Happy hour without the booze

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(SWEEPS FEED)- Britt Kapec wants to have some fun but not the kind of fun that involves an adult beverage.

“Tonight I’m looking forward to just being in a room with a number of other people in my age group who are looking for something other than just the typical night out on the town,” Kapec said.

Alcohol is intentionally excluded and replaced with water and hot tea at this particular event, as it is at other organized social functions, revolutionizing what many people consider a fun night out with friends.

“Some people would say we’re the true happy hour,” Katia Tallarico said.

Tallarico helps organize such events. There are also juice crawls, social retreats and more all with the common theme to have good, clean fun minus the booze-fest.

“We believe this is a sign of healthier times ahead. People do want to connect in a more meaningful way,” Tallarico said.

“Just being honest with yourself and with others about who you are and what your goals are in life, and, generally that type of growth doesn’t come from alcoholic beverages,” Kapec said.

Jesse Israel led a meditation at a recent meetup and came into the event with a couple goals in mind, “…learning something from the presenters, feeling inspired on my way out and meeting some new people.”

Some go looking for love, others just want to network. It may be missing the thrill of a hopping bar vibe but organizers say they blend food, music, and inspiration into a concoction creating good times.

“People are drawn to this because of the chance to be in an environment where it’s not driven by alcohol where perhaps it’s driven by something like inspirational story telling or philanthropy or something with deeper meaning,” Tallarico said.

Britt, and others like her at the sold-out events, finds evenings like this more fulfilling and enjoyable than a normal night out in a bar.

“I get a lot of inspiration and energy from other people who are thinking the same way, and it, it’s encouraging,” Kapec said.

Another reason the organizers say the events do so well is more and more people are hyper-connected through media, technology and social media. They’re limited in time, working hard and long hours, so when they do get together with their friends or with a community, they want it to be as meaningful as possible.

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