Thousands flock to SF's Hippie Hill for 'unofficial' 420 celebration

Thousands of weed worshipers flocked to San Francisco's Hippie Hill for an unofficial, but still spirited version of 420. 

The annual pilgrimage to Golden Gate Park went on despite the absence of organized entertainment this year.

"The official 420 has been canceled," said Tamara Barak Aparton of San Francisco Recreation and Parks ahead of the event. "It just comes down to economics. The usual organizer for 420 couldn’t get the level of sponsorship that he was accustomed to from people in the cannabis industry. I guess they’re struggling a bit, and the City, we had to cut our budget as well, so we couldn’t subsidize it."


420 origins traced to San Rafael's 'Waldos'

Where did 420 originate? The cannabis term started with a group of high school jokesters in the Bay Area.

"I think it got pretty packed for a canceled event," said one 420 attendee, lighting up a joint as the clock struck twenty-past-four on Saturday.

Still, the crowd was noticeably smaller than in years past when live bands, concession stands, and other attractions beckoned weed lovers to the grassy expanse.  

"Having a high old time," said Bill Parker amid a cloud of smoke on Hippie Hill with his wife.

"It’s not as lively or something, but it’s totally fun," said Patrice Parker.

But, as some attendees pointed out, there was a time when none of the additional amusements existed. The celebration 420 started out as a rebellious gathering of weed fans in the 70’s far before its legalization in the State.

"It’s back to being the way it was in the beginning," said Debbie Harms. "It’s just a really nice vibe. Everybody’s happy. There wasn’t a bunch of fences and regulations and advertising this year. It was really nice."