Tag Archives: tower

Laconia “NH Pumpkin Festival” 2016 — Did Manage To Set A Record Despite Rain.

by Anura Guruge


Come on, you have to laugh.

Maybe somebody up there was not happy about the snub to poor Keene. {SMILE}

Yes, I was partial to it being in Keene too. A bit more classy. {SMILE}

Related posts:
++++ Search on ‘pumpkin’ for many posts & pictures, especially from 2015 >>>>

by Anura Guruge

2016 Laconia “NH Pumpkin Festival”, October 22, Pictures — In The Rain!

by Anura Guruge

Click pictures to ENLARGE.

Attribution WILL be enforced.

We were there around 1:30pm in a slight drizzle.
Left soon after when the rain started getting heavy.

The weather, i.e., rain, was a definite issue. We tried to get there in between the squalls.

It was NOWHERE AS CLOSE to being as big, dynamic and exciting as it was last year. Forget when it was in Keene. That is like trying to compare Watermelons with lemons!

Tower, which had been moved from its location last year, seemed shorter. I could be wrong.

Nowhere even close to being a Guinness Book record. {SMILE}.

But the rain definitely was a damper. 22mph winds expected in Laconia tonight. Take care. 

Pictures taken with my Nikon P900.

Related posts:
++++ Search on ‘pumpkin’ for many posts & pictures, especially from 2015 >>>>

by Anura Guruge

“Locke’s Hill Trail”, Gilford, NH — A Mini (But Rewarding) “Mount Major”.

by Anura Guruge

Click pictures to ENLARGE.

Pictures taken with a Fujifilm X-E2s.

Attribution WILL be enforced.


From Google Maps, of course — who else? Click image to access Google Maps at this ‘point’.

Locke’s Hill” in Gilford like “Knight’s Pond” in Alton is an oft overlooked by folks looking for a ‘not-to-hard’, BUT rewarding hike on ‘this side’ of Lake Winnipesaukee. “Locke’s Hill” trail, like the much more famous “Mount Major” in Alton is on Route 11, about 6 miles apart. See map above.

“Locke’s” is a definite, v. kid friendly, alternative to “Mount Major” — the views from the top not that dissimilar. “Locke’s” at 1.9 miles of hiking is exactly half as long as “M.M.”, and at 1,057′ its elevation is 728′ less than that of its ‘big cousin’. On a difficulty scale of 1-5, if “M.M” is a 4 “Locke’s” is probably 1.25. If you go up “Quarry Trail” on the left of the Trailhead and come down via the “Lakeside Trail” the only real (slightly) steep places you will encounter is on the way down!

We, I and the two kids, did “Locke’s” on Monday evening when the temp. was in the high 70s. It is shady and cool. Totally deserted (as it tends to be). We encountered one other group and that was when we were nearly back at the car park. In contrast there were about 8 cars at “M.M.”. When I lived in Gilford, less than 1.5 miles away, I did this trail quite a bit, often with Ulysses.

Easy, fun, rewarding hike. The stone seats are cool. Unlike “Knight’s” it is very quiet and peaceful until you are nearly back to the car park — at which point you hear the traffic on Rte 11.

At the v. top, by the red tower do NOT take the wide track with what are tire-tracks from the tower maintenance vehicles. Instead either GO STRAIGHT ahead or find the narrower foot-path which is the “Lakeside Trail”. Otherwise you will miss the views of the Lake! Do not go back along the “Quarry Trail” following the signs to the car park. You will miss the Lake again! Yes, the signage could be better at the top. But now you have been warned.

Related Posts:
Search ‘trail’ for other similar posts >>>>
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by Anura Guruge

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

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

by Anura Guruge

Related posts:
1/ Pictures From Keene Pumpkin Festival — Oct. 21, 2012.
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.


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.