Like many colleges around the country, the one I went to consisted of brick, ivy covered buildings… a central quad (for Frisbee games and laying in the sun), a student common, a dining hall and dorm rooms of cinder blocks, with a small town to surround it all.

Keene, NH is a quiet place, a typical New England town with tree-lined streets, one or two shopping centers, and at the time we were there.. only a few bars to choose from.  It’s a town that noticeably grows in size each Fall as students arrive.  And in late October?  It realllllly grows in size as Pumpkinfest begins:  from a town of about 23,000 to 80,000 visitors arriving from around the world and descending on Main Street.

What’s the draw?

A downtown FILLED with pumpkins:  Keene has held the Guinness World Record for the largest number of lit jack-o-lanterns in one place many times over the years.  It is definitely something to see!   Read more about it here.

And just before Pumpkinfest weekend kicks off, the college fills the quad with hundreds (maybe thousands?) of pounds of pumpkins for students to carve.  This year HGTV is featuring Keene’s Pumpkinfest for a special on Halloween Night:  Pumpkin Wars.  Set your DVR’s so you can see what I’m talking about!

A Pumpkinfest flashback to 2002!:


Do you have a favorite Fall festival in your area?