Covering a pumpkin festival rarely leads reporters to expect an on-air confrontation, but little about the Keene Pumpkin Festival in New Hampshire went as expected Saturday night. When crowds got rowdy, riot police were sent in and thirty people were injured.
Reporter Jared Goodell of Cheshire TV attempted to talk about that with Keene Pumpkin Festival organizer Ruth Sterling, but the interview was testy–with Sterling attempting several times to grab the microphone out of Goodell’s hands. “She’s not letting me do my job,” Goodell said. “She would not like me to tell you what’s going on at Keene State College.”
Sterling insisted coverage of the rioting–which was getting national attention–was only serving to make matters worse, and she threatened to kick the TV crew out:
“This is a family-friendly event. The footprint of Keene Pumpkin Festival is 100 percent safe. We have a bigger crowd than we’ve ever had. I want them to have a wonderful evening and not be disturbed by people who aren’t even at the pumpkin festival,” said Sterling after reaching for the microphone. “So if you think that inciting these people is a good idea, I am going to pull the plug on you. Because you are here as a guest of Keene Pumpkin Festival and I assigned you this spot.”