Chock Full O’ Notes, the Keene State College a cappella group, rocked Pumpkin Fest as they filled Main Street. with sounds from Keri Hilson to Eric Clapton.
A group of 17 CFON members, including the club’s very own beat boxer, gathered in front of Saint Bernard’s church at 3 p.m. and performed seven songs.
Jeff Slark, senior and fourth semester member in CFON, said his favorite part about performing at Pumpkin Fest is making people smile. As spectators walked by, anyone could tell that it would be difficult not to take a minute to listen. “Anyone that likes to hear music appreciates it [their performance]. I love it,” Slark said. “These kids are great.”
“What a voice,” a spectator from the crowd said as the singing group belted out Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep.” CFON even did a little bit of dancing with the fun, up-beat closing song, “Do You Love Me?” by the Contours.
However, CFON was not the beginning nor end of the day of performances at Keene’s 2012 Pumpkin Festival. Earlier that day, the KSC Dance Team performed on the Main Stage in front of Athen’s Pizza.
The all-women dance team brought a flash-forward to Halloween with their skeleton face paint and Halloween-themed performances. The group performed once as zombies, danced to a song from the ever-popular movie, “Hocus Pocus,” as well as the Addams Family theme song. “I loved their faces,” Katie Nunes, a KSC student, said. “Some of them are my roommates and I see them practice it doesn’t look perfect but it’s really cool to see them perform and it looks perfect!”
The dance team’s captain, Lisa Garamella, said the group had been preparing for this event for about three weeks. Garamella said their Pumpkin Fest performance differs from most because the crowd is bigger and more diverse than the normal fans they would see at competitions or at KSC basketball games.
“I love seeing the kids,” Garamella said. “Being around and in the community means a lot to us.”
Another dance group at Pumpkin Fest who dedicated their time and effort to the community is the Boston Community Dance Project. The contemporary-based dance company included all different backgrounds from hip-hop, jazz and ballet. The founder and choreographer of Boston Community Dance Project, Arielle Payes, said the group has prepared for Pumpkin Fest’s performance for about a month and although they are a contemporary group, they also dance to send a message to the community. Fellow choreographer of the group Sarah-Kay said they have done pieces about domestic violence and the group plans to hold a winter fundraiser to raise suicide awareness and prevention.
Payes said the group is in the process of becoming nonprofit. “We’re all about the community and people really getting a message from our dances. We love to dance and we just want to do what we can,” she said. Past the ferris wheel and through the endless shelves of pumpkins on the corner of Main Street and Cypress Street stood a small table with two Peruvian men behind it. Both of those men are members of the music and dance group Inkas Wasi. One was working retail—selling albums and wooden, flute-like instruments such as zampoñas and chakchas, while producer Sergio Espinoza was alternating between playing the drum and zampoña for Pumpkin Fest goers.
Espinoza said the two were very happy to be at Keene’s Pumpkin Fest yet again. Although they were unable to attend 2011’s festival, they have come every year since 2004.
Toward the opposite end of Main Street, past Margarita’s and the Main Stage area, right to the side of Saint Joseph’s Church stood Batman and his Batmobile. Children dressed as princesses, pirates and little Draculas all wanted their picture taken with Batman.
Ed Pahl, who has been Keene’s very own Batman for six years said it’s the children who keep him coming back to Pumpkin Fest. “It’s grown a lot, all because people just want their picture taken with me,” Pahl said.
Rebecca Farr can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org