How the 2017 Festival turned from a flicker to a festival

Plans for 2017

On August 3, 2017, Keene City Council said YES to “Keene Pumpkin Festival brought to you by the children of SAU29.” Let it Shine has the city staff and councilors endorsement to bring kids, smiles and pumpkins back to Central Square on Sunday, October 29, 2017. A compelling letter from Keene State College’s interim president Dr. Melinda Treadwell supporting the festival was read aloud by Councilor Bart Sapeta.

Tim Zinn, the Let it Shine board member spearheading the 2017 festival effort, has said publicly that the message this festival carries is bigger than the scale of the festival. Tim believes this event will demonstrate for school children, our community and beyond, important “life lessons in accountability, persistence, teamwork and communication.”

The Let it Shine board says “Thank you” to the city council and city staff for entrusting us with this honor.

In April 2017

Proposal: On behalf of Let It Shine, I would like to present our proposal for Sunday, October 29 th of 2017 for an event we are proud to call:

“Keene Pumpkin Festival brought to you by the children of SAU29.”

While this proposed event is much smaller in scale, we are convinced that the message this pumpkin festival provides might be one of its most profound. This event will be focused on the children of SAU29, their unique wisdom and perspective, and the simple joy of carving pumpkins.

By voluntarily limiting the size of this Festival to the school system, we think this event provides many opportunities for healing, collaboration, and celebration. Indeed, some Councilors suggested in 2015 that LIS consider this very approach.

Our estimated number of pumpkins totals around 5,000 and require a footprint limited to only Central Square. We would like to open this event to the public between the hours of 12:00 pm and 08:00 pm (note: changed to 1-7pm).

We have opted to not include vendors in this year’s event in order to keep the theme focused on children, smiles, and “pure pumpkins.”

We are encouraged by the many improvements in Off Campus College student accountability and a continued effort at culture change among Keene State College students. We are convinced that many students will see this as an opportunity to live “Wisdom to make a difference.”

We look forward to communicating our vision for this Festival and the unique opportunity to work together in a spirit of collaboration as an example to our community and beyond.

Tim Zinn, 43 Grove Street, Keene, NH 03431