SAT, OCT 24, 2015 • 10am-8:30pm • Downtown Laconia, NH

SEE YOU THERE! We are off to the fest. Check Facebook for updates, including the Official Count on Saturday night. Make sure your pumpkin is part of the total.


Just carve a pumpkin, grab a candle and come!

Spectacular 35′ TOWER! Nearly 1,000 twinkling pumpkins on our pyramid of pumpkins. We have received nearly 1000 reservations and the TOWER is full. What a spectacle it will be!

Pumpkin Dump Derby. The race to clean up Pumpkin Festival involves competing teams, lottery-assigned territories and a grand prize of $1000 to the team’s charity of choice. All teams who complete their territory win $100 for the charity of their choice. Sponsored by Shipyard Brewing and Casella. Details and registration information. Past Derbys have been WON by teams with as few as seven members–the key is drive not size! If you are a member of a rugged family, lacrosse team, church or business, you could win $1000 for your most meaningful nonprofit cause. By completing your territory, you give a gift to your community (and state!) of a restored, pumpkin-free space before anyone has a chance to be annoyed by a mess. It is also about an hour of tremendous exercise–cardio and weights–a win/win/win! Two teams dropped out so we are looking for winners to replace them. Ready? Set. Go!

FAQs Illuminations_19_2015
Click on the link above for the Illuminations Newsletter with answers to questions about candles, carving and delivery. Ask questions on our Facebook Page NH’s 25th Annual Pumpkin Festival and we’ll share info until everyone knows everything.

Event Map Click the Map below to connect to full-size Map & Schedule.


OCT 10. We are pleased to announce the parking plan for Pumpkin Festival 2015. Thank you to super-volunteer Don Gray, First Student Bus Co., Laconia PD and FD, Karmen Gifford, all the non-profit hosts, all the parking lot owners, and everyone who helped organize this beautiful system. Community collaboration at its finest!

Parking is $15 per vehicle, free shuttle to the festival. Parking lots are attended by local non-profit organizations. Portalets at each site.

RED LINE. Coming from I-93 Exit 20 Tilton… 6 lots for over 2000 cars at and near Lakes Region Community College, 79 Belmont Rd, Laconia

Coming North on NH-106 from Concord… 6 lots for over 2000 cars at and near Lakes Region Community College, 79 Belmont Rd, Laconia 

WHITE LINE. Coming from I-93 Exit 23 New Hampton… 11 lots for over 1000 cars at and near New Hampshire Ball Bearing, 155 Lexington Dr, Laconia

BLUE LINE. Coming from US-3 Meredith… 4 lots for over 1000 cars at and near Weirs Drive-in and Faro’s Italian Grille, 70 Endicott Street N. Weirs Beach (Laconia) NH 

Tour Bus Parking. There are 25 parking spaces for large tour buses available at the Masonic Temple, 63 Court Street in Laconia.  Cost is $50 per bus, walking distance to Pumpkin Festival.  Call Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce at 603.524.5531 to reserve bus parking.

Updated OCT 5, 2015 • Poster and Brochure Deadline has passed but your support is welcome and needed. PumpkinFestivalSponsorship2015s. If you forgot to make a commitment to the festival, please contact Ruth Sterling.


ZIPPO, Official Lighter of Pumpkin Festival. In addition to hosting the ZIPPO Car traveling museum, ZIPPO will be offering their official candle lighters for sale at their booth and at the Pumpkin Shop/s where festival logo souvenir t-shirts and other experience extenders can also be purchased.

Pumpkin Festival Children’s Costume Parade Sponsored by Children’s Dentistry of the Lakes Region, Kennell Orthodontics and STORY LAND. 12:30pm Location: Loop through Downtown Laconia starting on Church Street>To Pleasant>To Main>To Beacon Street East. Children (of all ages!) decked out in Halloween costumes parade through streets lined with delighted spectators. After many years of organizers dreaming about it, Cinderella’s pumpkin coach from Story Land will lead the parade! Other surprises too.

Guinness Update. Pumpkin Festival 2015, Laconia, NH, Let it Shine, is officially registered with Guinness as a World Record Attempt. Registration is required to vie for the Guinness World Record for the most lit jack-o’-lanterns in one place—a record recaptured from Boston by Keene in 2013 (30,581).

Pumpkins for School Children, deadline FRI, OCT 9. Registration is complete. Pick-up information coming. News and Info Pumpk:INFO

LOGIN Official Login2015 sheet downloadable here. If you have more than 20 pumpkins, it is good to have your carvers log them in on these sheets ahead of time. Some schools will write, School Name, town, total number of pumpkins. Others will ask each carver to sign their name. This is up to you but we do know that the registration or log in process is part of the pride of the event. Individuals’ pumpkins will be logged in Saturday on the same log in sheets, located at the four Welcome Centers. Businesses and individuals will be dropping off pumpkins on Friday as well as Saturday. Completed group sheets can be dropped off with pumpkins on Friday.

2015 Programming, updated OCT 10, 2015 (Subject to change)

PumpkinExpressWebPumpkin Express Train: All Aboard the first-ever Pumpkin Express for train rides along the lakes. Departing Laconia’s historic train station at the site of the spectacular Pumpkin Tower, these excursions are sure to be the highlight of Pfest 2015. Tickets sold at the station. Information

Assisted transport for handicapped visitors!  Another dream-come-true at Pfest 2015 is the opportunity for handicapped visitors to tour the festival via trams driven by City of Laconia staff. This transportation, arranged by DPW’s Ann Saltmarsh, is sponsored by 5-Star Golf Carts. Handicapped parking and tram headquarters are located on New Salem Street, near the train station, Zippo attraction and the tower.

Pronounced “Pumpkin Alley,” it’s Pump-Canal(y) Street for Kids. Schedule

Pumpkin Bowling Noon-6pm. Real bowling pins but instead of bowling balls, we’ll be bowling with pumpkins–the hard, “sugar” pumpkins. Try the new sport of pumpkin bowling in the middle of downtown Laconia. Sponsored by Bank of New Hampshire.

Haunted Attraction: Mayhem at the Mill! DO NOT MISS this professionally designed super-attraction benefiting the non-profit Belknap Mill, the oldest, unaltered brick textile mill in the United States.

Welcome Centers at Entrances to Downtown. Welcome to Pumpkin Festival 2015…. Log in your carved jack-o’-lantern to be part of the world record tally, make a donation to keep the festival shining… all at whichever entrance gate you choose. If you forgot your pumpkin, you can carve one at the Community Carving Center at Bank of NH and log it in. Visitors will feel warmly welcomed to Pumpkin Festival 2015 at any of the Welcome Centers.

Food and Craft Courts 10am-8:30pm. City Hall lot on Beacon Street East and Farmers’ Market Area on Main Street. Macaroni and Cheese, chili and fried dough, plus plenty of pumpkin-inspired treats are among the menu offerings prepared by local non-profit organizations as well as professional vendors. In addition to food offerings, the Food & Craft Court includes three dozen artisans offering crafts from glassware to fudge with many returning favorites. Necessary facilities nearby.

Spectacular Pumpkin Tower Plus Thousands of Jack-o’-Lanterns on Street-level Displays. 10am-8:30pm. The signature tower is the centerpiece of Pumpkin Festival 2015. Streets will be lined with pumpkins and pumpkin spectators, for smooth strolling and the best viewing, unfettered by vendor booths and queues. Families and seniors will feel very welcome and handicap parking in excellent locations makes access easy. Live musical entertainment will add to the atmosphere on the bandstand and at other selected locations but the sights will carry the day!

The Runaway Pumpkin 10k & 5k Run/Walk 9am Registration Laconia Athletic & Swim Club, 827 North Main Street, Laconia. Before the festival, first thing in the morning, a choice of distances, welcoming walkers as well as serious runners to this scenic course which includes the WOW Trail (WOW is an acronym for the three lakes along the rail trail, Winnipesaukee, Winnisquam and Opechee). Previously this event was called WOW Fest and was held in September but has joined the festivities of Pumpkin Festival 2015.


Lawrence Frates’ magnificent painting, “Festival of Pumpkins,”acrylic, 18″x24″, was unveiled at Bank of NH press conference August 14 with the site of the 35′ pumpkin tower and the Pumpkin Express train in the background. Reproductions NOW AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE ONLINE.

Pumpkin Festival 2015 at the junction of art, business and recreation

Laconia, August 14, 2015. Standing at the junction of art, business and recreation, key members of the Pumpkin Festival 2015 team unveiled a work of art created to support the festival. Bank of NH official Mark Primeau confirmed his bank’s lead sponsorship of the event, including hosting the largest community carving center organizers have ever offered. Bank of NH’s Lindsay Cota-Robles and Tiffany Benton will also be supervising Pumpkin Bowling in the bank’s parking area, adjacent to the festival’s signature tower.


Lakes Region Chamber Director Karmen Gifford; Pumpkin Festival event manager Ruth Sterling; Bank of NH official Mark Primeau; Laconia Fire Chief Ken Erickson; Paul Giblin, Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad; and Pat Kelly, WEMJ. Photo by Tiffany Benton.

“Business support of the pumpkin festival event promotes the arts and recreation in our state,” said Ruth Sterling. “Artist Lawrence Frates has used his talent to help. This is what Pumpkin Festival is all about. Everyone letting their own lights shine.”

Let it Shine, the non-profit producers of the fest, has demonstrated for four years that when a region’s schools, businesses, neighborhoods, families and individuals sit down to carve their pumpkins, one community becomes a showplace for the world.

The 2015 Pumpkin Festival runs from 10am-8:30pm on Saturday, October 24 in the heart of NH, downtown Laconia.