SAN FRANCISCO - For the second year in a row, the 420 celebration at San Francisco's Golden Gate Park is a no-go.
City officials canceled the event due to state and local restrictions on large gatherings. Normally, thousands of marijuana enthusiasts descend on Hippie Hill to partake in one of the country's biggest smoke-out sessions.
"Although we're in a better place in our fight against COVID-19 than we were last year, we are still not at the point where we can allow large, crowded events," said San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed. "Please do your part to keep our community safe and celebrate from home. Anyone traveling to Golden Gate Park or Hippie Hill looking for a party will be disappointed."
The city said fencing will go up around Robin Williams Meadow, where Hippie Hill is located, early Monday in anticipation of 420 Tuesday. The barriers will remain in place until Wednesday.
"We have come so far as a city and attending an event like the 420 celebrations of previous years would set our reopening back significantly," said Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax. "We are very concerned about the surges we are seeing in other parts of the country and in Europe that are being fueled by variants. We need to take the possibility of a fourth surge seriously and do everything we know works—masking, physical distancing, avoiding non-essential travel and limiting gatherings with people from outside your household—to stop the spread of COVID-19."
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City officials are urging people to celebrate at home.
"Let me be blunt," said Rec and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg. "Hippie Hill will be completely inaccessible. Law enforcement will be patrolling the area. It will be a serious buzzkill."
Police officers and rangers will be patrolling the area and citations may be issued to those who don’t comply with enforcement.