As life begins to get back to normal in some places, San Francisco’s 4/20 Day festival on Hippie Hill has been canceled for the second year in a row.
The Los Angeles Times reports, “People looking for a spot of grass in San Francisco to celebrate the nationally recognized marijuana holiday Tuesday won’t be able to find any at Golden Gate Park, where the annual party has been canceled.” According to The Times, “In past years, tens of thousands of people packed Robin Williams Meadow to pay homage to the cannabis plant with music, merchandise and food, a tradition organizers say dates back to the 1970s.”
“Although we’re in a better place in our fight against COVID-19 than we were last year, we are still not at the point where we can allow large, crowded events,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed said in a statement. “Please do your part to keep our community safe and celebrate from home. Anyone traveling to Golden Gate Park or Hippie Hill looking for a party will be disappointed.”
The 420 Hippie Hill festival organizers were forced to cancel the event last year in response to the city’s stay-at-home orders. Mayor Breed said officials would not allow the “unsanctioned event” to occur, “especially in the height of a pandemic.”
A year later, city officials still say it’s too soon to permit large gatherings.
“We are very concerned about the surges we are seeing in other parts of the country and in Europe that are being fueled by variants,” said Dr. Grant Colfax, SF Director of Public Health.
Earlier this month, the Recreation and Parks Department said fencing and barricades would go up around the area on Monday and remain through Wednesday the 21st.
Tamara Barak Aparton, with San Francisco Recreation and Parks, told KRON 4 that the Hippie Hill area would be off-limits.
“It’s been a really long year for all of us and I know we’re all itching to go out and do things with people, but we’re just not ready for big celebrations like 4/20,” she said. “We’ve come so far and we don’t want to take any steps back.”
The L.A. Times reports:
San Francisco is in the orange tier of the state’s color-coded restrictions, meaning some businesses may operate with modifications. But instead of weeding out the crowd with capacity limits, the city canceled the event altogether. Police officers and park rangers will ensure people stay off the grass Tuesday, and citations may be issued, according to a city announcement.
“Let me be blunt,” San Francisco Recreation and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg said in a statement. “Hippie Hill will be completely inaccessible. Law enforcement will be patrolling the area. It will be a serious buzzkill.”
Event organizers are offering a dis-jointed set of online events in lieu of the usual gathering, including a livestreamed comedy show. They also encourage people to purchase marijuana or other pot-related items from local dispensaries and delivery services.
According to CBS SF Bay Area, “an estimated 14,000 people attended the most recent 4/20 celebration at Hippie Hill in 2019.”
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