AUGUSTA – Things are looking good for Lisbon, the home of Moxie Festival, and for Moxie lovers who’ve asked legislators to pass a law designating Moxie as Maine’s official soft drink.

After the bill received the unanimous endorsement of the State and Local Government Committee in March, it breezed through the House and Senate in initial action. Final votes could come within days. Gov. John Baldacci is expected to sign the bill into law.

Moxie sponsor Sen. Peggy Rotundo, D-Lewiston, was happy her bill passed in both bodies. “I hadn’t appreciated how much passion there was around this drink” until her constituent, Fred Goldrup, asked her to sponsor the bill. “I did, and it passed. There are a lot of happy people in Maine,” she said.

Co-sponsor Rep. Robert Berube, R-Lisbon, said the Moxie bill is a “fun bill” and recognizes the oldest soft drink invented in Maine. It is sold in many stores, as well as State House soda machines.

“More importantly, passage gives additional impetus to the Moxie Festival held annually in the town of Lisbon,” Berube said.

Frank Anicetti, known as “The Moxie Man” in Lisbon Falls, was excited Thursday to hear that lawmakers had voted for Moxie.

“This is wonderful!” Anicetti said. “It shows how much moxie we’ve got.” Anicetti predicted an increase in tourism and an even larger crowd at this July’s Moxie Festival.

Lisbon Town Manager Curt Lunt agreed that the state’s recognition of Moxie – a word that describes courage, determination and know-how – will “certainly help,” and boost Lisbon’s own recognition. A Bangor native, Lunt said he drinks Moxie “every day. I haven’t missed a single day of work in 20 years.”

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