San Francisco

Thousands Show Up for 4/20 Festival at Golden Gate Park

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It's 4/20, and San Francisco on Thursday once again played host to the largest free cannabis event in California.

Festivities took place throughout the day at Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park, where the city expected about 20,000 people to show up, and the event culminated at 4:20 p.m. with a mass smoke out. The event officially started at 10 a.m. and ran through 5 p.m.

This is the second year that onsite cannabis sales are legal at the 4/20 event. The San Francisco Parks and Rec Department and Office of Cannabis have been working for months with organizers to keep the city-sanctioned event safe and peaceful.

Sisters Lis and Lydia Rillo went to San Francisco all the way from Fresno.

“It’s really good, positive vibes, good energy,” said Liz. “So many businesses, up and coming ready to promote what they’re doing.”

“This is a whole 'nother like level of socializing,” said Lydia. “It's good for me, I'm like ‘yes, this is so cool.’”

Debbie Harms has been coming to the Bay for the festival since 2009, all the way from Utah.

“I look forward to the festival, I really do,” she said. “It’s so fun to people watch, everyone is looking is so kind to us and they give us so many freebies it's not even funny.”

Thousands of 4/20 revelers gathered Thursday at Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park for the yearly celebration of all things cannabis.

A representative from the city said the event was hugely successful last year, coming off a two-year break due to the pandemic.

"It's always a peaceful event, but it draws about 20,000 people, so its been a massive coordinating effort between the city and the organizer," said Tamara Barak Aparton of the Parks and Rec Department.

The highly-anticipated event was also good for businesses.

“Helping people through this plant cannabis, it's an amazing magical plant, you know” I lived in San Francisco for many years and bred a string called Gelato here in the Sunset District,” said Mario Guzman of Sherbinskis.

There were 100 security guards, 163 portable toilets, extra parking patrol officers, and of course, a robust cleanup crew. The city encouraged people to take public transportation rather than drive, so there were free Muni shuttles available.

Because there was cannabis sales and consumption, nobody under 21 was allowed within the fenced-in area at Golden Gate Park.

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