Mocktails take over First Friday in Downtown Raleigh for 'Dry January'

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Friday, January 6, 2023
Mocktails take over First Friday in Downtown Raleigh
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It's a new year and many of us are looking to change our habits.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- It's a new year and many of us are looking to change our habits.

Some people are doing that by starting 2023 with "Dry January."

It started back in the UK as a public health initiative and now millions across the world choose to give up alcohol for the whole month.

"Everyone else is like we're excited for this in general, so January helps us kick it off and gets people into the mindset for it," said Meg Paradise, who is behind the Umbrella Dry Bar, Raleigh's first alcohol free bar.

They're planning to open a brick-and-mortar location soon but for now they're doing pop ups like they did Friday on Fayetteville Street in Downtown Raleigh.

"I wanted this concept for myself because I stopped drinking and wanted to hang out with my friends," Meg said. "It's not fun to go to a place with just sparkling water and drunk people."

UNC Rex registered dietitian Meg Mangan said even a week or a few days of not drinking would mean improved health.

It also leads to reduced anxiety and less stress. A month off also could be a good time for reflection as well.

"I think if anything that dry month might allow someone to assess their situation," Mangan said.

January is also the time places like O2 Fitness see the biggest sign ups. They want to encourage people to stay for the month and beyond.

"If you're doing Dry January because you crashed in December, then how are you going to make a better year for 2023 not just for the month," said Doug Warf, president of O2.

Allison Boettlin, Olivia Hays and Justine Boorady were all trying mocktails in Downtown Raleigh Friday.

"We're trying for damp January," said Allison. "I don't even want to set the bar for dry, but I know a lot of people do and I wish them well and this is a good way to do so."