Keene Pumpkin Festival Shines: Plans for 2018 Begin

Sunday, October 28, 2018 • 1-7pm • Central Square, Downtown Keenedownload


Sponsors20172018 Fundraising Begins!

Let it Shine operates on a lean budget with no paid staff. Our accounting, insurance and other year-round responsibilities continue. If you’d like to be a year-round “SHINER,” and keep Keene Pumpkin Festival shining each year, please consider a gift of support.  GIVE HERE.ShaundiRiderPumpkinFestival

Relive the magic: Photographs of 2017’s beautiful festival by Shaundi Rider

Online Love: Thank you Donors!

Donations to Keene Pumpkin Festival from this website and paypal reached $3,000. That’s a lot of online love. This is the second time in Pumpkin Fest history that online donors have joined together to be near the top of fest funding. Together, we can do so much. Listed alphabetically by first name, these wonderful people have our deepest appreciation. 

Adrian Raymond, Amy Thacker, Andrew Nelson, Barnard Sherwin, Betsy Cotter, Brett Zinn, Carol McIntyre-Peale, Charles Devlin, Christa Hilldebrandt, Craig Hinson, D’Vorah Kelley, Denise Meadows, Dorrie Masten, Earl Nelson, Eileen Dol, Elisabeth Street, Elizabeth Capomaccio, Heather Davis, Jane & Gary Shapiro, Jean Woodley, Jennifer Course, Joseph Dougherty, Joyce Higgins, Julie White, Kathryn DeVita, Kelsey Simpson, Kevin Cozby, Kimberly Drone, Linda Snider, Lisa Edwards, Lisa Wright-Desautel, Louise R Zerba, Lynn Allen, Margaret Kondos, Marguerite Munger, Martin Mooney, Mary Battaglia, Melissa Dillingham, Melissa Herman, Nadine Tardie, Nancy Hebenstreit, Nathaniel Raymond, Patricia Piper, Paul Silverfarb, Rachel Elkins, Rebecca Leclerc, Ruth Sterling, Sarah Clark, Stephan Romano, Tammy Davoli, Thomas Putnam and Tim Zinn.

Hats off to in-kind donors

Trucker Barney Sherwin lit the way for Pumpkin Fest 2017 by hauling pumpkins to and from schools, and a-frames to and from Central Square. He arrived on the scene out of the blue to share his talents and trucks, joined by his friends Durwin Clark and John Matthews of ME Matthews, Pool Water Division, Westmoreland. Other in-kind gifts included a great deal on pumpkins from our beloved pumpkin farmer Walt Gladstone of Newmont Farm in Bradford, VT. Walt has literally saved the day year after year and the world record would not be in Keene without him. We can never thank Steve Clark and Hamshaw Lumber enough for loaning us boards to build our shelves. And Keene Music Festival loaned us their sound equipment and technician Patrick Duvall for the day—an epic gift. Sterling Design & Communications is still happy to provide Website and logo design and communications as needed. And photographer Debbie Daniele shared her gift of photography with attendees. If you have a gift, please consider sharing your talents for this rewarding cause.

Pumpkins for Pigs: If you have livestock to feed and would like 1,000+ free pumpkins after the 2018 festival, we’d like to hear from you now. Any pumpkin that becomes food is a pumpkin not wasted. If you would like a share of the leftover pumpkins on Sunday night, please email us for more information Free Pumpkins for Pigs



pf2010_1030972Activities & Entertainment: Download 2017 Schedule

Programming for 2018 is in the works and will be announced as we get closer to October. But here’s what happened last year and we expect this year to be very similar!

Children’s Costume Parade/Stroll from West Street around Central Square one and one-half times. Gather in front of the Parrish Shoe Sign on West Street at 1:15pm. Disperses in front of the free kids’ games near Roxbury Street.

Fall portraits. Professional photographer Debbie Danielle is offering posed portraits, providing digital files for free to folks who get their pictures taken at the Fest.

Live Entertainment on the Bandstand throughout the festival 1-7pm. Musicians and schedule TBA.

Dance Performances in the street in front of Pedraza’s including a special appearance by NHDI with the Pumpkin Festival anthem, “This Little Light of Mine, I’m Gonna Let it Shine.”

Pumpkin Games including Corn Hole and many other innovative FREE games. We are putting the “active” in activities!

Pumpkin Bowling returns! Managed by Nancy Hickox who ran Pumpkin Bowling from 2011-2104. Hay Bales, sugar pumpkins, real bowling pins. This is as good as it gets.

BowlingsThe primary activity at Keene Pumpkin Festival is the spectacular display of jack-o’-lanterns, as always! But after families find their pumpkins and admire all the others, we encourage you to linger Downtown. Enjoy the fine restaurants and explore the space—a quintessential New England Downtown in autumn.

Downtown Association Trick-or-Treat. Participating Downtown establishments host traditional trick-or-treat a few days before Halloween! 2-3:30pm. Kids come in costume to the festival, join the parade and check out beautiful Downtown Keene’s shops and restaurants hosting trick-or-treat.

Other Pumpkin Festivals to Check Out

Milford, NH: Milford Pumpkin Festival

Laconia: NH Pumpkin Festival   #‎NHPumpkinFest‬ 🎃 

Cheshire Fairgrounds: Monadnock Pumpkin Festival. Facebook. 


PumpkinFestival_LarryFratesPumpkin Festival at the junction of art, business and recreation

Laconia, August 14, 2015. Standing at the junction of art, business and recreation, key members of the Pumpkin Festival 2015 team unveiled a work of art created to support the festival.


Lakes Region Chamber Director Karmen Gifford; Pumpkin Festival event manager Ruth Sterling; Bank of NH official Mark Primeau; Laconia Fire Chief Ken Erickson; Paul Giblin, Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad; and Pat Kelly, WEMJ. Photo by Tiffany Benton.

“Business support of the pumpkin festival event promotes the arts and recreation in our state,” said Ruth Sterling. “Artist Lawrence Frates has used his talent to help. This is what Pumpkin Festival is all about. Everyone letting their own lights shine.”

Let it Shine, the non-profit producers of the fest, has demonstrated for four years that when a region’s schools, businesses, neighborhoods, families and individuals sit down to carve their pumpkins, one community becomes a showplace for the world.