Pumpkin festival falls far short of jack-o-lantern record

25 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

After Unrest, Pumpkin Fest Aims for Jack-O-Lantern Mark.

The New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival in Laconia was trying to break the record of more than 30,500 lit jack-o-lanterns. There were thousands of pumpkins in downtown Laconia on Saturday for the city’s inaugural Pumpkin Festival, but only one with two feet, and he/she enthusiastically greeted visitors during the entire daylong event. (John Koziol/Sunday News Correspondent) LACONIA — While lasting all day and ending late, organizers, city officials and business owners said that it was clear early on that the city served as a superlative host Saturday for New Hampshire’s 25th annual Pumpkin Festival. Laconia police Chief Chris Adams said this year’s event was a peaceful success — a change from last year, when alcohol-fueled parties during the event in Keene led to more than 100 arrests. Sponsored by Let it Shine, a non-profit group that had most recently sponsored the Keene Pumpkin Festival, which under other founders began in 1991, Saturday’s festival filled downtown Laconia with thousands of gourd lovers, many of whom stayed until 8 p.m. to learn whether the City on the Lakes had set a new Guinness world record for most lit jack-o’-lanterns in one place.

Especially for the Callahan family, who since 1999 has attended the Pumpkin Festival as the cast from the movie classic “The Wizard of Oz.” “I’m just so grateful that she would do that. The violence, which started at alcohol-fueled parties linked to Keene State College, prompted the City Council to reject the festival’s permit for 2015. I think that’s the neatest thing when they are all lit up at night and they are just glowing in the dark.” “It’s a little disappointing I think, but I’m still glad they are throwing it here. I’m glad they didn’t do away with it because it’s been a tradition for years,” Tucker said. “I know it’s a little small this year, but once it gets momentum here the Cheshire Fair people will start to come.” Steve Hopper of Keene agreed it’s a different atmosphere than downtown, but it has potential. Theresa Funk, the marketing product manager for Zippo Lighters, which was the festival’s presenting sponsor, said her company was “honored to be here in Laconia.” “This a great turnout,“ Funk said, adding that the public’s response to Zippo products and the custom classic Zippo Chrysler was very encouraging and is making Zippo think about coming back to the festival next year.

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