It has been one year since the 2014 Keene Pumpkin Festival and subsequent riot which spilled into the streets through the following morning. While snipers perched above the festivities for the second year in a row, no one was aware at the time that the riots would spell the end of PumpkinFest as a downtown Keene tradition. This saturday, the Cheshire Fairgrounds in Swanzey as well as the city of Laconia will be hosting their own independent Pumpkinfests. With few places to position snipers at the fairgrounds, unless special towers are brought in, there will likely not be such a militarized presence there. The situation in Laconia is more likely to host police with rifles, as also the organizer of previous Keene Pumpkinfests, ‘Let It Shine’ is also coordinating this year’s Laconia event.
In the time since last year’s chaos, I had since discovered two different articles hosted by the Blaze and Vocativ which feature content from facebook posts I had made that day. While I was unsure whether or not I had in fact captured an image of someone pointing a firearm in my direction, upon seeing the image as presented in the Vocativ piece, it appears to very clearly be a rifle aimed at the are where I was filming from (which was a heavily populated area at the time).
Laconia police are likely stocked up on riot gear as part of their preparation for the motorcycle weekend sponsored there each year. With luck, the relocated festival won’t deteriorate into a glass bottle war, and riot squads will not make an appearance.