Keene Pumpkin Festival

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Keene Pumpkin Festival

October
Every year since 1991, the town of Keene, N.H., has held the Pumpkin Festival, in which tens of thousands of carved and lit pumpkins are displayed on scaffolding. In 2007, a total of 25,644 pumpkins were displayed.
Scaffolding standing some 50 feet high is set up on Gilbo Avenue, Railroad Square, and Main Street in downtown Keene. The scaffolding is arranged as walls and as four massive towers. Pumpkins are carved and displayed in rows on the scaffolding. Local businesses often have a number of pumpkins carved to spell out an advertising slogan. Community groups will carve out mottos. Individuals carve faces or names. In the evening, candles are lit within each pumpkin to form great flickering orange walls that light up the crowds.
Related activities include the largest children's costume parade in New England, a pumpkin pie eating contest, and a pumpkin seed spitting contest. The town set a world record in 1992 for having the most jack-o-lanterns lit at the same time and place. The event is sponsored by Center Stage Cheshire County, a nonprofit organization that aims to keep downtown Keene vibrant and thriving.
CONTACTS:
Center Stage
39 Central Sq. #305
Keene, NH 03431
603-358-5344; fax: 603-358-6531
www.pumpkinfestival.org
(c)
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