Aug 15, 2015 8:35 AM
It's official: the 25th annual Pumpkin Fest will be held in Laconia
LACONIA - Keene's loss now Laconia's gain as city leaders announce it's official, the 25th annual Pumpkin Festival is set for October 24th in Laconia.
Fire Chief Kenneth Erickson said, "We're kind of used to big events. Let's face it we do Motorcycle Week, so this was an easy transition for us."
Keene had been home to the festival since 1991, but after last year's riots, the city said no more. In April, Keene councilors rejected a permit to hold the festival there.
Laconia officials say they're prepared for anything.
Chief Erickson said, "Making sure that when the event goes off it goes off as smooth as possible. If something does go wrong, we are there to take care of it and keep it as small as possible."
Organizers hope to make history by assembling more than 30,000 carved pumpkins. The festival also includes a 5K race, a costume parade and other activities including train rides.
"We're actually going to run a train out of this station south and towards Winnisquam. It's going to be known as the Pumpkin Express," said Paul Gilbin of Hobo & Winnipesaukee Railroad.
With an expected draw of about 30,000 or more, Lakes Region businesses are expecting to benefit from one of the biggest annual events in the Granite State.