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Apr 3, 2015 4:41 PM

Keene split on Pumpkin Festival decision


KEENE - The Keene City Council's decision to deny a permit to the organizers of the annual Pumpkin Festival has drawn mixed reaction.

In 2014, nearby riots that cost the city $90,000 overshadowed the festival. Many Keene State College students said the trouble was made mostly by out of state visitors, but city coucilors said regardless of who's to blame, the risk is not worth it.

In the downtown area, businesses have mixed opinions on the festival. Chris Jager who manages Cobblestone Ale House said that while it's among their top three busiest days, it has become more of a party scene than anything.'

"I can see why they've done away with it this year," Jager said.

Todd Tousley, owner of Penuche's Ale House, called the decision to cancel the festival a big mistake.

"You can't move it to the fairground. It will bomb! You can't take a year off. You'll lose all your momentum. What are we going to take a year off Mardi Gras?"

There's no official confirmation of an alternative event, but there are reports that Keene Mayor Kendall Lane is exploring alternative options for a fall festival. There are no set dates.

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