Keene Pumpkin Festival

  • Best Specialty Food Festival: Keene Pumpkin Festival

    We asked 10Best and USA TODAY readers to help us crown the "Best Specialty Food Festival," and after 28 days of voting, the Keene Pumpkin Festival in Keene, N.H. came out on top.

    Photo courtesy of Keene Pumpkin Festival

  • An October Tradition

    On October 18, 2014, the quintessentially New England town of Keene will transform into a harvest time wonderland during the annual Keene Pumpkin Festival. The crowning jewel of the festival is the spectacular pumpkin tower occupying Central Square.

    Photo courtesy of Nicole Perry/Keene Pumpkin Festival

  • Pumpkin Bowling

    Before the thousands of carved Jack-o-Lanterns get lit for the evening, the Keene Pumpkin Festival offers a host of family-friendly activities, like pumpkin bowling. This fun fall sport uses real bowling pins, but instead of a ball, you'll be knocking them down using hard cooking pumpkins!

    Photo courtesy of Keene Pumpkin Festival

  • Keene's Little Artists

    Besides the pumpkins making up the tower in the main square, thousands more will line the streets. Area school children carve these creative Jack-o-Lanterns, and in 2013, they set a new World Record by carving 30,581 of them.

    Photo courtesy of Shaundi Kane/Keene Pumpkin Festival

  • New World Record?

    Will the Keene Pumpkin Festival set a new world record in 2014? We'll have to wait and see. Once the sun goes down and the thousands of pumpkins lit, the official count will be announced.

    Photo courtesy of Tony Leps/Keene Pumpkin Festival

  • Pumpkin Treats

    Pumpkins are certainly fun to carve and admire come autumn, but they're also tasty to eat. Hungry festival-goers can head to the Pumpkin Festival food court to sample pumpkin-flavored specialties, like pumpkin whoppie pies, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin chili, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin ice cream, and of course, pumpkin pie, alongside carnival favorites, like fried pickles and turkey legs.

    Photo courtesy of Keene Pumpkin Festival

  • Pumpkin Viewing

    With pumpkins carved by area children lining the streets, festival attendees should take some time to stroll past the street level displays, all to the sounds of live music on the bandstand.

    Photo courtesy of Keene Pumpkin Festival

  • The Great Pumpkin Mile

    Before the festival opens to the public, the car-free, pumpkin-adorned streets of Keene will host The Great Pumpkin Mile, a one-mile race that takes participants right past the pumpkin tower.

    Photo courtesy of Keene Pumpkin Festival

  • The Pumpkin Dump Derby

    Even cleanup is fun at the Keene Pumpkin Festival. After the festival closes 13 community teams race to clean up their lottery-assigned territory, and the winning team gets $1000 donated to a cause of their choosing.

    Photo courtesy of Keene Pumpkin Festival

  • A Pumpkin Feast

    Keene takes on a pumpkin flavor throughout the month of October, as town restaurants feature pumpkin-infused creations on their daily and seasonal menus. Keep an eye out for pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin martinis, pumpkin beer, pumpkin French toast, pumpkin maple bisque and pumpkin mousse.

    Photo courtesy of Keene Pumpkin Festival