This Saturday marks the 21st annual Keene Pumpkin Festival in picturesque downtown Keene, New Hampshire.With eight world records for the most lit jack-o’-lanterns in one place, Keene has become a magnet for visitors to the Monadnock Region each fall.
The 21st annual Keene Pumpkin Festival 2011 opens for visitors at 12 Noon on Saturday, October 22, 2011 and offers a Pumpkin Festival parade, pumpkin bowling (real bowling pins and score keeping only using pumpkins), food court under the lights of one of the festival’s magical towers, craft fair, live music, storytelling and of course the spectacular three-story high pumpkin towers with tens of thousands more lit jack-o-lanterns on display at grounds level!
The original Pumpkin Festival, which has been copied in cities across the United States, started in Keene, NH, in 1991, the brainchild of communications and public relations professional Nancy Sporborg. Since that time the Keene Pumpkin Festival has earned 8 Guinness World Records and has drawn challenges from other cities vying to replicate the magic of Keene’s Pumpkin Festival. This year, Highwood, Illinois, has officially challenged Keene to a duel and a dual festival. These dueling community-hosted pumpkin festivals will be held at the same time, and each city will attempt to break the current world record of 30,128 jack-o-lanterns currently held by Boston since 2006. Both small towns have decided to come together in the spirit of friendly competition to showcase how two separate cities can shine and exemplify the beauty of community involvement.
“Don’t come to Keene this Saturday without your pumpkin,” advises Keene Pumpkin Festival event manager Ruth Sterling of Sterling Design & Communications and Let it Shine, Inc. “For years people have thought they are coming here to see our pumpkins when in fact, it has always been a full-participation festival.” So carve a pumpkin and head on down to Keene to help regain the title and have yourself some good old-fashioned fun!
With the fall harvest season in full swing here on our sustainable pasture-based farm as well as all around us in the agriculturally productive Connecticut River Valley, the Keene Pumpkin Festival presents yet another great Monadnock Region attraction for your next New Hampshire family vacation. If you wish to make a weekend of the festival be sure to plan far in advance for this popular weekend.
Innkeeper The Inn at Valley Farms