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Laconia, New Hampshire Celebrates Pumpkin Festival

Aug 29, 2016 02:18PM ● By Ryan Frisch

Story and photos by Ian Raymond

It was not a normal morning. An eeriness had cast its shadow over the otherwise peaceful village of Laconia—an inexplicable eeriness that foretold of the horrors that were to befall hordes of unsuspecting visitors. There was a chill in the air that penetrated to the bone and a blanket of fog so thick as to steal the breath from one’s lungs.

A First for Laconia

So began an exciting day of fun and adventure for bats and ghouls of all ages. The year 2015 marked the first time the event was held in the city of Laconia, and it was a tremendous success thanks to the organizers and all the community members and businesses that came together to make sure that the festival was a family-oriented, safe, fun, and activity-filled event for everyone involved.

Preparations for the festival began days in advance, with schoolchildren throughout the Lakes Region carving pumpkins for display at the event, hoping to break the Guinness World Record for the most jack–o’–lanterns lit at one location (a final count of 9,567 fell far short of the 2013 record held by Keene with 30,581, but we’ll get ’em next time).

The downtown was closed to traffic at 6am so that the food court and craft tents could begin to set up. By 9am, the fog had lifted, the weather warmed, and up the street near Opechee Park, hundreds of runners blasted off the starting line for the 5K and 10K Runaway Pumpkin WOW Trail Race, a fundraising event for the WOW Trail and the Greater Lakes Region Children’s Auction.

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