Kaitlyn Coogan

News Editor


From fried pickles to pumpkin butter, the Keene Pumpkin Fest served over 1,000 hungry customers on Saturday, Oct. 20.

In keeping with the festival spirit, many stands offered some form of pumpkin flavored foods such as pumpkin sausage soup, pumpkin corn bread, pumpkin turkey chili, pumpkin whoopie pies and old fashion pumpkin pie.

Junior Nathan Bisson said his favorite food was the pulled pork sold by a local fire department. Junior at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Joe Bizzier agreed. “I probably liked the pulled pork the best, and I might try to get the apple crisp,” Bizzier said.

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Junior Vanessa Brooks tried the apple crisp and said it was her favorite. “Even though it didn’t have ice cream in it, it has candy corn which I love and it added some color. It was pretty.”

Other vendors offered traditional carnival food such as hot dogs, hamburgers, french fries, fried dough, chicken sandwiches, and candy apples. Senior at University of Connecticut, Meghan Colleta, said that she only ate a hot dog. “It’s too hot for the other food, the weather is too hot for the chowder and soups,” she said.

Cape Cod Community College student Rachel Tireble said she was impressed with the festival overall and enjoyed the food. “The chicken sandwich was the best chicken sandwich I ever had. It reminded me of the fest we have in Cape Cod. It [Pumpkin Fest] was impressive,” she said. To shake things up, merchants sold different kinds of food including baklava, maple cotton candy, sausage grinders, beefalo burgers, pau bhaji (a roasted Indian vegetable sandwich), butternut ravioli and Indian pudding.

Makers of the maple cotton candy said they started to feel threatened by the regular cotton candy. “I bought the regular cotton candy and when I was walking by the maple cotton candy stand, they said, ‘Buy some maple cotton candy’ until they saw I had regular cotton candy then they said, ‘See no one’s going to buy our cotton candy’,” junior Hannah Quinn said.

Junior Courtney Bisselle said her favorite food was the free donuts from Market Basket because “they are free and they are homemade.” Bisselle’s friend, sophomore at Emmanuel College in Boston, Mass., Catherine Temme said she only ate the pulled pork and the free donuts but planned on having a candy apple later.

The fried foods largely contributed to the long lines. Fried Twinkies, Oreos, Cosmic Brownies, Snickers, pickles, and dough were in the hands of many smiling customers. “I was so happy to find a fried pickle booth,” junior Celeste Thibault said, “They were delicious, I ate a whole box.”

Most of the vendors sold food to raise money for their businesses such as the Surry Village Charter School, Keene Community Kitchen, Ravens Baseball team, Keene Fire Department and Market Basket.

Family and friends were plenty full after the festival thanks to the classic and non-traditional foods sold.


Kaitlyn Coogan can be contacted at kcoogan@keene-equinox.com

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