Pumpkin Festival

The Lone Pumpkin and his sidekick, Tonto

The Lone Pumpkin and his sidekick, Tonto

This time of year pumpkins are serious business in the White Mountains.   There are numerous pumpkin festivals throughout Maine and New Hampshire, which include carving contests, pumpkin bowling, and pumpkin catapulting just down the road at Sherman Farm.

The town of Keene NH started its pumpkin festival in 1991 and garnered its first world record with less than 5,000 carved and lit jack-o-lanterns in 1993.  Twenty-two years later the festival is still going strong; this year they took back their place in the Guinness Book of World Records with 30,581 carved and simultaneously  lit pumpkins!  (You can read about it here.)

In Jackson, New Hampshire, the festival is called Return of the Pumpkin People, and it’s been happening since 1988.  Each year an ever-growing number of businesses (this year it was about 75 banks, stores, cafes, etc.) participate in creative, complex, and humorous life-sized dioramas of painted pumpkins (since the festival runs for 3 weeks, they can’t use carved pumpkins due to spoilage, so they paint them.)  The Jackson Chamber of Commerce prints out maps of the pumpkin people locations, and maps in hand, tourists and locals alike walk from exhibit to exhibit throughout the town.  The event attracts thousands of people from all over New England, and brings lots of revenue to shops, B&Bs, and other White Mountain tourist attractions.

Mostly, though, it’s about good old-fashioned fun.

(Click pictures to enlarge to see some of the amazing details!)

At the cafe

Poker Night

Feelin' Groovy  (the VW van play tent was for sale inside the store)

Feelin’ Groovy
(the cool VW van play tent was for sale inside the Ragged Mountain Camping Store that’s behind the diorama)

Tea Party   This was an elaborate diorama that stretched all over this property with many characters from Alice and Wonderland

Tea Party
This was an elaborate diorama that stretched all over this property with many characters from Alice and Wonderland

rabbit

Queen of Hearts:  Off with their head!

Queen of Hearts: Off with their heads!

Alice The swing swayed gently in the wind

Alice
The swing swayed gently in the wind

Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum

Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum

And my favorite . . .

Nascar pit team readies the pumpkin carriage for the race!  Love the pumpkin tech under the carriage!

NASCAR pit team readies the pumpkin carriage for the race.
(Love the pumpkin tech under the carriage!)

(Check out this National Geographic video of pumpkin catapulting filmed in Delaware.)

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