Coastal Foods, Mavericks Pumpkin Harvest Ale, Festival-Label Wine, Pumpkin-Infused TreatsPumpkin Flavored Margaritas and Mojitos in the World Pumpkin Capital
Autumn is a spectacularly special season on the fertile, scenic coast around the pumpkin mecca of Half Moon Bay. Magnificent vistas of seaside farm country dotted with vast, rolling fields of orange, scarecrows, barns, and pick-your-own pumpkin patches. It’s the perfect time of year and the perfect place to celebrate the beauty and bounty of the fall season and Half Moon Bay does it like nobody else. The world-famous Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival is the season’s signature event, drawing huge throngs of visitors to the “World Pumpkin Capital” for an epic festival on historic Main Street. This year’s 42nd annual Art & Pumpkin Festival will be held on October 13-14 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. A bumper crop of 3,000+ tons of the beloved orange orb await visitors coming to this charming area for the traditional festivities.
Community service groups feed the hordes of hungry festivalgoers. Their friendly volunteers will be dishing up hearty servings of tasty, homestyle fare –– many featuring product from local farms. The sweet and spicy pumpkin, naturally, takes center stage: pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cake rolls, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin smoothies, pumpkin churros and chicken pumpkin sausages, to name a few. Then there are coastal favorites like Brussels sprouts steeped in a zesty marinara sauce, and artichoke hearts steamed with an aromatic blend of garlic, olive oil, and herbs. Plus traditional favorites like Portuguese linguisa sausage, hot beef sandwiches, corn dogs, roasted turkey legs, chicken and beef tamales, macaroni and cheese with pumpkin seeds, cheese and pepperoni pizza with pumpkin spice, garlic fries, steamy clam chowder in sour dough bread bowls, crunchy nachos with jalapenos and cheese, hamburgers, grilled corn on the cob, garlic fries and huge baked potatoes with all the trimmings.
To launch your day with a good carbo-load, the High School Varsity Basketball Team will fire up the griddle to host the traditional Pancake Breakfast complete with mouthwatering plain or pumpkin pancakes, gobs of butter and maple syrup, grilled sausage links, fresh orange juice, and plenty of Peet’s coffee. Saturday and Sunday morning from 7 to 11 a.m. in Mac Dutra Park, Main Street at Kelly Avenue.
Complementing the tasty fare are luscious varietals from Half Moon Bay Winery including their limited-production festival-label 2010 Red Table Wine –– a delightful blend of Sangiovese, Pinot Noir, Petite Syrah and Viognier grapes and their 2008 White Wine a gorgeous blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Viognier, Muscat Canelli, Fruiliano, Riesling and Arneis –– plus Barefoot Pink Moscato, La Nebbia Sparkling Wine and mimosas –– all available by the glass at two booths hosted by the Half Moon Bay Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau. The Pumpkin Festival-label Red Table Wine will also be available by the bottle (to take home) at The Beautification Committee merchandise booth.
To honor the Pumpkin Festival, as they do by tradition every year, brewmasters at Half Moon Bay Brewing Company have created a special batch of Mavericks Pumpkin Harvest Ale, a Pale Ale made with locally-grown Sugar Pie pumpkins that are roasted with a secret blend of spices and added to the brew kettle. The result is a subtle pumpkin pie spice flavor balanced by a biscuity maltiness. Deelish! The Mavericks Pumpkin Harvest Ale will be available at the Pumpkin Festival and at Half Moon Bay Brewing Company throughout October. Or try their fabulous new Witbier, a refreshing Belgian style beer. Seasonal sensations like Sam Adams Oktoberfest, Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale, Sam Adams Boston Lager, Coors and Coors Light will also be on tap. For a deliciously refreshing beverage alternative, try a Pumpkin-rita (margarita with a splash of pumpkin spice syrup) or Pumpkin-ito (mojita with a splash of pumpkin spice syrup). The Pumpkin Festival-label Red Table Wine will be available by the bottle at The Beautification Committee merchandise booth.
The Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival runs October 13-14, 2012, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Main St. between Miramontes and Spruce Streets in Half Moon Bay. Admission is free. The festival is presented by the non-profit Half Moon Bay Beautification Committee which has raised several million dollars for civic projects and community service organizations in the area. For information, call 650-726-9652 or check out www.miramarevents.com