Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival means business


Maddy Ting

A Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival banner advertises the celebration.

Maddy Ting, Social Media Editor-in-Chief

For many people, the Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival is a perfect way to celebrate the fall fervor. This year, the festival was open from Oct. 13 to Oct. 14, bringing back its traditional autumn-themed activities, food, live music, contests, and pumpkin carvings in anticipation of Halloween.

Perhaps the most stunning aspect of the celebration, however, is the colorful range of displays set up in the midst of the festivities, advertising everything from donuts to pottery. Each year, hundreds of artisans apply to the Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival, looking for a chance to sell their creations.

Some vendors are new to the festival, hoping to introduce their work to potential customers.

“This is my first year here,” said Kristen Pobatschnig, a New Hampshire artist who recently moved to Lake Tahoe. “I love [the festival]; it’s a lot of fun, and there’re lots of people. Everyone’s really enjoying themselves and it’s a great way to meet people.”

Other sellers are regular attendees who continue pitching their creations to festival visitors year after year.

“I’ve been selling here at the festival for 20 years. We’ve always done well, but because we’re retiring, this’ll be our last year here,” said Joanne Borggren, a co-founder of Clay FantaSea.

Many small artists, like Pobatschnig, and businesses, such as Clay FantaSea, use the festival as a convenient way to spread awareness about their work. Local resources such as NorCal Bees also seize the opportunity to promote their services to the crowds.

“I already went through 300 business cards, so we definitely get a wider audience here. We do the local farmer markets too, which is very small compared to what we got going on here,” said NorCal Bees founder Raymond Wolfgramm.

On the other hand, some sellers find that the Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival doesn’t result in as much business as festivals in different cities.

“I did better in San Carlos last weekend, so it depends on the city,” said Dean Shapiro, owner of Cutting Edge Designs. “I’m doing better here than I did at the Pacifica Fog Fest, but each show can be different year to year.”

The Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival is not only a time of celebration for attendees, but also a lucrative business opportunity for vendors looking to attract customers.