Five years ago, Nancy Sporborg, Keene Pumpkin Festival’s founder, wrote a book about the festival and what it means to her, the community of Keene, and those who love the event. The hard cover book is filled with more than 269 full-color photographs spanning from the first festival in 1991 to the 2014 festival. The book includes heartfelt descriptions of spirit-filled efforts of volunteers who made the festival an event that permanently changed the face of Keene by bringing a family tradition to life for many generations of children.
The book costs $35, and all proceeds made from book sales go to the Keene Pumpkin Festival. The book, called Pumpkin Festival–25 Years, is currently being sold locally at Keene’s Toadstool Bookstore, as well as online.
Since 1991, residents of Keene, NH have been enjoying a festival quite literally born from the act of pumpkin carving. With nine Guinness World Records for the most lit jack-o’-lanterns, including the current world record of 30,581 glowing pumpkins, Keene Pumpkin Festival attracted up to 80,000 festival-goers.
Nancy Sporborg created her book as a way to preserve the Keene Pumpkin Festival for her daughters and her granddaughters, most importantly after the Keene City Council refused to grant an event license for the Festival due to college student issues in 2014.
In 2015, the event moved to Laconia, NH, and was renamed the New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival. In 2017, a smaller version of the Keene Pumpkin Festival returned to downtown Keene, where Sporborg says it belongs: “Pumpkin Fest has finally made it back home to Keene, NH.” The book is a celebration of what it takes to bring a heart-filled festival to life; the volunteers, the brainstorming, the efforts, the challenges, the courage, and, ultimately, the unbridled successes. in 2017, after the rekindling of the festival in Keene, Sporborg created a book insert to update the story (pictured).
Pumpkin Festival – 25 Years will be on sale at the Keene Pumpkin Festival in Central Square on Sunday, October 27. Nancy Sporborg will be there signing books as well as reminiscing with festival goers. Put quite simply by Nancy herself, “By participating in the festival, you join a group of like-minded people who understand that the simple act of carving a pumpkin and contributing it to the cause brings you into the magical and meaningful realm of shared effort and celebration.”