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Oct 25, 2015 8:37 AM

Laconia pumpkin festival falls far short of jack-o-lantern record

The Associated Press

LACONIA — The pumpkin festival failed to scare up a world record for jack-o-lanterns Saturday night.

The New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival - in Laconia for the first time this year - was trying to break the record of more than 30,500 lit jack-o-lanterns. It came up far short Saturday, with only 9,567 pumpkins.

The festival was previously held in Keene. That city wrested the jack-o-lantern record from Boston in 2013.

The next year, violence and scores of arrests soured the festival's relationship with it longtime host city. The violence, which started at alcohol-fueled parties linked to Keene State College, prompted the City Council to reject the festival's permit for 2015.

Laconia then announced plans to take over the festival. Officials said the town's experience hosting an annual motorcycle week that attracts thousands provided confidence it could manage public safety for the pumpkin festival.

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