Roughly 400 members of the Keene community gathered on Nov. 2 in the Mabel Brown Room to voice their thoughts to a panel of city officials. 

Thirty-nine community members and students took the microphone to voice their thoughts and suggestions regarding the riotous acts on Oct. 17 through Oct. 19. Keene State College President Anne Huot, Mayor Kendal Lane, and several Keene City Council members were all present for the evenings events. Antioch University President Stephen B. Jones moderated the evenings event.

“This forum seeks advice relative to an important issue of today. The Pumpkin Festival and its future in Keene,” Jones stated before audience members got a chance to speak.

Community members suggested a number of ways to approach next year’s Pumpkin Fest. Most participants suggested the City reevaluate the way the festival is planned. Suggestions such as scheduling a fall break during Pumpkin Fest weekend, limiting the access to alcohol at the event, or designating an area such as the athletic fields for partying. Very few people felt that Pumpkin Fest needs to be canceled.

Ruth Sterling, owner of Let it Shine, Inc., the organization that organizes Pumpkin Fest, commended the efforts of Tau Kappa Epsilon [TKE] during the Clean-up Derby. TKE member Johnathon Laford has been a member of the Keene community for 20 years and hopes the festival continues on.


For full coverage of the City Council Forum check next weeks issue of The Equinox. 

David Walsh can be contacted at

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