Starfest Set for Next Wednesday (Video)

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Next week will feature the annual Star Fest, which is held across the street from Keene’s police and fire station. “The main reason behind starting Star Fest was to provide a safe environment for the children of the community to have fun, without the risks associated with going door to door,” says Police Chief Rocky Alberti.

“I have been involved with Star Fest for 25 years,” says Alberti. “It started off real small and has grown to about 5,000 people attending the event.” Since the event has grown so much over the years, the community approached Southwestern to provide volunteers to man the entertainment booths and to give out prizes.

According to Bill Kilgore, religion professor and event community liaison, “I was approached three years ago to provide students to help at Star Fest, and we having been doing so ever since.” This year it is expected that there will be as many as 100 volunteers from Southwestern helping out during the event and assisting in clean up afterwards. Kilgore has designed T-shirts for these volunteers to help them be more identifiable to members of the public.

Alberti feels that the volunteers provide an even greater service than they realize. Because of their volunteering, police are available to serve the community in their true role of law enforcement.

“We feature events one year that then take off for a couple of years. This ensures that the event content is different from year to year,” says Alberti.

Alberti is excited to share plans for this year’s event. “I hope to get the Say No to Drugs Motorcycle Jump Team to come and jump the police cars again, like they did a couple of years ago.”  This event was very popular and a big draw for the public, according to Alberti.

The team also arrives with an 18-wheeler that contains an anti-drug exhibit. Other planned attractions for this year include an inflatable climbing wall/obstacle course and a bounce house.  The Jesse Jennings Band will provide live music.

Star Fest is well known for its delicious food, and entertaining hay rides for the children. This year a train ride will be available for the younger children, as well as helicopter rides for everyone.

Everything at the event is free except for the food and the helicopter rides, and organizers ask that no scary costumes be worn.  Star Fest starts at 6 p.m. and ends at 9 p.m. on Oct. 31.

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