The city of Boston broke the Guinness World Record for "most carved and lit pumpkins" over the weekend at their Life Is Good Pumpkin Festival, reaching a total of 30,128. As impressive as this is, I'm sure this rankles the town of Keene, New Hampshire to no end, as they have been hosting their own pumpkin festival since 1991 until Boston decided to steal their thunder in 2004. In 2003, Keene set the record at 28,952 carved and lit pumpkins until being knocked off the throne this past weekend.
I attended the 2004 Keene festival, and I was both impressed and shocked at how many people showed up and crammed into this tiny town. And holy gourds, there were a lot of pumpkins, which looked fantastically eerie as night fell. Of course, people who enjoy the baked by-products of this festival probably enjoyed it more than I did, since I only eat the seeds. I can't even imagine how many pounds of pumpkin guts were discarded in the aftermath.
But what does Boston have to prove? Why not leave the pumpkin festival to the good people of Keene? Don't they have better things to do? (I may have answered my own question there.) If Bostonians want to see a whole bunch of jack-o-lanterns it's only an hour and a half drive. Plus, for a city of 600,000 people to beat the record set by a small town of 22,000 by only a couple of hundred pumpkins is pretty pathetic, if you ask me. For the past 6 years running, Keene has produced MORE PUMPKINS THAN RESIDENTS. (Although, judging by the people walking around, there may have been more LIT ATTENDEES.) So until you surpass that feat, Keene's the winner in my book. Let's face it, Beantown really knows how to ruin a good thing: look what they've done to tea parties, highway construction, and the Red Sox, the once lovable losers who are now a coast to coast Nation of irritating braggards. Well, now its citizens have something else to brag about, as if they weren't arrogant enough.
Next year I predict there will be an all-out carve 'em up, scoop 'em out, jack-o-lantern border war, as countless knives will be brandished and the streets will run orange with the blood and pulp of thousands of pumpkins. I don't know who will win; all I know for sure is that it's going to be pretty sloppy.