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Posted on: April 19, 2023

420 Celebration Returns to Hippie Hill

4-20 Setup

SAN FRANCISCO, CA San Francisco’s legendary 420 celebration will return to Golden Gate Park Thursday, drawing an estimated 20,000 cannabis fans and sparking a citywide effort to ensure the high spirits bring minimal hassles. 

A host of City departments and event organizer Sounds Bazaar will work together to mitigate impacts on surrounding neighborhoods. Among the efforts: 100 security guards, 163 portable toilets, free MUNI shuttles, extra parking control officers, robust clean-up crews and more. 

For the second year, regulated and tested cannabis products will be available for purchase and consumption at the event. As a result, nobody under 21 will be allowed to enter the fenced celebration area. Event staff will check identification and bags. No mass quantities of items intended for sale or distribution will be allowed and unpermitted vending is prohibited. Security will be placed at the entrances, emergency exits, sales area, and storage area.  Entry begins at 10 a.m. for the festival, which starts at noon and ends at 5 p.m. 

“The 420 celebration of today is much different than the 420 celebration of years ago thanks to the hard work of our City and community partners organizing the event.” said Mayor London Breed. “I am asking everyone to do their part by respecting our parks and neighbors while having a good time.  I am grateful to the event organizers and the work of all of our City departments for making sure this event runs smoothly.”

“The 420 festival is about joy and positivity. Thank you to the event organizers, City staff, residents, merchants and the community who work hard to ensure it’s fun and safe for everyone.” said District 5 Supervisor Dean Preston. “I want to encourage everyone to take public transit, enjoy the camaraderie and music, and have a great time.”

“Parks are places for fun, celebration and connection and 420 is no exception. We welcome everyone to enjoy Golden Gate Park, but we also ask festivalgoers respect each other, other park visitors, our neighbors, and our shared public space,” said San Francisco Recreation and Park Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg. “For years, 420 was a spontaneous gathering that left our park in bad shape. Today, we are so grateful to event organizers, local merchants and our fellow City departments for providing the resources and infrastructure to keep the park safe and clean.” 

“We’re excited to permit 420 at Hippie Hill for the second consecutive year,” said Nikesh Patel, director of the San Francisco Office of Cannabis. “This is another opportunity to showcase to the rest of the country what a successful regulated cannabis event can look like. It’s no secret that San Francisco is home to a vibrant cannabis and social equity community which seeks to create a safe, clean, and enjoyable experience for all. If you plan to go, be mindful of your neighbors, take care of the park, and support the local equity cannabis businesses that have worked hard to be there and are selling safe products.”

In addition to cannabis and food sales, this year’s free event will be hosted by Erykah Badu and feature live DJs, special appearances, and a focus on wellness. The day’s morning programming includes a blessing of the land with Mixcoatl Aztec Dancers, guided mediation, stretching, and ganja yoga. For more information, click here

“This year’s 420 will be a great mix of performances, health and wellness activities, cannabis brands, and community organizations,” said event organizer Alex Aquino of Sounds Bazaar. “We are a community and cultural event based on sponsorship and donations, and we are so grateful for everyone’s support.” 

Health and Safety

To ensure cannabis products are safe, regulated and tested, attendees should buy only from the permitted cannabis vendors at the event. This is also the best way to support local and equity cannabis businesses.

Safety around drug use is important because substances sold illicitly can contain dangerous ingredients. 

Cannabis consumption will be limited to designated areas. Dabbing (inhaling concentrated cannabis oil, resin, wax or shatter) is prohibited. 

Twenty-five park rangers will join 100 private event security in managing safety of the event. Nobody under 21 will be admitted.  

The San Francisco Fire Department will be fully staffed and monitoring the event day. Emergency medical services will be provided, including four dedicated ambulances, an onsite first aid tent, and three walking medical teams.

The San Francisco Police Department will focus on public safety and crowd management. There will be an increased presence of both uniformed and plainclothes officers around the exterior of the venue, along Haight Street, the Panhandle, and Alvord Lake. Juvenile and adult probation will also be on hand to provide support. 

SFPD will fully staff a command post at Park Station and have a presence at the City’s internal command center in the Sharon Arts Building.  

Banned items and activities include coolers larger than 9 x 12; tents, canopies, tables or other structures; cooking/grilling equipment; amplified sound equipment or generators; glass; alcohol; wagons or carts; drones; weapons; pets; tobacco; cannabis product exceeding 1 ounce; large bags; and unpermitted vending or giveaways.  

Traffic Impacts and Transit

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) expects significant congestion in the area from 3 to 7 p.m. and recommends motorists avoid the area in and around Golden Gate Park and allow extra time to reach destinations. Fourteen parking control officers will be on hand to prevent gridlock and ensure safe pedestrian crossing in the area. Walking, biking and transit are best as parking in the area is extremely limited. 

Traveling to the event, Route 7 and N-Judah are recommended. Leaving the event, SFMTA is providing free shuttles to Civic Center BART starting at 4 p.m. . Board on JFK Drive near Conservatory Drive near the event entrance. 

No road closures are currently planned outside of Golden Gate Park. However, onsite traffic management teams may close streets as needed for crowding and public safety.  Muni routes 7, 33, 37, 43, and 66 lines may be rerouted if streets are closed. See  MUNI alerts for reroute details and maps. Other streets may be closed based on crowds in the area.

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Keeping it Clean 

The event organizer is providing additional trash, recycling and compost receptacles, as well as 163 portable toilets for the event, including 32 in the surrounding neighborhood.  

In addition to clean-up staff provided by event organizers, 45 park staff will clean up the afternoon of the event, with 23 more on standby the following morning. 

Closures

The Golden Gate Park Tennis Center, Koret Children’s Quarter Playground and Sharon Art Studio will be closed Thursday.  Picture1

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