Keene Residents Reflect on Riot - NECN
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Keene Residents Reflect on Riot

Neighbors express their disappointment the day after two major conflicts between law enforcement officials and raucous crowds.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Neighbors express their disappointment the day after two major conflicts between law enforcement officials and raucous crowds. (Published Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014)

    Downtown Keene, New Hampshire, returned to normal Sunday, one day after the Keene Pumpkin Festival and one day after students rioted at Keene State College.

    "It's a tradition now, and it's a shame that it got ruined by a few that probably don't live around here, anyway," said resident Gloria Luneau. "It really put a mark on the community."

    Keene City Manager John MacLean tells NECN 42 arrests were made Friday during the event, but the number of people arrested Saturday, when riot crews battled crowds twice in the city's streets, is not yet known.

    The event typically results in at least 100 arrests each year, according to MacLean.

    Thirty to 40 people suffered minors injuries, mostly from rocks and bottles. A fire was set in the street. There were fireworks, and a car was even flipped over.

    "It was supposed to be family fun and entertainment," said Carol Rose "It seems like it's just become problems."

    A huge police presence helped keep the riots on campus, and away from the pumpkin festival downtown. Still, some think the violence reflects poorly on the festival, community at-large and relations between the city and Keene State College.

    "There's always the weekends where they're having parties," said Bruce DiCastro. "But nothing has ever escalated to this point."

    This weekend marked the 24th annual Keene Pumpkin Festival, and some say it could be the last. given what happened.

    Hundreds of pumpkins have already been discarded in dumpsters.

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