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Keene OK's Pumpkin Fest Return, With Conditions

Selbe B via Flickr/CC

After a two-year hiatus, the annual Pumpkin Festival has the final go-ahead from the city of Keene to return this fall.

The Keene City Council voted Thursday night to approve its license pending certain conditions. Those include organizers covering the costs of any city services used at the event. And Keene is requiring the festival to take out a million-dollar insurance policy that covers the city.

Tens of thousands of people used to fill Keene's streets for the festival each October. It set world records for the most lit Jack o’lanterns in one place. But the event was canceled after riots broke out in 2014.

Assuming all conditions are met, 2017 festival will be a much smaller, kid-focused affair. The jack-o-lanterns, less than 5,000 of them, will be carved by students and staff at local schools.

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