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Downtown Summer Solstice Festival Welcomes First-Ever Mocktail Garden

Jun 21, 2019 | Healthcare, News, Nonprofits

The Sober Garden at this year’s Downtown Summer Solstice Festival promises to take Solstice festivities up a notch with one of a kind mocktails made by Anchorage’s favorite bartenders. Eventgoers can enjoy the longest day of the year with a refreshing alcohol-free drink in hand thanks to a partnership between Recover Alaska and Anchorage Downtown Partnership Ltd..

“Society tells us we need to add alcohol to every event, and people are so used to meeting at bars or hanging out in the beer garden, but you don’t have to drink to find community,” said Tiffany Hall, executive director of Recover Alaska. “With this Sober Garden, like so many of the other events we participate in throughout the year, we want to create a place where people can have a great time without feeling pressured to drink alcohol.” 

Happy Hour at the Sober Garden will be located on the corner of 4th Avenue and H Street for the duration of the festival – noon to 6 p.m. While festivalgoers are sipping creative mocktails they can try their hand at yard games like corn hole and ladder toss. Kicking off the mocktail pours is South Restaurant + Coffee House from 1-2 p.m., followed by Subzero, Tequila 61, and Williwaw each hour.

“I’m excited to serve mocktails at the Downtown Summer Solstice Festival this year. It’s fun to get creative and think outside the box to create a really delicious drink for people who choose not to drink alcohol. It’s a challenge and it requires some ingenuity because those flavors that we tend to rely on from the alcohol have to come from somewhere else,” said Allan Lombell, bartender at Tequila 61. “The added challenge makes it even more satisfying when I can hand someone a drink that they are excited about.” 

Organizers of the event understand the value of creating options for those who are sober, sober curious, or simply choosing to refrain from drinking alcohol during the festival. By partnering with Recover Alaska this year to create the Sober Garden, they are demonstrating an inclusivity that is important to forming a strong and vibrant community.

“When we stepped back to look at this year’s lineup, we quickly noticed that with three beer gardens spread throughout the event, we also had an opportunity to be more inclusive and provide a space for our attendees to gather and share in the community that a beer garden – or sober garden ­­– offers,” said Amanda Moser, executive director, Anchorage Downtown Partnership, Ltd. “We immediately thought of Recover Alaska and we are thrilled that they were able to step in to provide this fun and welcoming space for sober fellowship.”

Increasingly, studies are showing that more people are choosing to not drink or choosing to drink less. Whether they are recovering, pregnant, or choosing to abstain for health, monetary or other reasons, people can often feel isolated when they are at an event without alcohol-free options. Recover Alaska continues to be dedicated to spreading the message that “sober is fun.”

For more information about the Sober Garden, please visit bit.ly/SoberGarden. For recovery resources and more, please visit RecoverAlaska.org and sign up for the monthly newsletter at bit.ly/RecoverNews to stay up to date on other alcohol-free events in your area.

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