Keene NH

My friend Nancy, her children and I headed up to Keene, NH for the annual Pumpkin Festival. Who knew a bunch of immature, rowdy college kids would steal the limelight. We didn’t see any of it. We heard the sirens, saw lots of flashing lights and ambulances but nothing else. As we parked our car the lot attendant said they didn’t know what was going on but that they had heard there was an “incident”.

20140819-Keene-pumpkin-fire

They said be careful and have a good time. So that’s what we did. I’ll save my remarks about idiot college kids for another post. It won’t be a pretty one.

Keene 015

It was quite a walk from the car to the center of Keene where the pumpkins lined the Main St. Keene holds the World Record for most number of lit jack-o-lanterns on display. In 2013 the total was 30,581. Kind of mind boggling. I don’t know if they won this year but there were Jack-o- lanterns everywhere.

Keene 062 copy

Near the Ferris Wheel the was a “Dome” of pumpkins being set up.

Keene 021 copy

Keene 019 copy

There were wooden shelves set up along the center of Main street where more jack-o-lanterns perched.

Keene 076 copy

They surrounded tress, made rows along  the curbs and piled against fences and jersey barriers.

Keene 043 copy

Almost anywhere you could imagine there were carved pumpkins. They were even in the trees.

Keene 038

It was packed! There were quite a few Halloween Characters around who posed for pictures with the kids. One of the first ones and one of the best ones was Batman. He even had his car. He patiently stood by waving to the crowd and posed for pictures. Very nicley done Batman!

Keene 009 copy

While Alex was meeting and smoozing with the caped crusader Dawn was doing her version of pole dancing. She was more interested in the metal handrail in front of the large brick building than pumpkins or Batman.

Keene 007 copy

I had promised to go on the Ferris Wheel with Dawn but when we got to it the kids were more interested in getting a pumpkin to carve. For a $5.00 donation you got to carve a pumpkin that got counted toward the total. At our first stop where we made our donation the pumpkins were pretty soggy so we moved on to another stand only to find the same thing there.

Keene 052 copy

Along the way we marveled at the creativity of the carvers and Dawn and Alex signed a cardboard wall with their names.

Keene 024 copy

Keene 025 copy

Finally down near the craft fair and food Alex and I located some semi solid pumpkins, Dawn was getting her face painted. The man helping us explained that the pumpkins are all hollowed out by volunteers before the festival starts. They begin the process 2-3 days before the big date so the pumpkins begin to go downhill in a hurry.

Keene 032a_edited-1

The sun was setting as we put the finishing touches on our Jack-o-lanterns and began to work our way back to Main Street for the Pumpkin Tower. The pumpkins spell out words, I think of the sponsors of the event, but it’s a pretty amazing sight.

Keene 071 copy

Did they win again? I don’t know. I googled it but couldn’t find 2014. The other burning question is….Pumpkin , Fruit or Vegetable?

Keene 077a_edited-1 copy

(The answer is Fruit)

 

 

 

About these ads
Posted in attraction, Holidays, People | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Dino Land or Into the Fog!

Dusk was fast approaching. The twilight time when shadows lengthen and imagination runs wild.  dinoland 082 copy

We watched the “Great Pumpkin” wow the crowd and explored the exhibits tucked in the entry square and then it was time to take that first step.

dinoland 033 copy

Once you start down that path there’s no turning back. You enter the world of the dinosaur. Sounds wash over you like a wave. Birds calling, strange growls and grunts, some distant thunder.

dinoland 053 copy

Fog, misty, creepy fog clings to the trail and plants. Pumpkin displays and jack-o-lanterns line the path but you know there is more.

dinoland 045 copy

You can hear them, even sense them and there looming out of the gloom is your first dinosaur.

dinoland 042 copy

Jurassic Park in the northeast. A pterodactyl takes flight and a baby raptor bounces  in the bushes waving his tiny hands.

dinoland 072 copy

They are all here. Allosaurus, stegosaurus, and triceratops. The Famous Tyrannosaurus Rex. More fog drifts past as the atmosphere deepens. More thunder and now there’s lightning.

dinoland 074 copy

You hear the rumbling almost before you see it. The great brontosaurus, traveling in a herd, stomachs growling like a bad case of indigestion. Thunder lizards!

dinoland 055 copy

Let you imagination soar. Go at dusk, not during the day. Experience the atmosphere. Imagine it. You’ve entered the land of the lost.

dinoland 068a copy

Posted in attraction, Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

It was a Five Star Night

Or a two thumbs up or any other sign approval you can think of. It was just plain fun!

dinoland 011 copy

Edaville Railroad used to be a little engine that traveled around the cranberry bogs. The big deal was at Christmas when the bog was filled with holiday lights and a few rides led up to the train ride. Then a couple of years ago the owner announced he was selling out. Speculation was that a condo development was going in and the land that was home to the little railroad was needed for parking. Everyone was sad but then the real estate market crashed and now building a bunch of condos didn’t seem to be such a good idea. Suddenly an amusement park wasn’t so bad after all.

dinoland 001 copy

Almost immediately Edaville began to expand. It wasn’t the little Edaville Railroad any more. It was Edaville USA and one of the things that came to pass was Dinoland. Everybody loves dinosaurs so now there were dinos roaming the bog.

dinoland 022 copy

This year I noticed they had a big pumpkin spectacular called Pumpkins Aglow! I was hoping to get some nice pumpkin pictures so I planned to cough up the admission because I could use my tripod, something not allowed at Roger Williams Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular.

dinoland 025 copy

I was going to go alone but after a stop at Nancy’s house we decided to take the kids along. Oh my , what a great idea! Alex and Dawn had a fantastic time!

dinoland 023 copy

I expected it to be kind of tacky but it was not. It was very well done.

dinoland 010 copy

The kids wore costumes and the ride operators had costumes too and were handing out candy when you road their ride.  Trick or Treat!

dinoland 028a copy

The rides are included in the admission price so although it seems expensive at first, it more than makes up for the initial investment. The kids can ride all night for free. Bumper cars, Ferris wheel, tilt a whirl, carousels,  and of course the train.

dinoland 018 copy

But we had to see the dinos and that’s where Pumpkins Aglow was spread out. In the end I didn’t use a tripod. We went through twice , once at dusk and once at full dark. The dusk was better. You’ll see why in my next post!

dinoland 007 copy

Posted in attraction, Holidays, Massachusetts, People | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Raining and cold

I was hoping the weatherman would be wrong but he hit the nail on the head today. Rainy and cold. I might have to break down and put the heat on. I wanted to wait until I had the furnace cleaned. Of course I’ve been procrastinating. Just too many other things grabbing my attention.

nail

The car has really been rattling and the tires are wearing unevenly. It’s 13 years old and has 180000 miles on it. If I need a ton of work is it worth it? If I were to get a new car , what would I want? I have no clue so tomorrow its going into the shop for a thorough going over. When that’s done I should have a good idea of what I need to invest if I’m going to keep it.

It’s still raining so I went to the mall for a haircut. Over an hour wait without an appointment. Lets see what else I can do to pass the day.

Hair-Cut

A stop at the used book  shop to pick up some good reads. Then a visit to my friendly T-Mobile store for a quick education on the new wireless calling. Oh Look, a mattress store is right next door. I need a new mattress but I have no idea what kind. My old one is 20 years old and saggy and lumpy.

1 hour later…..

I have a new mattress being delivered on Wednesday. They will take the old one away. I really didn’t intend to buy a mattress today but it’s been on my mind.  I think I tried every mattress in the store from inner springs to memory foam. I ended up with a pretty traditional one, a beauty rest. It had one extra feature that I hope will really work. It has a gel core? Or something like that, that is supposed to keep you cool at night. If that works I will really like that.

Natural-Latex-Mattresses

Last stop , groceries. Always a challenge. I settled on a pot roast. I’ll toss it in the crock pot tomorrow morning and that will give me meals for the week.

The rain has finally stopped but its still cold. It’s supposed to be sunny tomorrow but not much warmer. I think I’ll take a look at those books. I got a couple of Brad Meltzer’s and a couple of Iris Johansen’s. That should keep me busy.

Posted in Life, Massachusetts, Weather | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Everybody Loves a Parade

Finally leaving the midway and rides behind we found another building we hadn’t explored.

They had a mechanical cow where you could try your hand at milking her. A stage was set up with a garden revue, animatrons that sang songs and popped up and down. Very cute.

Big E 053a copy

This was also where a chick hatchery was set up. The display held a large number of eggs which were on the verge of hatching. You could see tiny cracks form and eventually out popped a baby chick! This would have held our attention for hours if the parade hadn’t stated. Having missed out on the circus I was determined to see the parade.

The theme was Carnival like the parades in New Orleans with floats and beads.

Big E 110 copy

There were marching bands.

Big E 063 copy

And float

Big E 093 copy

 

after float

Big E 095 copy

after float.

Big E 092 copy

But the participant that made it all worth it for me were the Clydesdales!

Big E 069 copy

There they were in all their splendor . Manes and tails braided, feathered feet prancing high. It took my breath away! They even had their dalmatian dog with them.

Big E 078a copy

They are truly magnificent animals. The crowd’s reaction proves that they have super star status. Probably because of all the wonderful commercials Budweiser has used these animals to star in.

Big E 079 copy

Yes, seeing them up close like this made the whole trip worth it for me.

Big E 103 copy

 

The kids liked the beads :)

 

Posted in animals, Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

An Agricultural Fair

The Big E has it all. The midway and rides; corn dogs, funnel cakes and The Big E cream puff. They had a huge sculpture made of butter. The Mallory building held the animals, llamas, sheep, pigs…

Big E 035 copy

The building wasn’t air conditioned but there were plenty fans in evidence keeping the animals cool.

Big E 039 copy

Sheep shearing was going on most of the day so the ewes looked pretty cool with their new “do’s”. Yup a penful of “naked” sheep.

Big E 038 copy

Nancy and the kids had a chance to get acquainted with one of the llamas. We spent a good amount of time here as both children are animal lovers.

Big E 034 copy

It was time to head back to the circus tent. This time we spotted the Budweiser exhibit but chose to skip it so we wouldn’t be late.  Turns out we could have stopped. The 4 pm show was already full. There was one more show at 7 pm but we didn’t plan to be there that late so no circus this year. :(

Big E 024 copy

Time for the mid-way. That was the really expensive stop. Those little dart games and ring toss I remembered from my childhood weren’t $.50 anymore, more like $2.00 – $5.00! The kids were pretty good at the games but it’s hard to pull them away.

Big E 043 copy

Tickets for the rides were $1.75 each and most rides took 3-5 tickets. Those were much more expensive than I remember too.

Big E 048 copy

But the kids were having fun and I chalked it up to making memories.

Big E 049 copy

Posted in animals | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Big E

The elephant ride was in the past and we began working our way toward the big circus tent. It was loud and people were everywhere! Your senses are bombarded by noise, color, smells. Some smells were barnyard and others were mouth watering aromas as we passed food booths. It was lunchtime after all. T shirt stalls abounded and one of the buildings was crammed to the rafters with souvenirs! If you want to spend money it sure looks like we came to the right place.

Big E 040 copy

We stopped to watch an automated calliope, very ornate. The kids were fascinated.

Big E 022 copy

There was the circus tent, my goal du jour!

Big E 020 copy

But we were too late. The 12 o’clock show was full. The attendant recommended we come back at 3 pm for the 4 pm show so that was the plan. In the meantime we headed toward the food stalls for lunch.

Progress was slow as you can imagine. The kids wanted to try everything, even the giant slide.

Big E 027a

We were looking for the Budweiser Clydesdale Horses but didn’t see them. The kids zeroed in on the bear exhibit. That turned out to be a favorite with the kids as they visited it a second time later in the day.

It was a hot day so we were all sweaty and thirsty by this time so lunch was under an umbrella at a corn dog stand and what corn dogs they were! Foot longs or larger and giant drinks. It was a welcome break.

Big E 028a

We still had so much to see.

 

Posted in attraction, Massachusetts, People | Tagged , , | Leave a comment