Each October, Keene, NH (pronounced “keen”) hosts one of the largest annual pumpkin festivals. It’s known quite simply as The Keene Pumpkin Festival (Pumpkin Fest or P-Fest). This annual event is celebrated on a weekend preceding Halloween. The festival’s goal is to have the largest number of lit jack-o’-lanterns (the name given to a carved pumpkin) on display in one area – on Main Street in the center of town. An estimated 70,000 – 80,000 people have attended this annual event in years past. By comparison, the population of Keene is just over 23,400.
Organizers invite residents, businesses, organizations, schools and people from around the area attempt to meet or beat the world record (which they’ve held for several years). The Keene Pumpkin Festival previously held the record of 28,952 (as recognized by the Guinness World Records) set in October 2003. This record was broken when Boston, MA collected 30,128 in October 2006.
The jack-o'-lanterns brought to the festival are displayed on numerous shelving displays and other available surfaces around the center of town. Festivities begin at noon with lots of music, food and craft displays. Evening brings the lighting of the two giant towers of jack-o’-lanterns seen in the above , capped by a fireworks display. When the festival is over, the pumpkins are collected, hauled away and given to area pig farmers.
Children (of all ages) walk the street dressed in Halloween costumes – there’s a lot of variety . . .
And, many adults (older kids) get into the “spirit” too.
Here’s our favorite adult costume – can you guess what she is?
Her answer (honest) – a one-night stand !