LISBON — Moxie Festival T-shirts transformed downtown Lisbon into a sea of orange Saturday as thousands of families thronged Main Street for the event’s 34th year.

A long and action-filled parade delighted young and old spectators who lined the entire route of more than a mile. Several mini-motorized units of Kora Shrine Temple in Lewiston darted back and forth on the roadway as clowns exchanged high-fives with children at the curb.

A light drizzle cleared early in the day and overcast skies brought comfortable weather throughout the day. Activities were available at a number of locations.

“Everything was very successful Saturday, and there a few events still to come on Sunday,” said Tracey Steuber, Lisbon’s Economic and Community Development director. She said the Moxie Festival is put on by volunteers and it’s a major fundraiser for the town.

New this year was a Moxie Whoopie Pie Eating Contest for several age groups, held at the Marion T. Morse School Community Center Pavilion. Taking first place in the youngest age group for this no-hands-allowed contest was very-determined 5-year-old Kyven Roberts of Lisbon Falls. She and two other contestants finished the two-minute challenge with faces totally smeared with the Moxie-flavored cream filling.

Tied for first place in the 8- to 10-year-old group were Elijah Fournier and Ayden Newell. Elias Perry of Lisbon Falls won the 11- to 13-year-old contest.

The Moxie Chugging Challenge’s repeat winner for the sixth straight year was Bo Bradstreet of Bridgewater. He downed the allotted two-liter bottle of Moxie in one minute and 36 seconds.

A former focal point of past Moxie Festivals stood silent and empty this weekend at the corner of Main Street (Route 125) and Lisbon Street (Route 196). The Kennebec Fruit Co. store had become known as “Moxie Headquarters” since the early festival years. That’s where Frank Anicetti, owner of the family business that had operated there since 1913, held forth as the unofficial Moxie authority and spokesman. He was known for never being at a loss for words in praise of the old-time soft drink with a distinctly bitter taste.

Anicetti decided recently to retire. His store’s Moxie memorabilia and fixtures were on the auction block a few miles away at Daniel Buck Auctions early Saturday afternoon. The auction drew a large crowd and it was still going strong late in the afternoon.

Although Anicetti was absent from this festival, another yearly participant since 2002 was Jim Jansson of Shelton, Conn. In costume as “the Moxie Boy,” Jansson, historian for the New England Moxie Council, marched in the parade and talked with festival-goers on Main Street. He was dressed as the young man of early pen-and-ink Moxie advertisements, calling attention by pointing a finger at readers.

Another attention-getter on Main Street was “Izak,” a goat wearing an orange Moxie visor. Leading Izak around the street were Bill Higgins and Judy Hammond of Madbury, N.H. Hammond said Izak is “a housegoat” and well-mannered with people except for an occasional gentle head-butt.

Saturday morning activities began at Lisbon High School with a kids’ fun run and a 5K road race.

The MTM site featured a climbing wall, pony rides, and a petting zoo with dozens of miniature goats and other animals.

“Venders did well all day,” Steuber said. There were sidewalk canopy-covered booths selling all kind of Moxie gear and novelties.

E.T. Smith Hose Company of the Lisbon Fire Department held a firemen’s muster and a “Moxie’s Got Talent” contest was presented at the Main Street Stage.

Trophies were presented to high school poster designers who worked with the theme of “Moxie — It’s Out of This World.” First-place trophy went to Kaylan Pacheco.

Sunday’s events will include continuation of the Kavanaugh Amusements carnival at Don’s Automotive, Capital Avenue, and there will be an open house at the historic Ridge Schoolhouse at the intersection of Route 9 and Upland Road.
Because of rain predicted for Sunday, it was announced that the Moxie Car Show has been postponed to Aug. 14 at Lisbon High School.

“The festival will continue as long as people want it,” Steuber said. “Planning is already under way for next year, so everyone can mark their calendars for the second weekend of July in 2017.”


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