Tag Archives: Surry

Riots Mar Keene, N.H., 2014 Pumpkin Festival — Record Attempt Takes A Back Seat.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>>
Keene 2014 schedule.
>>
Keene 2014 preview.
>> Keene Pumpkin Festival 2013.

++++ Search on ‘Keene‘ or ‘pumpkin’ using sidebar search (at top) for ALL the posts from 2012 festival >>>>


This is BAD!

It is all over National news.

It will be a major setback to what was a hugely successful event.

I am GLAD we couldn’t make it this year because of Devanee’s cross-country State meet. The campus is right there. This would not have been funny for anyone, especially not if you had small children.

This is a shame. Somebody is trying to harm this Festival. I am not happy. I like OUR Pumpkin Festival.


Sunday Morning Update.

Weird and upsetting to hear about the riots on National TV this morning. I am not amused.

This is inexcusable. This is crazy.

WMUR coverage, inimitably and as many of us have grown used to expecting, is patchy, stale and non-incisive.

The “Keene Sentinel“, below, thankfully has much better coverage.

Appears that pumpkin count was WAY DOWN. Just 21,912! That is not good. 72% of the number they had last year. So despite the claim that the Festival went on, unscatched, that was NOT obviously the case. Having been to the Festival I know that the College is right there.


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Click to access. BEST COVERAGE of everything to do with Keene … this weekend.


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From WMUR. Click to access WMUR. Google for coverage from across the country. Nothing about the world record. Just the riots.


Keene, N.H., Pumpkin Festival 2014 Is TODAY, October 18, 2014, Trying For Another NEW Record — The Schedule.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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by
Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Keene 2014 preview.
>> Keene Pumpkin Festival 2013
>>– Aug. 20, 2013.

++++ Search on ‘Keene‘ or ‘pumpkin’ using sidebar search (at top) for ALL the posts from 2012 festival >>>>



Post about the shameful RIOTS!



Today’s Schedule. Click to ENLARGE.

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Link to access original.

There are going to try for another World record.

Hope the weather cooperates. Doesn’t look great, BUT it might not be too bad. At least it is not cold.


Keene, N.H., Pumpkin Festival 2014 Is On Saturday, October 18, 2014. Trying For The NEW Record.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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by
Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Keene Pumpkin Festival 2013
>>Aug. 20, 2013.

++++ Search on ‘Keene‘ or ‘pumpkin’ using sidebar search (at top) for ALL the posts from 2012 festival >>>>


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Click to access official Website.


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Click here to VOLUNTEER. It is a load of fun. Very rewarding.


Definitely worth going.

Loads of fun. Very family oriented.

Not sure whether they are going for a record this year.

Enjoy.


Keene, N.H., Pumpkin Festival 2013 Is TODAY, Saturday, October 19, 2013. Here Is The Map.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.P1080011

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by
Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Keene Pumpkin Festival 2013 — Aug. 20, 2013.
++++ Search on ‘Keene‘ or ‘pumpkin’ using sidebar search (at top) for ALL the posts from 2012 festival >>>>


Click to ENLARGE.

Click to ENLARGE.


Official Website with schedule and map etc. Click to access ....

Official Website with schedule and map etc. Click to access ….


Definitely worth going.

Loads of fun. Very family oriented.

Not sure whether they are going for a record this year.

Enjoy.

Saying Goodbye To ‘Ulysses’ Our 12.5 Year Old Golden Retriever.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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 .by Anura Guruge


This morning, Monday, September 16, 2013, around 11 am. Click to ENLARGE.

This morning, Monday, September 16, 2013, around 11 am. Click to ENLARGE.

Ulysses

March 11, 2011 to September 16, 2013.



He was one heck of a dog. A golden’s golden; the quintessential ‘everybody loves me and I love everybody’, no-care-in-the-world, tail wagging, tongue lolling, friendly as can be ‘show’ golden.

I have had him just as he was turning 8 weeks. The breeder, from whom I had bought two previous goldens, called me up the day he got his last tests, last shots and got a certificate of release from the vet. I drove to Surry, NH, right away to pick him up. I happened to get him in the only (albeit brief) period of my adult life, i.e., since I was 18, when I was encumbered and living by myself. So it was just Ulysses, named after ‘Grant‘, and me in this big house, by the water on Winnipesaukee. As I still do now, I was running six days a week then. Ulysses started running with me the next day though he only managed about 100 yards. I carried him back. But, he ran again that afternoon. Within three months he could do the whole 2.5 mile loop with me, around Varney Point, Gilford, along with the elevation. He loved to run. To be fair he didn’t know any other life. Running with me, in the mornings, was what he did. suffice to say he was one heck of a fit dog, especially as I would also walk him in the evenings and take him swimming. He ran with me, without fail, until I he was 10. Then Deanna started walking him and he became Deanna’s dog.

All that running did him well. He never had any hip problems. Even yesterday, when he came with us to the dump and was slowly walking around, people were admiring him and were hard pressed to believe that he was 12.5 years old. Yesterday we knew.

I had known for about 3 weeks. Deanna did not, understandably, want to let go and he was still happy though in discomfort and rapidly losing strength. His appetite, and he always took after me, was healthy till the very end. He had two slices of cheese and as a treat macaroni and cheese right before the end. He associated me with food and treats. If I was in the kitchen he assumed he would get a treat. So even this morning, though we tried to stop him, when he saw me in the kitchen, he got up, painfully, and ambled over, tail slowly wagging, waiting for a treat. I gave him more cheese than I normally do. The macaroni cheese, left over from Devanee, was a bonus. Over the last three weeks he had trouble dealing with rawhide treats or anything too hard. So I would give him soft treats while Maya had the rawhide and pig’s ears.

We were ‘lucky’. The Pembroke Animal Hospital, our new vet, yet again did us proud and impressed us no end (and I will write about that later). They sent an OUTSTANDING vet, Dr. Donna Peck, for a house call! That was good. We wanted Ulysses to be at home. We did not want to drag him to a vet’s office. She was amazing. We really lucked out. She spent over an hour with us, seated on the floor, with Ulysses. She assured us that we were doing the right thing. This morning he couldn’t stand up to begin with, though he overcame that once the pain medication we were giving him kicked in. But, he was not doing well. He had a lot of growths and his spine was bothering him though he never cried.

He had a good life. He was a happy dog. No cares in the world. He knew that he would be fed (and get treats from me) and that somebody would walk him whenever he wanted to go out. I think he missed his runs. He would watch me going running with Maya. He didn’t try to come though a few times he would trot with me — just like the old days.

He was an elegant, stately trotter. Just like a show horse. No running. He would trot. It was very precise.

We will miss him. Before I met Deanna I used to say that he, indubitably, was the best blonde I had ever had. He was my fourth golden.


Today. After his cheese and macaroni and cheese. He was still eating and drinking though his back was hunched. All the pictures will ENLARGE.

Today. After his cheese and macaroni and cheese. He was still eating and drinking though his back was hunched. All the pictures will ENLARGE.


Ulysses with Matthew on March 29, 2001. He was 18 days old. His mother, 'Sky', looks on.

Ulysses with Matthew on March 29, 2001. He was 18 days old. His mother, ‘Sky’, looks on.


We think Ulysses is the last one to the left. They all looked very much alike.

We think Ulysses is the last one to the left. They all looked very much alike.


First evening at his new home in Varney Point, Gilford. May 1, 2001.

First evening at his new home in Varney Point, Gilford. May 1, 2001.


5 months later. September 2001.

5 months later. September 2001.


Just last month, August 2013. He was well into his 12th year.

Just last month, August 2013. He was well into his 12th year.


When he was little he would hide in the bushes. These taken, on film, when he was still a baby.

When he was little he would hide in the bushes. These taken, on film, when he was still a baby. We have the top picture, of him in the bushes, in a frame, on our main staircase.


This was August 24, 2013. Last month. Though he no longer swam he still liked to go into the water and Deanna would take him in.

This was August 24, 2013. Last month. Though he no longer swam he still liked to go into the water and Deanna would take him in.


Click to ENLARGE.



Keene, N.H., Pumpkin Festival 2013 Is On Saturday, October 19. They Are Trying For The Record Again.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


Related posts:
++++ Search on ‘Keene‘ or ‘pumpkin’ using sidebar search (at top) for ALL the posts from 2012 festival >>>>


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We were there last year and had a ball. It was our first time there. I even made it to the HGTV Special!

We plan to go again this year. On Saturday I even signed up to volunteer. Not sure whether they will have me. I might be too overqualified. But, we will still go.

I am hoping to meet with our #1 Golden breeder who lives nearby in Surry. We actually dropped in on them last year without warning, in the afternoon. This year we will tell them in advance.

So just a heads-up. Mark it on your calendar. It is free. It is a lot of fun. Food prices etc. (at least last year) were extremely reasonable. So a good, fun family day out in the fall. Just hope the weather is half as good as it was last year.

Keene Pumpkin Festival, Keene, NH — Was A Blast, Though The Record Was Missed By 1,500 Pumpkins.


Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
1/ Pictures From Keene Pumpkin Festival — Oct. 21, 2012.
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2/ Pumpkin Festival In Keene, NH, Saturday, October 20, 2012 From Noon Till 8:30 PM
Oct. 16, 2012.
3/ Keene (NH): Pumpkin Festival Saturday, October 20, 2012 From Noon —
PARKING, $15/car — Oct. 19, 2012.
5/ Keene Pumpkin Festival: HGTV ‘Pumpkin Wars’ & Another World Record Attempt
—– Oct. 19, 2012.


Click on ANY image to ENLARGE it to FULL SIZE.

WOW!

It was a BLAST. I had a great time. I got to do my Granite State Ambassador (GSA) ‘meet-and-greet’ stuff and that is always fun. This time around, in the evening, I got to hand out lighters and candles to folks so that they could participate in the lightning. Being handed a lighter just lit up the faces of so many.

The food prices were exceptional — in that they were CHEAP. Cheeseburgers and burgers were $3. Hot dogs were $2. Water or soda was $1! French fries was $3. Three shrimps on a stick was $3. Compared to the exploitation at this years Highland Games in Loon, this was a pleasant respite. Well done the food vendors. They were, obviously, working on the ‘cheap gas’ model — make up for the difference in price through volume. Seemed to work. I spent $30 on food, whereas I, on principle, refused to spend a cent on food at Loon (instead eating the food we had taken with us).

Huge crowds. I don’t know the numbers but definitely more than there was at this year’s Highland Games or Sandwich Fair. Much, much, much more than came to Laconia’s Multicultural Day in September.

I am so proud of Keene. I am in awe of Keene. I have known Keene for 25 years. Keene always seemed ebullient. Yesterday, it outdid itself. Yes, having a ‘youthful’ university, Keene State, in town helps, but it was more than that. Laconia, Gilford and Wolfeboro look and feel like ghost towns compared to Keene! What gives. I am formulating a theory that the towns on the western side of our State (Hanover another example) do better because of the influence from Vt. I wish Laconia, Gilford or Wolfeboro had the gumption to do something world class like this pumpkin festival. Alton has no chance. We can’t even get our semaphore painted!

We were at the festival from 11:20 am till 7:20 pm, bar 1 hour when we went to pay a surprise visit to our favorite dog breeder, Golden Retrievers, of course, in Surry, NH. Though ‘Deb’ didn’t know we were coming she graciously invited us to come and play with her latest batch; 3 weeks old and related to our 11 year old Ulysses.

3 week old puppies at ‘Red Fox Farm’ in Surry who are related to our 11 year old Golden, Ulysses.

All the above said, yesterday’s organization was not optimal. To be fair all the necessary logistics were not in place till around 2:30 pm, though the Festival officially opened at noon. At 2pm the main merchandizing tent still was unable to SELL their T-shirts, though they had been on display for an hour, for reasons that were never apparent. Yes, I had folks coming to me and complaining. The tickets for the Ferris Wheel etc. nor the necessary signs went up, much before 2pm. It was a small Ferris wheel. Line was huge. I heard that the wait times were over an hour. Yes, I heard folks bitching. The carving station wasn’t open on time. More folks moaned. So, it wasn’t perfect. It was actually a bit of a mess, BUT people still had a good time.

I never did see the $15 parking. We parked for free twice. Yes, you can park on the streets and walk. When we got back from Surry, at 5:30, we managed to park within 1/2 mile of the Festival WITHOUT any trouble. We walked. Took about 15 minutes.

Though the collection of donations was haphazard, somebody made a LOT of money yesterday. Yes, I can see that there are some expenses. The stands for the pumpkins, publicity, entertainment, the TOWER etc. etc. Hhhmmm.

But, definitely that we enjoyed, though Deanna was beyond mad about having to walk to-and-fro waiting for the carving station to finally open.

The weather. It was TOO HOT! Wow. Folks in shorts.

Lots of amazing costumes.

It was a GREAT DAY for Keene, NH
— with or without a world record.

Keene still WON, big.

Keene Pumpkin Festival: HGTV ‘Pumpkin Wars’ & Another World Record Attempt


Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
1/ Pumpkin Festival In Keene, NH, Saturday, October 20, 2012 From Noon Till 8:30 PM
Oct. 16, 2012.
2/ Keene (NH): Pumpkin Festival Saturday, October 20, 2012 From Noon —
PARKING, $15/car — Oct. 19, 2012.
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3/ Back Volunteering As A Granite State Ambassador (GSA)
July 14, 2012.

4/ New Hampshire Stories: Laconia Rotary Club
—-and the ‘University of Whales’ — Oct. 9, 2012.


Click to watch video on Yahoo (from NH Channel 9, WMUR).


Click image to read more about HGTV program. My kids plan to be on it!

Not much more I can add that is not already in the above ‘clips’. On HGTV ‘Pumpkin Wars’ and an attempt at the Guinness Book World Record.
See you there. Cheers.

Keene (NH): Pumpkin Festival Saturday, October 20, 2012 From Noon — PARKING, $15/car


Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
1/ Pumpkin Festival In Keene, NH, Saturday, October 20, 2012 From Noon Till 8:30 PM
Oct. 16, 2012.
—-
2/ Back Volunteering As A Granite State Ambassador (GSA)
July 14, 2012.

3/ New Hampshire Stories: Laconia Rotary Club
—-and the ‘University of Whales’ — Oct. 9, 2012.


Click to access the ‘Parking’ page at the official Website.


Just a heads up, because it caught me by surprise when I saw it late last night. $15 per car for parking.

Admission is free, BUT I now find out (because I will be one of them collecting it), that all will be asked for a $5 donation per adult! So, again, a heads up. It is, however, definitely, categorically, voluntary, no obligation and they will not make you wear a ‘yellow start’ to denote you didn’t make a donation.

The two main attractions are the 40′ Ferris Wheel and a Haunted Alley. Yes, you have to pay for those too. So come prepared, especially if you have kids.

This is my 1st time so I have no data or parameters to work with or off. Just in terms of initial reaction the $15 for parking and $5/adult voluntary DONATION seems a tad high! That can add up to a LOT of loot. Who gets that money? I am sure it is registered as a non-profit … but that doesn’t say anything out outlandish ‘expenses’ (and I will leave it at that).

I will, as is my wont, try and find out.

I have been told, but won’t know if it is true till I get there, that we (i.e., those of us volunteering at this event) have special parking. Maybe it just means we will be asked to pay $25/car.

Stay tuned.

 

Pumpkin Festival In Keene, NH, Saturday, October 20, 2012 From Noon Till 8:30 PM. We Plan To Attend.


Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
1/ Back Volunteering As A Granite State Ambassador (GSA)
July 14, 2012.

2/ New Hampshire Stories: Laconia Rotary Club
—-and the ‘University of Whales’ — Oct. 9, 2012.


Click image to access the official festival Website.


We have never been to the Keene Pumpkin Festival, though each time we have seen it on TV we have talked about making the trek.

Keene is about as far as you can get from here, while still staying within NH. That said, we do go to Keene given that our favorite dog breeder, Goldens, of course, is in Surry (just north of Keene). They introduced us to a decent Indian restaurant at the Keene airport.

This year, the New Hampshire Granite State Ambassadors (GSA) are helping out at the festival. Since I am very remiss in the hours I put in, I decided to volunteer here and basically smash two pumpkins with one stone. It looks like great fun and I will be putting in some much needed hours.

We are all going. Entrance is FREE.

Their Website is good, and already has a schedule, a map, parking, list of vendors etc. So go check it out. We have to be there by noon. I will be brown, as usual, and wearing a green GSA shirt. Come and say ‘hello‘. So, see you there. Cheers.