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In Laconia, A Pumpkin Festival Without Incident

Selbe B via Flickr/CC

Officials in Laconia say they’re pleased with their first efforts at holding the New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival.

The festival had been held in Keene until violence and arrests during last year’s event prompted its move to Laconia, where officials contended their experience hosting thousands of bikers during Motorcycle Week would aid in hosting the pumpkin festival. 

Laconia Police Captain Matt Canfield says the atmosphere around this year’s festival was very different than what happened last year in Keene. "A very quiet event, it went very smooth," Canfield said. "Our parking lots flowed very well. Traffic congestion was very minimized, parking of vehicles was almost nonexistent as far as illegal parking. Just a great event." 

The festival aimed to break the record of more than 30,500 lit jack-o-lanterns set last year in Keene. Laconia’s festival had just shy of 10,000. But organizer Ruth Sterling of the group Let It Shine said she was pleased with how the event had gone. 

"Laconia wanted to feel the joy of pumpkins," Sterling said. "And they lived up to their promise." 

Sam Evans-Brown has been working for New Hampshire Public Radio since 2010, when he began as a freelancer. He shifted gears in 2016 and began producing Outside/In, a podcast and radio show about “the natural world and how we use it.” His work has won him several awards, including two regional Edward R. Murrow awards, one national Murrow, and the Overseas Press Club of America's award for best environmental reporting in any medium. He studied Politics and Spanish at Bates College, and before reporting was variously employed as a Spanish teacher, farmer, bicycle mechanic, ski coach, research assistant, a wilderness trip leader and a technical supporter.

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