Not this year
Organizers have canceled the annual Fourth of July parade down Main Street in Half Moon Bay. The event always brought crowds — crowds that seem inadvisable in the time of COVID-19. Review file photo

The Half Moon Bay Beautification Committee made it official late Thursday afternoon: There will be no Pumpkin Festival in 2020. Organizers also announced the cancelation of the annual Ol' Fashioned Fourth of July parade.

The two events are the biggest on the calendar in downtown Half Moon Bay and will have a financial impact on local businesses and nonprofits that count on the festival for fundraising.

COVID-19 and the resulting sheltering orders have made many events in the Bay Area and across the world impossible this year. The Beautification Committee had held off canceling the events even after it became obvious that holding them would be difficult.

“This is absolutely heartbreaking, far beyond words, for our festival committee," said Cameron Palmer, chairman of the Half Moon Bay Beautification Committee in a prepared release. "We know fully well the Pumpkin Festival’s critical importance as a fundraiser for more than 30 participating nonprofit groups from the community. That is the essence of the festival.

"The festival is also a premier showcase event for independent artists, musicians and corporate partners and a major economic boost for the entire coastside so it’s a big blow to those fronts as well," he said in the statement.

Still on for the moment: The World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off, currently scheduled for Oct. 12. Organizers hope to pull that off with restrictions to allow for social distancing.

"The cancellation of these much-loved community events is sad and unfortunate for the city, our residents and businesses, and the many visitors who eagerly look forward to these festivities each year,” said Half Moon Bay Mayor Adam Eisen in the release.

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