Give "Peas" a Chance
July 15, 2005
FORT FAIRFIELD - Forget the candy. How about passing out fresh Maine organically grown shell peas at Saturday's Potato Blossom Festival parade?

That's what Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Jean Hay Bright of Dixmont and her volunteers will be doing as they join Democrats from The County and around the state in the parade.

"We'll be asking people to 'give peas a chance,' " Hay Bright, a commercial organic farmer, says. "It's a way to get the message across that I'm the 'peace candidate.' It's meant to bring home the point in a very different way that I think that it was wrong to go into Iraq and that it's wrong to stay there. I want our troops home, I want the United States to become a partner in the effort for world peace, and I intend to work towards those goals in the U.S. Senate."

Hay Bright, co-owner and operator of BrightBerry Farm in Dixmont, has endorsed the idea of creating a U.S. Department of Peace, which would work toward peaceful resolutions of conflicts both at home and abroad. Marching with her in the parade will be Lynn Ellis of Wilton, a key volunteer who also serves as the Maine Second District Team Leader with The Peace Alliance, which is leading the campaign to establish a cabinet level U.S. Department of Peace.

Mixing peas, parades and politics is not a new idea for Hay Bright. She and her volunteers distributed shell peas to spectators during the Bangor/Brewer 4th of July Parade, as they marched with Penobscot County Democrats. She also passed out fresh shell peas in parades the summer of 2000 when she ran for State Senate.

The peas harvested Friday were planted in April. The first variety, Knight, matured in time for the Bangor parade. The next two varieties, Miragreen and Green Arrow, came into full stride this week.