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A few of the tens of thousands of pumpkins on display at the 2000 Keene Pumpkin Festival

The Pumpkin Festival (a.k.a. Pumpkin Fest or P-Fest amongst teens) is a yearly celebration held in Keene, New Hampshire, United States around Halloween. Each year, Keene residents and other citizens from around the area attempt to amass the largest number of lit jack-o'-lanterns in one place, trying to meet or beat the world record (which they held for many years).

The Pumpkin Fest previously held the record (as recognized by the Guinness World Records) of 28,952 [1] set at this celebration on October 25, 2003, but this was broken when Boston, Massachusetts collected 30,128 on October 21, 2006. [2] At first it was believed that Boston did not have an official count, merely a sign-in for each pumpkin. But it was later determined that each pumpkin was indeed registered and counted, causing Guinness to confirm the record in a certificate issued to Camp Sunshine, the event beneficiary and organizer of the festival. Camp Sunshine is a national non-profit retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

The organizers attempt yearly to beat this record by encouraging businesses and individuals to create and donate jack-o'-lanterns which are displayed on many enormous banks of shelves and all available surfaces around the center of town.

The festivities also include fireworks, music, and food, and draw in people from all over New Hampshire and adjoining states.

Almost immediately after the pumpkin festival is over, the jack-o-lanterns are hauled away by volunteer work crews and given to pig farmers.

The event is held on a Saturday in mid- to late October. Pumpkin Fest 2009 was held on Saturday October 17, and an estimated 70,000 people attended the event. The official total, announced on October 21, was 29,762 pumpkins, a new Keene record, but not enough to beat the world record.[3]

By comparison, the population of Keene is nearly 23,000.

See also

References

  1. ^ Guinness World Records entry for jack-o'-lanterns (Note: as of October 22, 2006, this link was broken and all reasonable searches failed to find it.)
  2. ^ "Happy Halloween!!". Guinness World Records. October 31, 2007. http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/news/2007/10/071031.aspx. Retrieved October 18, 2009.  
  3. ^ "NOPE: Recount ends shy of world record". The Keene Sentinel. http://www.sentinelsource.com/articles/2009/10/22/news/local/free/id_376351.txt. Retrieved October 23, 2009.  

External links

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