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Expect Big Changes At This Year’s 4/20 Rally

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DENVER (CBS4) – Denver is promising some big changes at this year’s 4/20 rally. Last year the marijuana celebration attracted thousands at a massive smokeout in Civic Center Park.

Organizers say this year will be different. The event runs over an entire weekend, April 19 and 20. This year’s festival will feature 15 bands on two stages and 200 food and art vendors. The one item noticeably missing? Pot.

This will be the first 4/20 rally since recreational marijuana sales became legal in Colorado and organizers are promising to make this event one to remember.

Thousands of supporters of legalized marijuana light up at exactly 4:20 p.m in Civic Center Park April 20, 2012 in Denver. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

The 4/20 rally in Civic Center Park on April 20, 2012. (credit: Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

“So it would be like a festival without pot,” a Denver resident said.

His group has obtained city permits to put on a festival that promises to be similar to the annual Taste of Colorado festival.

“Street closures, additional staging, bag checks and no coolers. The same thing you’d see at “Taste of Colorado” or Pridefest,” said Lopez.

Thousands gather to celebrate the state's medicinal marijuana laws and collectively light up at 4:20 p.m. in Civic Center Park April 20, 2012 in Denver. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

(Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

Lopez said the group has worked hard to avoid last year’s massive crowds and disorganization when shots were fired at Civic Center Park just before 5 p.m. on April 20.

A lot more security has been added and signs will be posted to remind festival-goers that even though recreational pot is legal, smoking pot in public is not.

Denver City Councilman Charlie Brown has been a vocal opponent of 4/20.

“It is on Easter Sunday. Worshipping weed… that’s their right,” said Brown.

Brown has his doubts that a festival glorifying marijuana can actually be smoke and trouble free.

Denver City Councilman Charlie Brown (credit: CBS)

Denver City Councilman Charlie Brown (credit: CBS)

“They’re being watched very closely by the city and by the council as to their behavior and if anything happens like it did last year, it could be the last year for 4/20 at Civic Center Park,” said Brown.

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