Recovery Fair Rocks

By Benjamin Fairway 11/12/12

Sober folk and those simply hoping to build healthier lives mingle, celebrate and sample at The Fix and The Hills' inaugural Recovery Fair.

Samuels, Pinsky and McCulley Wireimage

Saturday's first-ever Recovery Fair at The Hills gathered a happy and far-less-rambunctious-than-they-used-to-be crowd to talk, taste and trade stories. While Dr. Drew Pinsky and his wife Susan chatted with Recovery Media chairman Paul McCulley and Hills owner Howard Samuels, yoga guru Tommy Rosen led attendees through some vinyasas and Intervention's Candy Finnigan checked out the recovery literature offered by Book Soup. Treat lovers were in luck: although the Baby's Burgers truck sold out early on, guests could still chill with a selection of beverages that were kind of the opposite of energy drinks—Just Chill and Dream Water among them—while The Velvet Rope Bake Shop booth, with its samples of Red Velvet truffles and salt-and-chocolate chip cookies, drew a devoted crowd. Those with healthier cravings gathered around the GIVE Superfoods table and BioK+ probiotics booth. My 12-Step Store owner RJ Holguin, Friendly House proprietress Peggy Albrecht, bestselling author (and Fix contributor) Nic Sheff, Laurie Hermann from ShopLHerman all-natural skincare, Allison Pescosolido from Divorce Detox counseling services, Isai Cortez from Bismark Tax and Douglas Evans from The Center for Healthy Sex were all among the vibrant crowd.

As kids tore around getting their faces painted and jumping on the bouncy house, and older guests cut a rug to the tunes of DJ Thrill, it was easy to forget that attendees were gathered because many of them suffered from a seemingly hopeless disease. "Being here has actually been a healing experience for me because my grandfather was an alcoholic and I never really understood what he was grappling with," Benjamin Atkinson tells The Fix. He isn't an alcoholic himself, but flew out from Ohio to introduce fair-goers to Dry Gourmet, his non-alcoholic cooking wine powder. "I'm so grateful to have been introduced to this incredibly welcoming community that I otherwise wouldn't have met." Of all the feedback Atkinson got at the fair, the comment that struck him the most came from a woman who loves to cook for family and friends. "She said, 'The Dry Gourmet would make me feel normal again. Now I can cook the dishes I've wanted to for a long time.'"

[Check out the Recovery Fair photo gallery here.]

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