Despite the rain, volunteers come together to create the magic of Pumpkin Fest

Michael Woodworth

Equinox Staff


People filled up their cars, dollies and even baby strollers with carved pumpkins and made their way to Central Square as members of the community helped stack the jack-o-lanterns in preparation for Pumpkin Fest.

By about noon on Friday, Central Square was just about full of pumpkins, mere hours after people started transporting their pumpkins to the site. Hammers and drills were heard non-stop as volunteers, consisting of families, couples and co-workers toughed the rain and wind in order to place and fill the scaffolds on Main Street with carved pumpkins. But the rain didn’t damper any of the spirits of the volunteers.

“It has rained many years like this,” Bonnie Miner, a retired worker from National Grange Mutual Insurance, said. She noted that she worked on unloading trucks of pumpkins and putting boards up for the pumpkins to be place.

“It’s whatever needed,” she added.

Stacy Talbot, a festival official, manned the tally table where the officials tried their best to get a preliminary number of pumpkins for the official count to take place on Saturday.

The officials didn’t have much time to talk as groups lined up in front of the table to add their pumpkin to the count.

As the pumpkins were put up around the gazebo and surrounding areas, workers constructed the pumpkin tower, where local businesses and even a couple of pumpkin proposals featured their carved masterpieces.

Two pumpkin proposals reading, “Fawn will you marry me?” and “Will you marry me Tella?” took up some extra special space on the tower.

Construction workers putting up the giant tower to showcase the top carvings the businesses had to offer didn’t get a chance to comment, but their work spoke for itself. Holiday Inn, New Hope New Horizons, Keene Community Ice Rink and many other pumpkins lined the shelves.

To get a special spot on the pumpkin tower, businesses and even persons could pre-register online. Some people simply placed their carved pumpkins in the area around the cannon in Central Square hoping officials would pick their masterpieces to display for the entire town to see.

The Genesis Keene Center, a local nursing home, added to the slew of pumpkins that lined the streets and sidewalks. According to George Wesche, the director of activities, said the residents of the home and their families carved over 100 pumpkins this year.

“We try to do this every year,” he said. He added that in past years, a bus full of residents and pumpkins came to town when the roads weren’t as packed with traffic and festival-goers.


Michael Woodworth can be contacted at

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