FARMINGTON — On a night where many people choose to bring in the New Year with a bottle of alcohol, and then another, more than 300 people are expected to bring it in with not a bottle in sight, and still have fun.
"It brings the people together," said J.J. Ahboah.
Ahboah is just one of the members of the Lickity Split Singers, a music group that, for the most part, has made the choice of sobriety and has tried to promote that choice for others.
The group is holding its 2nd Annual Sobriety New Year's Eve Dance, again this year in Shiprock, this time in the "A" Gym of the old Naatani Nez Elementary School, next to the Central Consolidated School District administrative offices.
The entire event is free and open to the public and will include raffles, cake walks, and singing.
"All in all, we just want everyone to come," said James Blackowl.
The event will include a gourd dance starting 11 a.m. Monday and ending at 7 p.m. Monday. A complimentary supper break will be at 4:30 p.m.
And a round dance will start at 7 p.m. Monday lasting until 3 a.m. Tuesday, with a complimentary midnight meal.
All attendees will be checked at the door to ensure that they are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol because the event is all-ages and family oriented. The Navajo Nation, additionally, is a dry reservation, permitting no alcohol consumption or sales.
"I come from a family that likes to drink a lot, and a lot of them are alcoholics. I didn't want to be known for that," said Blackowl.
Many of the other singers share similar pasts to Blackowl's, some of them having had their own struggles with alcohol.
"For myself, I needed help to sober up," said Erny Zah, also a member of the Lickity Split Singers. "For me, it was an addiction."
The group brought in about 300 attendees last year, though this year they expect the crowd could reach as many as 500. If the event grows, it may have to move to a bigger venue next year.
Either way, it is expected to continue for years to come.
"Forget your problems for a night or afternoon," Zah said. "Our problems will wait."