At the Festival

I’ve probably written more about Moxie than any Mainer. I might even be approaching Frank Potter’s legendary output—who knows. Clearly, given that Mr. Potter’s Moxie canon is print-based and pre-interwebs, we know that he wasn’t Moxie blogging.

When I rewind back to 2004, the memories are still fresh of the late Sue Conroy, convincing me to take on the PR and marketing that year, joining the small band putting on the Moxie Festival. That was merely year 22 (if my Moxie math is right) of what’s now become the 33rd running of one of Maine’s, if not the nation’s, most unique and intriguing summer festivals. What began with 13 postcards and 500 people (according to one version) blossomed into a festival attracting upwards of 50,000 people to Central Maine and the sleepy town of Lisbon Falls.

Summers in Maine are way too short. Festivals abound. In addition to celebrations about Moxie, Mainers also fête clams, lobsters, blueberries, and even ships, both big and tall.

High-flying Moxie

High-flying Moxie

I’ll be spending time in my hometown of Lisbon Falls on this weekend, for sure. My little sister again will be the hostess for another Moxie Recipe Contest. Cooking with Moxie! It doesn’t get any better than that for summer fun, does it? And Jon Bon Jovi’s look-a-like will be fronting Bon Jersey out behind the elementary school where I learned to read.

Townies jersey

Talkin’ ’bout the Townies.

Next Thursday, you can find me in Yarmouth, for the pre-Clam Festival opening at the Yarmouth History Center. I’ll be talking about town team baseball and telling a few stories about the Yarmouth Townies.

Good times in the ole’ home state!

4 thoughts on “At the Festival

  1. As all the old Detroit iron rumbled off the soccer field at the Moxie Car Show today, I said to myself “I can’t believe Moxie is over.” Now, for all the Moxie people in the sleepy old hometown, (power to them!), summer begins in earnest. Charlie Smith was out haying today and Uncle Bob says things in the garden will start growing a foot a day. Dad says this is the kind of weather in which “you can hear the corn growing at night.” And tomorrow? A small and dedicated band of Moxie Maine-iacs will begin planning for the 34th Annual Moxie Festival.

    Thanks for all your help this year and especially your PR efforts on behalf of The Moxie Recipe Contest. I’m looking forward to Moxie 2016…

  2. My Sunday was about balls, strikes, and outs–yes, umpiring. Sorry to have missed another Moxie Car Show. I was glad to have had some small role in the Moxie Recipe Contest, however.

    Festivals like Moxie (and the other Maine ones I noted in this post) are part and parcel of the social fabric that while frayed, remains an important element in any small town’s ongoing hope for vitality and success. The challenge in places like Lisbon and Lisbon Falls (as I’m sure it is in Yarmouth, and Rockland) is for others to step up and accept a role as a volunteer. You can’t depend on the same handful of people to do everything, year after year, and not have the local festival die-off, as it has in places where I’ve spent time, like New Sharon.

    Nice work, JAB, in accepting your role, as well as wearing multiple hats this year.

  3. Hey, Bryant. I’d agree that Moxie, while marketed as “distinctly different” is more of an acquired taste, really. I happen to have acquired it (at least for the diet variety), but I can appreciate the opinion that many hold that it’s a cross between Vick’s Formula 44 and Jägermeister, or something worse than that.

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