Hazelden-Betty Ford offers sober tailgate party before Vikings-Packers game

It’s a rare tailgate party that doesn’t involve some sort of alcohol.  But the Hazelden-Betty Ford Foundation is offering an alcohol-free celebration to kick off the Vikings' season this Sunday.

"What we want to be doing is hosting a sober tailgate party for people in recovery to be able to do all the traditional pregame activities minus some of the obstacles that can come when you’re around alcohol and drugs and some of the other things that you might find at other tailgate parties," said John Engebreth, the executive director of Minnesota outreach programs for Hazelden-Betty Ford.

The party takes place from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Hazelden-Betty Ford St. Paul Campus at 680 Stewart Avenue. The party is free to attend, but organizers would like people to register online.

"What we're going to have on Sunday is fresh, hot off the grill food," said Engebreth.  "We have some music, some yard, games, bags, and opportunities to just connect with other people and talk."

The party will also feature the Mobilize Recovery bus that is touring the country in recognition of sobriety month during September.  The bus appeared at a rally in Sacramento, California on Wednesday and is driving to St. Paul for the Hazelden-Betty Ford tailgate party.

"We will play some music out of it.  We'll have some different people from that group sharing with the event about what they're working on as they cross the country," said Engebreth. "And it’s all part of recovery."

The Vikings and Packers kick off on Sunday at 3:25 p.m. at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.