While 4/20 is celebrated by stoners worldwide, Coloradans do it better than anybody else: A day of unity and political activism where participants can spend their every waking moment consuming cannabis is hard to beat, holiday-wise. But April 20 this year also happens to be Easter Sunday and the fifth night of Passover. While kicking off your private seder with a kush Kiddush, or hunting for medible-stuffed Easter eggs while gorging on Peeps and Cadbury cremes with a group of fellow adult stoners, are both fine ways to celebrate this unique confluence of holidays, most official celebrations this weekend are either religious or kid-centric in nature. As such, there will be no kind of any kind encouraged. While no one can prevent you from attending any of these events under the influence, if you show up red-eyed and reeking, be prepared for askance glances from concerned parents and clergy -- particularly if you keep giggling at the phrase "askance glances."
The four most cannabis-unfriendly events this weekend:
4. Hippity-Hop Easter Trot 5K/10K and Kid's Cottontail Fun Run Stapleton Central Park 9 a.m. Saturday, April 19
The only thing more foolhardy than attempting to run a 10K after a few lungfuls of bong smoke is attempting to run a 10K after a few lungfuls of bong smoke in the company of athletic families celebrating a religious holiday. Don't be the childless weirdo in the crowd or the stoned parent everyone else is secretly judging. Clearly, the target demographic for this event is unlikely to include any wake and bakers. Leave it to Coloradans to take a perfectly fine holiday hostage and force it to go for a run.
3. Red Rocks Easter Sunrise Service Red Rocks Amphitheater 6 a.m. Sunday, April 20
While Red Rocks concertgoers have enjoyed discreetly toking for generations, and will continue to do so later on April 20 when Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa take the stage, the iconic venue also hosts several events where smoking any weed -- however discreetly -- is frowned-upon at best. Once again this year, worshippers will gather at dawn to let nature do the heavy spirit-lifting and get all churchy about a holiday that's supposed to be about pastel-colored candy and magic mascots. They don't need to deal with any red-eyed interlopers. Fortunately, the sunrise service begins at 6 a.m., which is four hours before any self-respecting pothead would willingly get out of bed. Keep reading for more cannabis-unfriendly events this weekend.
2. Ludlow Massacre Centennial Memorial Services Ludlow Monument 10 a.m. April 20 service conducted by the Mine Workers of America 2 p.m. April 20 Greek Orthodox service
While this April 20 is a holiday for Jews, Christians and stoners alike, it also marks the anniversary of some of Colorado's worst tragedies. The Columbine shootings happened fifteen years ago on April 20, and this Sunday is the hundredth anniversary of the Ludlow Massacrew, when the Colorado National Guard opened fire on striking miners and their families, as Alan Prendergast details in this week's Westword cover story. The Ludlow Massacre Monument is a chilling place to visit any day of the year, but being high at one of the two memorial services held that day would be disrespectful in the same way it would be wrong for tourists in Amsterdam to visit the Anne Frank house after blazing away the morning in a coffee shop. When taking an unflinching look at a heart-rending chapter of history, somber and sober is the order of the day.
1. University of Colorado at Boulder CU Boulder All day long on April 20
The infamous Norlin Quad smokeout was a 4/20 tradition enjoyed by generations of students. In recent years, however, the University brass have cracked down on the event, closing the campus and once even spraying the field with foul-smelling fish fertilizers to deter the revelers. Ironically, the University's opposition to cannabis has intensified as legislation and cultural attitudes surrounding the plant have relaxed. The futility of CU trying to shed its pothead school reputation is frustrating to be sure, but students also have plenty of alternative smoke spots; the 4/20 rally in Civic Center Park, for example, is a much larger post-grad version of the same event. Denverites who aren't enrolled at the University of Colorado probably shouldn't be lurking around a college campus, anyway.
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Follow Byron Graham on twitter @ByronFG for more mildly amusing sequences of words.