Sober Fest provides fun, community for recovery

Don Knight | For The Herald BulletinShane Crippen takes a dunk in the dunk tank during Sober Fest at the Madison Park Church of God North Campus on Saturday.

ANDERSON — For people going through recovery, it can be hard to find events and concerts where alcohol isn’t center stage.

Solving that dilemma is the idea behind Sober Fest, organized by Grace House and hosted at the Madison Park Church of God North Campus Saturday. The alcohol- and drug-free event brought together people in recovery for music and talks, all based on finding a meaningful life after addiction.

“The more we get together and work together the better,” said Grace House founder Molly Douglas. “We need as many sober events as we can have.”

Along with performances by sober artists and family-focused events, Sober Fest provided a sense of fellowship for people who could feel isolated in their recovery, said Robin Higginbotham.

“The bonding that goes on in recovery is so important because we have all survived a common peril,” Higginbotham said. “It’s a really cool thing, letting people know there is a life of value outside drugs.”

Several people in various places of their recovery also spoke at the event, which he said is one of the best ways to help bring people in addiction to treatment.

“We are our stories, it's evidence that it can happen,” he said. “The only weapon we have in fighting the stigma of addiction is our stories.”

Jeremy Martin, who works with House of Hope, said the event brought groups and residents from treatment centers all across the city to one place.

“It brings out a lot of people who wouldn’t normally meet,” Martin said, “and hopefully it means other people can actually get involved in recovery.”

Daniel Baxter, who works for Man4Man Ministries, agreed.

“Its value is to bring us all together,” Baxter said. “The recovery community in Anderson is so strong…because we stick together.”