4/20: Where to celebrate cannabis day in the United States

Several festivals focused on marijuana culture will be held around the country with music and educational events

cannabis estados unidos
A man smokes cannabis in Denver.KEVIN MOHATT (REUTERS)
Alonso Martínez

April 20 is already better known as 420 by all cannabis fans who see this date as the day to celebrate everything related to the plant. For decades, the number has been synonymous with marijuana culture, and now that more and more states have legalized its recreational consumption there are more celebrations across the country, which focus not only on having a good time but also on educating and taking action in places where its consumption is not yet allowed.

One of the most interesting events is the Stoner 420 Race, a five-kilometer competition that will raise funds to end marijuana prohibition on a national scale; a mix between cannabis culture and sport. In other states there will be several festivals that will offer unique experiences to make the most of 420, these are some of the most relevant:

El New York City Cannabis Parade & Rally in Nueva York

Since the 1970s, 420 used to be celebrated in New York with groups of people gathering to smoke in Washington Square Park, and now the celebration has become massive, including a parade that goes through Broadway, a Rally in Union Square Park, as well as an After Party. It’s quite a day of celebration, especially since the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act was passed in 2021.

The event begins at 11 a.m. on the east side of Broadway between 32nd and 33rd Streets, with the parade departing at 12:30. The Rally ― which will include elected officials, activists and cannabis industry leaders ― will run from 1 to 5 p.m. in Union Square Park, where Redman, 420 Funk Mob and Immortal Technique will also perform. While the After Party will be a private event, New York City will have a variety of options for consumers around the city.

Cannabis Day in NYC
A man shows up some weed.Pablo Monsalve (Corbis via Getty Images)

SF Weed Week in San Francisco, California

For many years, Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park was the place to party 420 in San Francisco. Unfortunately, this year the site will be officially closed to cannabis lovers. The city has asked people who want to celebrate not to attend the site, where an adult kickball game will now be held.

Instead, locals will be able to enjoy seven days dedicated to cannabis with SF Weed Week, a new event that includes seven cannabis tasting events at marijuana lounges around the city, where consumers can sample innovative strains presented by their growers, some of whom are among the most recognized in California.

The celebrations will end at a free 420 party at an art gallery in downtown San Francisco. More can be seen on the event’s official website.

The National Cannabis Festival at RFK, Washington D.C.

Despite the fact that in Washington D.C. consuming recreational cannabis in public is still illegal, on April 19 and 20 this festival will take place that mixes music, cannabis education, and exhibitors involved in the industry. Iconic hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan will be the headlining act on Saturday along with Redman, while Thundercat will close out the first day.

The event was born in 2015 as a party that would celebrate the progress of marijuana legislation in Washington D.C. and across the country, including voices from activists, advocacy partners, community leaders, legislators and veterans groups.

A man lights a marijuana cigarette
A man smokes weed.Eduardo Muñoz Álvarez (VIEWpress / Corbis / Getty)

Mile High 420 Festival in Denver, Colorado

Denver’s Civic Center Park will become the cannabis hub of Colorado with the Mile High 420 Festival, completely free for all attendees (although VIP tickets are also available for exclusive experiences). This event is entirely musical and will feature the iconic Afroman, responsible for I Got High, one of the most recognizable marijuana anthems, as well as other hip-hop and reggae acts such as Gucci Mane, Ohgeesy, Lexy Pantera and Zuri Marley.

Although the event is free, attendees must get their tickets through the official website. It should be noted that in Colorado public consumption of marijuana, as well as possession of more than one ounce, is illegal, so consumption is not promoted within the festival.

SweetWater 420 Fest in Atlanta, Georgia

Pullman Yards will host SweetWater 420 Fest this year, featuring a great lineup of rock, jazz and EDM artists for the cannabis-loving crowd. Although the event has undergone some changes in recent weeks and several acts canceled their performances, the festival is still on for a two-day party.

Grace Potter and Gov’t Mule will perform on the 20th, while Sunday’s party will continue with Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue and Big Gigantic, who will close the event.

In addition to these festivals, several cannabis stores and communities in several states will hold similar events, offering product discounts (where legal), or cultural and educational proposals to promote legislation in favor of cannabis regulation.

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