In the spirit of Eye Candy Friday... I give you the Keene Pumpkin Festival. We started going to Pumpkin Fest when Mr. Man was almost 2 years old. He was a bat for Halloween that year, and wore a costume my mom had made for one of my little brothers. It was kind of a blue/grey get up, and he was so damn cute. My SIL A was in college at Keene State that year, and we were all invited over to visit her Sorority House and the Pumpkin Festival. It was an enjoyable ride and we had a good time.By then it was on it's 6th year and had broken a few world records. I had never seen so many pumpkins in my life.
Back then it was much smaller. It was a community affair, and it really felt like one. At noon on Saturday there is a costume parade and all the little kids get to go Trick or Treating on Main St. All the stores give out candy and everyone really gets into it. Every year that we went after that (because really, it's kind of addicting) it seemed to be a little more crazy and a lot less "fun and cozy". Some years the weather was mild, some years it was rainy and windy, some years it was cold and one year we got the first snow of the season on the way back home (that was the last year we went before we moved out here.. only 10 miles away). We went anyhow.
My friend Lars and her husband lived out here then (Hi Lars, this post is for you cuz I know deep down you miss Pumpkin Fest!) and every year they had a party on the Saturday of Pumpkin Fest. We'd all go over and carve pumpkins and hang out and have lunch, and then go out to the festival. We'd walk along Main St. and check it all out, bring our pumpkins to log in and then head home. It was always a good time, and over the years we added Ms. Thang, and her son, also fondly known as "the boy". A few years ago they moved out to the coast, and we decided that we were done with the crowds.
We started going on Friday night... back to the community night. Of course, as the years have gone on and the festival has increased in popularity and the crowds have grown large.. the Friday community night has gotten a little larger and more chaotic also. But there are still carriage rides from the local farm, and a band plays on the gazebo. This year they changed the schematics of the displays and took down the 2 giant towers that hovered over each end of downtown. The Railroad Square tower is still up however, and in keeping with a time honored tradition, tonight it was lit up. They are hopeing to bring a bit of "community" back to the festival, but I have a feeling that it might be a little too late.
Ms. Thang opted to go to her youth group meeting that meets in Keene on Friday nights, and Mr. Man said, "If you've been to one, you've been to them all and I carved 6 pumpkins this week already, I'm good". The Boy and I have stated doing our weekly errands while we wait for Ms. Thangs youth group to meet (it's 2 hours) and it frees up my Saturday which I enjoy a lot. Sometimes we skip the errands and just go out though. Tonight we went and walked around downtown and checked out the festival. It was the first time in 11 years that we've been there by ourselves an I have to admit it was a little weird. I got over to Hallmark, in what has become a tradition of sorts, and bought my godson his ornament. This year I finally took a photo of their display window. I love the holiday displays they do for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
So tomorrow I'll get up early and make sure I get into the city, do my errands and get back out and home before the mobs descend upon the area causing complete and utter mayhem. I heard it is supposed to rain tomorrow, so I'm glad we made it out there tonight, not matter how tired I might have been. Lars, I hope you enjoy the photos.. I took them just for you.