The World Pumpkin Capital of Half Moon Bay recently celebrated its bountiful fall harvest and autumn splendor with the 50th annual Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival. This festive event included a special display of gigantically enormous/heavyweight champion pumpkins, smashing entertainment with four stages of stellar live music, the home-spun Great Pumpkin Parade, boo-tiful harvest-inspired crafts, tasty homestyle foods, premium wines, seasonal craft beer, pumpkin-infused ales, pumpkin-flavored artisanal cocktails, expert pumpkin carver Farmer Mike sculpting monster pumpkins into amazing one-of-a-kind masterpieces, photos with the gargantuan grand champion mega-gourd, pie-eating and costume contests, pumpkin carving for fun, the world’s largest mosaic pumpkin sculpture that measures 12-feet long, 11-feet high and weighs 10,000 pounds by artist Peter Hazel, the Xfinity Take 5 Lounge with giant screen TV, wet and wild waterballerz, ultra thrilling bungee jump, Cornhole game area, Stay Cool Misting Tent, selfies and fun with the delightfully rotund, playful and mischievious Pumpkin Festival mascot “Gourdy”, and the Sunday-only “Made on the Coast” local artists block with art and live music, and the Sunday-only Great Pumpkin Run – 10k, 5k, Half Marathon and Kids’ Fun Run, plus sweet sponsor swag giveaways and samples. Presented by the non-profit Half Moon Bay Beautification Committee which has raised several million dollars for community service organizations and civic improvements in its 50 year history.
The event was preceded by the annual World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off, featuring the World’s Greatest Gourd Growers and their titanic orbs. Organizers offered a hefty, world’s biggest top prize of $7 per pound and $30,000 in total prize money for a new world record entered at Half Moon Bay plus beefed up overall prize money to the Top 20. Two-time Half Moon Bay champion Leonardo Urena’s Goliath (Napa, CA) 2,175-pound mega-gourd obliterated a formidable field of heavyweight contenders in winning the 2019 Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off and setting a new California record. As impressive as Urena’s mega-gourd is, it did not exceed the world record – 2,624 pounds set in 2016. With the win, Urena claimed a cash prize of $15,225. The Goliath grand champion mega-gourd, along with the top four heaviest weigh-off pumpkins, were displayed at the Pumpkin Festival.