Saturday October 19th is the date for this year’s Pumpkin Festival in downtown Keene.
The Festival starts at 8:30AM with the Great Pumpkin Mile Race. The Food Court opens at 11:30, featuring traditional fall foods like apple crisp and maple cotton candy. At 12:30 the Costume Parade kicks off. From then until 8:30 PM there will be entertainers at the bandstand, roving street performers, children’s activities, a craft fair, pumpkin bowling, and a chance to see a great display of carved pumpkins. The lighting of the pumpkins starts at 4PM.
Last year, 26,812 jack-o-lanterns were displayed at the Pumpkin Festival. It would be great to break that record this year. And this year, Festival organizers are making it easier than ever to participate!
C&S Wholesale Grocers have donated 20,000 pumpkins for the Keene Festival. Individuals or families that would like to carve some gourds can collect free pumpkins on Tuesday October 15th. Families, school groups, and other organizations that would like to carve 25 or more pumpkins for the Festival should register in advance before October 15th for their free pumpkins. For details of this free program and information on how to register, click here.
This year, HGTV Magazine will be holding a series of programs at the Gilbo Avenue Welcome Center on fall themes starting at 1PM: autumn entertaining, pumpkin decorating, and Halloween gift and candy giving.
Main Street will be closed to traffic during the Festival. People may park at designated spots in and around Keene or at the Cheshire Fairgrounds in Swanzey and hop a shuttle to downtown Keene; there is a charge for parking. This webpage has full parking details.
For more information on this year’s Keene Pumpkin Festival, go to this website.
UPDATE: Keene beat the world’s record with a count of 30,581 lighted pumpkins on October 19th!