughter. He says he’s planning on going to LA to chase his acting dreams, so who knows, maybe we’ll be seeing him on the big screens in a few years.
Let’s see..what else was there. There was a food area with vendors selling stuff like clam chowder (which wasn’t so great), turkey legs (fantastic), garlic fries, etc. The stuff is kind of pricey, but pretty normal for festival/fair food. They hold the festival in the streets of downtown Half Moon Bay, so you could also eat at the existing restaurants along the street. Get the turkey leg from the festival, though. That is a definite must. They had live country music, a haunted house, a parade, some food vendors giving out free samples, a kids area, pie eating competitions, a pumpkin carving display (by the talented Farmer Mike), and a bunch of other things I can’t remember off the top of my head.
Basically, this festival is huge and definitely worth checking out. There’s so much to do! I’d say budget 3-4 hours to see the whole thing. Perfect outing for an October weekend. There are quite a few pumpkin patches around the area as well, so you could stop by on the way back and pick up a pumpkin or two 🙂
Happy almost Halloween!