Last-Minute Concerns Fail to Stop Pumpkin Festival's Return to Keene

Sep 22, 2017

Credit Robert Wilson/flickr

A bid to bring the pumpkin festival back to Keene prevailed Thursday night after an unexpected last minute challenge from local officials.

Keene's mayor cast a tie-breaking vote at the city council meeting to allow the event to go forward.

In the past, the festival has broken world records for the most lit jack-o-lanterns in one place. But it was canceled in 2014 after riots broke out. Now. organizers are planning a much smaller, kid-focused festival.

Keene had approved their permit earlier this summer, but then the city council heard concerns from administrators at Keene State College and others who said they'd seen social media posts suggesting big parties, or dangerous behavior, could return.

The festival is scheduled for October 29th.  Organizers have agreed to cover the costs of any city services used at the event, and to take out a $1 million insurance policy that covers the city.