Family Fun

A Famous Pumpkin Fest Bounces Back

The quirky Half Moon Bay party also features the Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-off.

Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

What to Know

  • Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival
  • The fanciful fall fest celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2022
  • Oct. 15 and 16, 2022; the Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-off traditionally takes place on the Monday prior to the fest

THE THING ABOUT PUMPKINS? They have a notable knack for rolling on. Even if they encounter a large rock, or a tree, or some other object that slows their forward motion, one little nudge will get them moving again, and on they'll roll, thanks to their globular shape and smooth sides. Now that we think about it, a person could almost say the same thing about a popular pumpkin fest. No, not that the festival has a pumpkin-like shape, although that might be pretty dang nifty. Rather, when an event has plenty of support, and people cheering for it, it can continue to roll on through challenging times. And rolling forward in 2022, with its festive spirit very much intact? The Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival, one of California's best-known fruit fests, and certainly one of the West Coast's most whimsical meet-ups. Pandemic considerations meant the 2020 and 2021 festivals didn't roll on, but...

THIS YEAR'S PUMPKIN PARTY... is a "go," the organizers revealed in a social media post earlier in March 2022. That means the Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-off will happen a few days ahead of the mid-October festival (it also tipped the celebratory scales in 2021), while several gourdly goings-on will sprout on Oct. 15 and 16. Those events include intricate pumpkin carving, live tunes, craft beers, fun eats, arts and crafts galore (with several items rocking a true harvest vibe), and other under-the-sun sights that are both squash-able (as in pumpkin-y) and smile-worthy. Also prompting longtime fans to grin, as well as newcomers who've wanted to check out all this seed-tastic whimsy? It's the 50th anniversary of the beloved fest, which is well-known for its gargantuan pumpkins and small-town sweetness.

STUDY UP, squash-ists, on all of the good things ready to "stem" from the return of this major hoedown, one of the Golden State's most awesome autumn events.

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