Half Moon Bay Night of Lights

by Charise Hale McHugh

November 2011— Come walk amongst the promenade of trees all aglitter with beautiful lights on Main Street in downtown Half Moon Bay on Friday, Dec. 2, 2011. Night of Lights promises to be extra special this year because you can enjoy shopping in the stores, which will be open until 9 p.m., as well as watching the parade, listening to live entertainment, visiting the children’s area, and enjoying light shows.

Night of Lights will begin with a tree-lighting ceremony at Mac Dutra Park on the corner of Main Street and Kelly Avenue at 6 p.m, featuring a magnificent 12-foot Douglas fir donated by Santa’s Tree Farm & Village. After the tree lighting, the prince and princess of the parade will be crowned. The royal children are nominated by teachers and community leaders and chosen by a committee based on their acts of kindness throughout the year.

Hundreds of children twinkling in lights led by the Half Moon Bay High School Marching Band will march down Main Street in the Parade of Lights at 7 p.m. Floats and an old-fashioned fire truck will guide Santa to his special seat for photos and wish lists. Other events include roasted chestnuts on an open fire, strolling carolers, harpists and lots of old-fashioned charm. There will be music in several locations; performers include the Half Moon Bay Sit Down Band, Santa Claus, the Scottish Fiddlers at La Piazza, Pamela Bowen (harp) and Mary Corcoran (vocals) with traditional Christmas carols and Celtic songs at Barterra Winery, and the Sol Belly Dancers — with guest dancers, too.

The Boys and Girls Club of the Coastside is sponsoring the children’s area with the assistance of local schools and non-profits. Get ready for some fun with the Boys & Girls Club selling holiday items, Coastside Children’s Programs offering crafts & candles, Sea Crest School selling popcorn, and Millie Golder and her Interact Club selling hot cocoa to warm your tummies!

And of course, the dependable American Legion will have a hot dog and Polish dog booth along with waters, coffee and soft drinks.

The shops and restaurants will be open late for browsers wishing to see and taste the unique holiday treasures Half Moon Bay has to offer.

Night of Lights is brought to you by the Half Moon Bay Coastside Chamber of Commerce & Visitors’ Bureau and the Boys and Girls Club of the Coastside. Many local businesses serve as sponsors for the event:

Winery tours

Passport to the Wineries
November 19, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Passport to the Wineries is back again, including over 50 Santa Cruz Mountain wineries. Enjoy the scenery filled with mountain top vistas, or catch a glimpse at llamas while passing along the winding drive through the Santa Cruz Mountains, where the trail is half the experience! Take advantage of the Passport Program, which offers a unique opportunity for guests to visit wineries not typically open to the public at other times. Guests will tour the facilities, meet the winemakers and sample their product, including special wines poured only for participants in the Passport Program. Passports never expire and are valid until all the wineries have been visited. $40 per person. For more information or to order a passport, call (831) 685-VINE (8463), visit the website at www.scmwa.com.

Pumpkin Festival

41st Annual Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival
October 15 & 16, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The World Pumpkin Capital of Half Moon Bay celebrates its bountiful fall harvest with a fantastic lineup of  pumpkin patches, harvest-inspired crafts, home-style foods, expert pumpkin carvers, the Great Pumpkin Parade, a bone-chilling haunted house, a weigh-off of champion pumpkins, a pie-eating contest, pumpkin carving, costume contests, a pancake breakfast, a five & 10K run/walk and three stages of  entertainment. Admission is free. Main Street, (650) 726-9652, www.miramarevents.com.


Ecotourism in Half Moon Bay

Eco Exploration




Sunset on beach






Summer is an ideal time to explore Half Moon Bay’s abundance of natural, historical and cultural wonders including rich marine reserves and wetlands, small farms, a working harbor and many parks, hiking trails and bird refuges. Visitors can pick up a four-color, two-sided Ecotourism Map that features hands-on Half Moon Bay adventures at spots such as Harley Farms, La Nebbia Winery, Pillar Point Harbor, and Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. The list of unique activities to choose from is endless, from dinner on a working farm, touring a wholesale flower farm, catching fresh fish and picking farm-fresh organics and flowers and learning how to make goat cheese. For more information, contact the Half Moon Bay Coastside Chamber of Commerce and Visitors’ Bureau (650) 726-8380 or visit www.hmbchamber.com. To order a map, visitors may call the Half Moon Bay Coastside Chamber of Commerce and Visitors’ Bureau (650) 726-8380 or pick one up at 235 Main Street, Half Moon Bay, CA.

Pacific Victorian Inn

If you’re looking for a unique bed and breakfast, California coast accommodations are ideal. Our guest rooms offer a unique boutique hotel experience with Victorian decor, private baths with whirlpool tubs, luxurious linens, in-room televisions, DVD players, telephones, access to DVD movie library, decks and wireless high speed internet access.

We offer a complimentary breakfast from an extensive selection of breakfast items including: Eggs Benedict, blueberry pancakes, buttermilk pancakes, Belgian waffle, cheddar cheese omelet, French toast, sausage, Canadian bacon, orange juice, coffee and tea.