By Kenny Soto
When is the last time you stayed sober for an entire weekend and had a great time? For many, it may be nearly impossible to remember, but Ken Procaccianti doesn’t drink or use drugs, and he’s had more fun in Boston than you could probably imagine.
Procaccianti recently re-launched Hammered.org to show students and 20-somethings in and around Boston that there’s more to the city than bars and keg parties -- “fun without the hangover,” as the site says. “We’re highlighting music festivals, film festivals, an array of things that are not only fun, they are often all ages, and they are often free,” Procaccianti said via Skype. “Hammered.com digs through all the pub crawls, the beer pong tournaments, [and] the happy hours to find fun stuff to do without drinking.”
The idea for Hammered.org first came to Procaccianti way back in 2002, when an injury ended his collegiate soccer career at Northeastern University. “I went from being a super-busy student athlete to a not-so busy-student, and I noticed a real void in fun things to do that didn’t involve drinking or doing drugs," he said. What started out as a student group has now become a full-fledged website that not only provides information about alcohol-free events but also allows users to upload their own events and share their experiences.
While the site isn't preachy and doesn't expound on alcohol or drug use, Procaccianti, like many, is tired of hearing stories about college kids driving drunk or drinking to excess and ending up in the hospital or worse. “It’s frustrating to see colleges try over and over again to throw the same solutions at the same problems," he said. "You can teach about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, but once a student decides not to drink, you can’t expect them to sit in their rooms and twiddle their thumbs.”
However, many Boston-area schools are jumping on board and distributing Hammered.org promotional materials to their new students, Procaccianti said. He hopes to soon expand the website to a national level, and then internationally, but wants the site's message to remain clear.
“Hammered.org isn’t about drinking or not drinking, it’s about discovering your own city and finding things that you may have previously overlooked because they don’t involve drinking," Procaccianti said. "It’s about being a tourist in your own town and experiencing all of the great events Boston has to offer.”
About Kenny -- I'm a professional blogger and entertainer. In my spare time, I enjoy Boston sports and exploring all of the adventures that my hometown has to offer. You can connect with me on Twitter @TheRealKennySo.
The author is solely responsible for the content.