LACONIA — The 2016 New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival is just a little over a week away, and preparations are coming together.
“We are excited to announce that two extraordinarily large pumpkins will be displayed at this year’s festival presented by Richard and Lisa Carey,” said Karmen Gifford, event organizer and president of the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce.
The Careys will transport the pumpkins from New York, where they have have been carving pumpkins for 22 years. They have displayed pumpkins all over Broome County, New York, in many events, and have carved up to 300 pumpkins for displays, up to 1,200 pounds.
“They are true pumpkin people!” said Gifford.
This year, they will bring a 900-pound pumpkin and a 600-pound pumpkin, both sculpted by Richard Carey. They are officially weighed and registered with the National Pumpkin Growers Association in New York. One will be displayed in front of the 34-foot tower and the other in front of Prescott’s Florist in Veterans Square, said Gifford.
• Volunteers are needed, said Gifford. Between 7 and 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 21, volunteers will set up A-frames, display racks, bales of hay and other items that need to be staged.
“We still need help midday on Friday, with the arrival of volunteers on Saturday morning and at the Welcome Center,” said Gifford.
• Don’t forget to carve your pumpkin!
“We have registered with the Guinness World Record for an attempt at the most lit jack-o’-lanterns,” said Gifford. “Every pumpkin counts.”
The New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival has officially submitted an application for the Guinness World Record for the most lit jack-o’-lanterns displayed. Pumpkins must be outside, carved and illuminated to count toward the record.
Groups with 20 or more pumpkins may drop them off between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Please bring them no earlier than 10 a.m. Enter from Union Avenue to Main Street. Vehicles will be guided by volunteers for drop-off locations. School pumpkins will be displayed along PumpCANALly this year. Download and complete a registration form indicating the name of the group and the number of pumpkins that have been carved to assist with the counting process.
There are still a few spaces left on the big 34-foot tower. Registration is open online at NHPumpkinFestival.com/events-activities.
Pumpkins are still available at many local farms and businesses.
• Every pumpkin needs a candle that will stay lit for three hours. The preferred type is a three-hour votive wax candle. If weather is a concern, the battery-operated tea lights are an excellent choice, though not as bright as the real thing. If you have extra candles, please share them. As jack-o’-lanterns are lit, lighters will borrow extra candles for empty ones. Candles will be stocked at two Welcome Centers while supplies last.
“We can never have too many candles,” said Gifford, “so if you have access to three-hour votives or an aunt at Yankee Candle, we welcome all donations!”
Walgreens at the corner of Union Avenue and Main Street in Laconia has large quantities of votive candles available to purchase at a special pumpkin festival price.
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