Self-proclaimed ‘world pumpkin capital’ — Half Moon Bay — hosts annual festival

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The 44th annual Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival took place this past weekend on Half Moon Bay’s Main Street. The self-proclaimed “World Pumpkin Capital” boasts dozens of local pumpkin patches, as well as a contest for pumpkins weighing over 1,000 pounds. The Main Street Beautification Committee founded the festival in 1971 to raise funds to preserve the historic downtown area of Half Moon Bay. The festival has helped pay $25,000 yearly maintenance fees for Main Street and generates local nonprofits an estimated $500,000 each year.

The festival, which ran from Oct. 18 to the 19, featured pumpkin-flavored everything from mac-and-cheese to ice cream. Pumpkins also inspired many of the artists and crafters who set up booths along Main Street. The festival ended with a screening of “Rise of the Giants,” a documentary about the 2013 race to grow the world’s largest pumpkin.

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