LISBON — Lisbon Town Councilors voted unanimously Tuesday not to hold the 38th annual Moxie Festival next month due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Lisbon isn’t giving up on holding a community event later in the summer or early fall, however. The council agreed to turn efforts toward planning an event for the first weekend of October.

The annual Moxie Festival in July includes a large parade and attracts around 30,000 people. Gov. Janet Mills is still limiting social gatherings to 50 people in July, which made Lisbon officials question if they could still hold the festival.

Council chairman Allen Ward said Tuesday that an alternative event in October could still celebrate Moxie, or be something more locally-oriented to celebrating coming out of a pandemic.

Ward said outdoor seating events are options that could be incorporated into a one-day festival. Lower Main Street in Lisbon Falls could be closed for a block party. A car show, fireworks, virtual road race and downtown dining are elements of the Moxie Festival that may possibly be incorporated into the new event.

Ward stressed the event won’t seek any sponsorship money from businesses.

“There should be zero to no costs,” he said. Events should generate revenue.

If the town doesn’t plan something by the first weekend of October, “I would actually say that we’re done,” Ward said.


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