Halloween's a treat around San Francisco Celebration: Monster pumpkins, showy costumes, big parties attract thousands.

Travel Q&A


We will be in the San Francisco area at the end of next month and would like information on Halloween festivities.

When it comes to celebrating Halloween, San Francisco refuses to play second pumpkin to any other city. The main event in the city itself, Halloween San Francisco, is moving this year to the Civic Center after 16 years in the Castro District, the city's gay community. The costumes range from the outrageous to the spectacular. And it's all free. Call 415-777-5500.

The goblins and ghosts don't stop at the city limits. Half Moon Bay, an ocean-side town 20 miles to the south, considers itself pumpkin patch to the world. On Oct. 13, the Great Pumpkin Weigh-Off starts the Halloween festivities. One word of caution: If you're thinking of joining the many entrants who come from all over the western United States to see who has grown the heaviest pumpkin of 1997, don't even bother unless yours is over 600 pounds.

The 27th annual Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival follows on Oct. 18-19. There are haunted houses (and with its many Victorian homes, Half Moon Bay provides a happy haunting ground), pony rides, hayrides and displays of artworks. The event is so popular that the town's population of 10,000 can swell to 300,000. Call the Half Moon Bay Chamber of Commerce at 415-726-8380.

One event that is definitely for adults only is the Exotic Erotic Ball, a San Francisco party that has grown from 1,000 participants when it started a decade ago to 10,000 last year. Like the Halloween parade, it is also moving, to Fashion Center San Francisco, at Eighth and Townsend. It draws costumed participants in various forms of dress and undress.

The ball is Oct. 25. Tickets are $48.75 a person, including handling charges, from 800-225-2277. For information, call 415-567-2255.

Pub Date: 9/07/97

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