I headed down to Denver around noon to check out the official 420 rally held in Civic Center Park. Traffic was gnarly around the event and it took me some time to find a parking garage that wasn’t full.
Once I got parked, I walked to the event and lined up to get in. There were only three entrances to the fenced off area, and security were checking everyone with hand-held metal detectors and looking in bags. Apparently there was a shooting a few years ago, so these precautions were in response to that. Security didn’t care about cannabis and paraphernalia; they were just looking for weapons.
The lines wrapped around the whole park and down several blocks. They definitely could have used more security staff and entrances. People surreptitiously smoked while in line. There were signs everywhere tell people that public consumption was illegal, but I didn’t see anyone actually getting hassled by the police or security about it. Food and merchandise vendors roamed up and down the lines peddling their wares. Here’s Pizza Batman selling glass pipes:
While waiting in line it began to rain, at first just a drizzle and then a heavier rain. Lots of people abandoned their place in line to head for shelter. After about 90 minutes in line I finally got to the front of the line and got into the event itself.
The fence segments were held together with metal clamps, but the only actual devices stopping people opening the fences were zip ties. Periodically someone would cut the zip tie and open the fence letting in a stream of people until security could run to that section and close it up. Here’s a crowd of people after they broke through the fence:
There was a stage setup at one end of the park with DJs spinning and rappers performing. The rain came down on and off so the audience ended up being pretty bedraggled:
On the other side of the park was the vendor row:
I walked up and down checking out some of the booths. Mostly merchandise and food, with the odd online business or buyer club stalls:
Like the security, waste management was understaffed. Trash cans everywhere were overflowing and people just ended up leaving their leftover food and trash wherever there was room:
Despite the security, trash and weather challenges the event was well attended. All the booths and food carts had long lines of people waiting. Everyone seemed chill and I didn’t see any people get into altercations with each other or the police. By the time I left the lines of people waiting to get in hadn’t gotten any shorter. Overall the weather and the long lines seemed to leave people fairly subdued and low energy. The performers struggled to get the crowds into their performances. Hopefully next year we’ll have better weather!
How was your 420? Did you attend any events in your area?