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Swanzey to hold public hearing on fairgrounds pumpkin festival

Union Leader Correspondent

May 17. 2015 7:52PM

SWANZEY — The Select Board is holding a public hearing next week to hear public input on the proposed pumpkin festival at Cheshire Fairgrounds.

The public hearing is planned for Tuesday, May 26, at 6:30 p.m., at the Swanzey Town Hall.

Jennifer Matthews of Westmoreland, who runs her own event-planning business, Memorable Events, is heading up plans for the first-ever Monadnock Pumpkin Festival.

Matthews is applying to hold the pumpkin festival at the Cheshire Fairgrounds on Oct. 24, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The public meeting is being held in accordance with the town’s Special Events Policy, regarding the Special Event Application for a Pumpkin Festival submitted by the Memorable Events.

Matthews proposed the festival about a month after Keene city councilors declined to approve a permit for the Keene Pumpkin Festival this year.

Matthews said she and other area residents want to keep the more than 20-year tradition of fall pumpkin festival alive in the Monadnock region.

Because it was the only available date other than Halloween, and because the festival has typically been held the week before Halloween, the Monadnock Pumpkin Festival is planned to be held on Oct. 24, which is the same day Let It Shine plans to hold its pumpkin festival in Laconia.

Let It Shine has run the Keene Pumpkin Festival for the past several years.

After Keene city councilors said safety and security concerns — spurred by riots in and around Keene State College campus last year — prevented them from approving the 25th Annual Keene Pumpkin Festival, Let It Shine decided to move the festival to another city and settled on Laconia.

The cancellation of the Keene festival also inspired a festival in Claremont.

The Claremont Citizens Group is also planning to hold its first New England Pumpkin Festival in Claremont Oct. 17.

Additionally, the town of Milford is holding its 25th Annual Milford Great Pumpkin Festival on Oct. 9, 10 and 11.

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