Annual Pumpkin Festival Ends in Arrests & Injuries Near Keene State College

At least 30 people were injured and 12 people were arrested yesterday at an annual Pumpkin Festival in Keene, New Hampshire, after students at nearby Keene State College reportedly got unruly and caused a whole lot of trouble. Students reportedly threw a party in the afternoon on campus to coincide with the popular festival, but fights broke out and riot police had to be called in to help. A total of 30 people were hurt in the afternoon after they were hit by objects like bottles. Police reportedly used pepper balls on the crowd and rioters threw glass bottles and vandalized street signs.

And the situation didn't get any better. After a few hours of calm, students reportedly decided to hold another party later that evening -- and even more chaos ensued.


Police, firefighters and ambulances had to respond after reports surfaced about partygoers overturning dumpsters, trying to flip over a car, vandalizing property and lighting random fires. One woman said she was visiting the festival with her 12-year-old daughter when her car was surrounded by a mob of college students whom she says kicked, punched and shook her vehicle -- for absolutely no reason. She also says they screamed at her preteen daughter and made her cry.

For some reason, what seems like it would be an innocent and sweet Halloween festival sparked similar brawls in the town last year, as well. Things were so out of control that Keene's police department reportedly requested a $286,000 armored vehicle from the Pentagon so that it could properly handle the madness.

And they weren't kidding, were they? But perhaps a more appropriate response would be to cancel the festival altogether if it, for whatever mysterious reason, inspires scores of young people to act like total jerks.

Would you cancel the festival if you were in charge or do you feel like that wouldn't be fair to the town?


Image via lobo235/Flickr

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