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”.


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.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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?

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(The answer is Fruit)




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