It’s Fall! The Keene Pumpkin Festival

When our son was a student at Keene State College in southern New Hampshire, we learned about a very special Halloween event, the Keene Pumpkin Festival, held every October on the town’s quintessentially New England Main Street. Everyone is invited to carve and enter a jack-o-lantern, and all the entries are set up , on tiered shelves along both sides of the street and in other, very creative ways. This is an all day event, with music, costumes, food, fireworks, crafts, and competition. In 2003, the festival broke the Guinness World Record for the number of lit pumpkins in one place, with nearly 29,000. Last year, more than 80,000 people packing the sidewalks, a new attendance record.

The dazzling, family oriented festival for 2008 will take place Saturday, October 25. If you’d like to participate :

  • Bring a carved pumpkin and a 3-inch votive candle to Railroad Square in downtown Keene the day before the event between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. and log it in at the Log-in Tent…or bring your creation the day of the festival and log it in at one of the seven Official Log-in Tents located at every intersection on Main Street.
  • To be counted for the official record, all jack-o-lanterns must be carved and entered at an official Log-In Station before 6 p.m. the day of the festival.
  • Once you log in, pick a place along Main Street to show off your creation!

Official Pumpkin Fest site:


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