FLASHBACK: What It Was Like to Celebrate 4/20 in Denver in 2019
April 20th, 2019 was the last real celebration of the marijuana-themed holiday of 4/20 in Denver before the COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to large gatherings.
4/20 Celebrations in Colorado Prior to Legalization
Prior to Colorado's legalization of recreational marijuana in 2012, large groups of people would break the law and gather en masse to celebrate the widely accepted "stoner holiday" that takes place on April 20th each year known as 4/20.
These celebrations primarily took place at Boulder's Folsom Field as well as Denver's Civic Center Park and prior to legalization, law enforcement would circulate photos of people at these celebrations and ask the public to identify anyone they recognized.
However, once recreational marijuana was legalized in Colorado, the gathering at Denver's Civic Center Park became more legit with vendors, famous speakers, and performances from nationally touring music artists.
Locations of Past 4/20 Celebrations in Colorado
Civic Center Park is located right off of Colfax Avenue in Denver and is in the same area as the state's Capitol Building. On a typical day, the park is a fairly peaceful place but the 4/20 holiday has changed the atmosphere dramatically.
What it Was Like to Celebrate 4/20 in Denver Before COVID
The 4/20 celebrations between 2012 and 2019 were truly something to behold. The park would fill with thousands of people, most of which were openly smoking some kind of marijuana resulting in a gigantic cloud hovering over the crowd.
There we speakers, notably Montell Jordan in 2019, as well as musical acts such as rapper T.I. who performed that same year.
Then, at 4:20 p.m. the entire crowd would light up in celebration, creating a scene that you could only truly grasp if you've truly experienced it.
Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic that reared its ugly head in 2020 put an end to all large gatherings, including Denver's 4/20 celebration.