Dear Stoner: It's our first 4/20 in Denver. Give us some tips.
Dear Mark: While the organizers of the two-day 4/20 rally are asking people not to light up at the event in order to comply with the city's request, the reality is that people have been lighting up in Civic Center Park since well before Amendment 64 passed, and the tradition probably isn't going to stop this year. But be warned: Cops can and do write tickets down there, as public marijuana consumption is still illegal in Colorado. So don't be an idiot and borrow a lighter from a cop to spark your joint or ask one to wind-block for you while you hit your freshly packed Durban Poison.
Otherwise, have fun. The people-watching at Civic Center Park on Saturday and Sunday will be phenomenal. This is one of the only times of the year that growers, stoners, freaks, gangsters, hippies, Juggalos and high-school kids who told their parents they were at youth group all get together (relatively) peacefully. And keep an eye out for Westword Street Team members handing out our new Ask a Stoner lighters!
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The other huge event is the High Times Cannabis Cup at the Denver Mart, both Saturday and Sunday. The awards are handed out Sunday night, but keep in mind that all of the vendors start breaking down early to get out of there, and a lot of people are headed up to the sold-out Snoop/Wiz concert at Red Rocks. So Saturday is probably your best bet if you want the full Cannabis Cup experience. Last year that experience included an hours-long wait to get in the doors; hopefully a switch to a larger venue this year will help things flow better. Tickets are scarce, but single tickets were available as of late last week at cannabiscup.com.
For something more lowdown and local on Sunday, head to Five Points, where Leftover Salmon will be playing in the streets outside of Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom, 2637 Welton Street. For my money, celebrating Colorado cannabis with Colorado's slamgrass ambassadors, who'll be playing two sets along with Bonnie Paine and Daniel Rodriguez of Elephant Revival, with a load of Colorado food trucks and craft breweries there to feed your munchies, is about as perfect as it gets. Tickets are only $10 in advance, $20 the day of the show. There's also an Easter egg hunt at 2 p.m. that might be worth checking out before heading over to Civic Center Park for 4:20 on 4/20. No telling what the kind people at Cervantes' will have loaded the eggs with. For more info, go to cervantesmasterpiece.com.
For other 4/20 action, check out our growing list of events at blogs.westword.com/latestword/marijuana.