Keene Pumpkin Festival
Three hundred and sixty-four days a year, Keene, NH, is a quiet community with a pristine church at the head of a welcoming square. But if you happen to be visiting in October, be prepared to be swept up in the magic of the Keene Pumpkin festival – one of the most colorful celebrations of fall in New England. For over 20 years, the Keene town square has been transformed into a blazing sea of orange from the thousands of jack-o'-lanterns rising into the sky.
The official reason? To amass the largest number of lit jack-o'-lanterns in one place and meet or beat the world record – which Keene has proudly held eight times. From humble beginnings – just 600 at the very first festival in 1991 – to 2012’s tally of 29,381 (you read that right – nearly 30,000 pumpkins) this beloved event has attracted as many as 80,000 people from around the world. Keep in mind that Keene’s official population is 23,000!
In 2013, Keene regained the world record for most lit jack-o’-lanterns with 30,581 carved and lit pumpkins.
In addition to the tower of pumpkins soaring as high as the town’s church steeple, live music booms from the bandstand, maple cotton candy and apple crisp aromas waft from the food stands, and fireworks bloom in the skies above town. Family-friendly activities include a one-mile race through town, Ferris Wheel rides, a children’s costume parade and pumpkin bowling.
So sharpen your knife and practice your carving skills for next October’s Keene Pumpkin Festival.
For the latest updates, please visit the Keene Pumpkin Festival official website.