‘We’re in Moxieland’ wins theme contest
LISBON — The Moxie Festival Committee has announced this year’s winner of the Moxie Festival theme contest, Melissa Pillsbury, whose “We’re in Moxieland” theme beat out more than 100 other entries that poured in from as far away as Florida.
Pillsbury, a Maine native, lives in Thorndike with her husband, Rocy, and two young sons, Richard and Maxximus. Their family business, Wooden Wonders (www.wooden-wonders.com), builds Hobbit Holes — playhouses, sheds, cottages, chicken coops, and saunas that feature dome shaped front and round front door.
The committee received more than 100 entries from such places as Florida, Illinois, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Vermont and of course, Maine. According to the announcement, Pillsbury’s theme is a spin on Maine’s “Vacationland” label.
“For those of us who live here, Moxieland is a more accurate term. It takes moxie to make it in Maine, and we are distinctively different, after all. Maybe our license plates should say Moxieland, not Vacationland,” Pillsbury said.
Moxie brings back nostalgic memories for Pillsbury. She always found a bottle at her grandmother’s house up in Benedicta (a tiny town in southern Aroostook County). “The look, flavor and smell of Moxie always conjures up memories of being in my grandmother’s kitchen,” she recalled.
As her reward for the winning theme, Pillsbury received a basket filled with Moxie- themed items from The Kennebec Fruit Company store in Lisbon Falls. She will also be one of the judges for the Moxie Festival Parade on Saturday, July 14.
The parade, which attracts more than 100 participants, follows the two- plus mile route that begins on Capital Avenue and Route 196 and ends at the MTM Center on School Street in Lisbon Falls. According to Lisbon public safety officials, on average more than 50,000 people attend the three-day Moxie Festival.
Since 1982, The Moxie Festival in Lisbon has been held on the second weekend in July. The festival now includes a three day Powwow; Friday night fireworks; a Saturday parade, Family Fun Fair, and 5K race; and on Sunday, the Chief Worumbo Androscoggin River Race and the Moxie Car Show.
Originally invented in Union as a medicinal tonic in 1876 and carbonated by Dr. Augustine Thompson of Salem, Mass., in 1884, Moxie has been marketed as a cure for ailments for more than a century. Moxie was designated Maine’s official soft drink on May 20, 2005.
As the 30th annual festival approaches, updated information can be found at www.MoxieFestival.com.