Smaller Pumpkin Festival Allowed After 2014 Riot

Keene State incident 11
NBC Boston

Officials in a New Hampshire city are bringing back a pumpkin festival, three years after violence broke out at the last one. 

The annual pumpkin festival in Keene has broken world records for the most lit jack-o-lanterns in one place. But it was canceled after violence broke out in 2014. More than 100 arrests were made after fires were set, cars were flipped and property was damaged.

Keene's mayor, Kendall Lane, cast a tie-breaking City Council vote on Thursday night to bring back a smaller festival more focused on children.

The vote came after administrators at Keene State College and others said they had seen social media posts suggesting big parties, or dangerous behavior, could return. 

The festival is scheduled for Oct. 29. 

Keene's original Pumpkin Festival was moved to Laconia. That one is still scheduled for Oct. 13 and 14.

Some people who were convicted of disorderly conduct in connection with the riot were given the opportunity to reduce their $1,000 fines by $200 for each Keene elementary school classroom they visit to explain how their behavior led to the festival's cancellation.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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