Denver’s 4/20 Fest canceled amid COVID-19 unfold

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The FlyHi 420 Festival, which is part of the annual celebration of the unofficial 4/20 holiday at Civic Center Park in Denver on April 20, has been canceled due to coronavirus concerns.

Shortly after Mayor Michael Hancock banned all on-site service in bars and restaurants in Denver on March 17, and days after Governor Jared Polis temporarily banned all public gatherings of over 250 people, 420 organizers announced the festival and the free concert scheduled for Monday, April 20, at the Civic Center would be canceled.

“Due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak and uncertainty about its potential growth, the FlyHi 420 Festival at Civic Center Park was canceled on April 20, 2020,” said representatives from Euflora, the pharmacy chain that organizes the event, in a statement. “The health and safety of our artists and participants is a top priority.”

Just a few days ago, the organizers announced that Lil Jon would return to lead the free concert. However, as more concerts, sporting events and now even restaurants and bars had to cease operations, the FlyHi 420 festival also decided to cancel.

“There are no immediate plans to reschedule as this virus is still circulating,” Euflora said.

The FlyHi Fest news follows other cancellations and postponements for cannabis-related events in Colorado this spring, including the NoCo Hemp Expo, Cannabis Wedding Expo, Colorado Hemp Fest, and services at the International Church of Cannabis. According to Michael Eymer, CEO of Colorado Cannabis Tours, less notable cannabis events scheduled for April 20 will likely also need to be canceled or postponed.

“I’m very bearish about how 4/20 will work this year, but that too is up to the government,” he predicted in an interview last week. “I don’t see any big events on April 20th, I really don’t. Denver has been pulling itself back over the years.”

It looks like 4/20 will have to stay home again this year.

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Thomas Mitchell has been writing about everything cannabis-related for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate, and general news en route to publications like the Republic of Arizona, Inman, and Fox Sports. He is currently the cannabis editor for westword.com.

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