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Smashing pumpkin record

Boston set the new world record tonight for simultaneously lit jack o' lanterns, with more than 30,000 fired up on the Common (so take that, Keene, NH). We, of course, simply could not risk missing the record - gosh, it feels good to live in a world-class city again!

Many of the pumpkins sat on this tower that highlighted our pumpkin-carving might:

But there were pumpkins everywhere - along Common paths, in soggy fields and on long platforms:

Most of the pumpkins had your basic triangular eyes and crooked mouths, but there was plenty of innovation:

Does Keene, NH have its own pumpkin major league? No, we didn't think so:

Hey, who let the BU students near the sharp implements?

Although a lot of people (including us) brought pumpkins, there was also a pumpkin-carving tent:

What? You need more? Steve Garfield has photos and a music video. Mats has more photos. So does Jenny. As does Andrew Teman. Ditto for RamonkolB.


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As in boo hiss.

I blogged in favor of Keene yesterday morning. In short, why does a large city like Boston need to hold this record? Keene has a lot to offer and the pumpkin title seemed to draw visitors. Why not leave this kind of honor to small cities that need the press to encourage tourism?

Afterall, NYC or LA could easily take the title from us next year if motivated. Seems a petty thing to celebrate, in my opinion.

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Keene, NH didn't seem to mind the competition - and for such a small place, they did great and could probably reclaim the title next year.

And in any event, both festivals raised a boat load of money for worthy charities. Which was kind of the point, no?

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Congrats to Beantown from this current Keene/former Boston resident. If it's only about numbers, Boston wins...but here in Keene, Pumpkin Fest a point of year-round community pride, not just one corporate-sponsored festival among many.

In terms of per-capita attendance & pumpkin-production, Boston didn't come close to matching Keene's ongoing accomplishment of amassing more festival-goers (80,000) and pumpkins (24,952) than our regular population (23,000). You drop me a line when Boston attracts an equatable per-capita ratio (one million people/550,000 pumpkins) to Boston Common, okay?

If it's only about numbers, NYC and those damn Yankees would have no problem smashing Boston's new record, given their population & resources. So while Boston & other Big Cities duke it out next year for World Record bragging rights, here in Keene we'll continue to enjoy our humble little festival and the population-quadrupling throngs of tourists it attracts.

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