Some Choose to Spend New Year’s in Des Moines ‘Sober Under the Stars’

Sober Under the Stars

DES MOINES, Iowa – New Year’s Eve is a festive night for many, but some in Des Moines are choosing to spend it without alcohol.

“Sober Under the Stars” at the Science Center of Iowa, organized by UnityPoint Hospital, is an “alcohol and drug-free” celebration of the New Year. It’s a decades-old event that organizers say keeps many people committed to living an alcohol and drug-free lifestyle on track on one of the toughest nights of the year.

“It’s hard to find events that are either a sober event, or where alcohol is not going to be served,” said Kim Brangoccio, an organizer. “It’s hard sometimes to find family events – I think there are some churches that do events. But there aren’t a lot of events that are community events that people can go to with their whole families.”

Free food, music, activities and even tickets to the IMAX showing of Star Wars: Rogue One got plenty of people – more than a thousand, according to event organizers – through the door.

“I have been coming to this for over 20 years – when it was at the Botanical Center I used to come,” said Martha Brightman. “There have been some years I’ve missed, but I brought my children here, and now I bring my grandchildren here.”