Sunday, July 10, 2011

Moxie: an acquired taste we celebrate

I grew up walking down to Kennebec's for an ice cream or a bag of penny candy...back in the day when a penny was actually worth something and you could walk Main Street without a care in the world.  My sister and I knew Frank Anicetti long before he became known as the "Moxie Man", and I remember him as a large dark man with a small smile always playing at the corner of his mouth (until we asked for $1.00 worth of penny candy :). 
Today, Frank has made Moxie a household name and put Lisbon Falls on the map.
Kennebec's no longer sells penny candy but is stocked floor to ceiling with Moxie memorabilia.  You can still get an ice cream though...Moxie flavored.

It's a taste I never acquired no matter how hard I tried.  I figured if I was born and brought up in Lisbon Falls, I should love the taste of Moxie.  It just never happened.  The rest of my family surely makes up for my lack of taste.
This past weekend, Lisbon Falls hosted it's annual Moxie Festival.  An entire weekend filled with parades, pow wows, fireworks, auctions, musters, and street vendors selling everything from Italian sausages to handmade jewelry.  Honestly, I'm always amazed at the number of people who make the trek from far and wide to celebrate a bitter tasting beverage that was once used for medicinal purposes.  To each his own, right?
The parade is the highlight of the festival and usually lasts an hour or more.  Full of themed floats, member groups, politicians, and everything in between. 

Our Governor, Paul LePage, even walked the parade route in his festive colored polo.
My oldest marched in the parade with the area Girl Scouts of America.
The weather was beautiful, the music in the park was fantastic, and the variety of foods to savor abundant.  There's also plenty of Moxie to go around.  I can't wait for next year.  If you've never visited our little town of Lisbon Falls, you should make an effort to during next year's Moxie Festival...and if you don't like the beverage, that's okay.  Just don't tell anyone.

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