(CBS4) — Civic Center Park will be packed for the Mile High 420 Festival Wednesday afternoon. This will be the biggest event since the park closed after a major cleanup in 2021. About 30,000 people are expected to be in attendance.
The 420 fest will be one of the biggest events the park has seen since it reopened in November 2021. Event organizers are looking to leave the park in much better shape than another 420 rally did back in 2017. That’s when the park was left in shambles with trash everywhere after the event. The event organizers were fined and banned from holding the event for three years.
So as the music stage was being assembled Tuesday, trash cans were placed all over the park, and a cleanup crew was hired to make sure the park was left spotless.
“We are a big believer in leaving the space better than we found it,” said Ashley Chubin, the COO of Flyhi Cannabis Delivery. “I think as a community our environment is so important, so we want to keep this festival going. So we have an entire clean up crew that will come in tomorrow night after the festival and hopefully it looks better than it does today.”
Plenty of security measure were also implemented at the event to ensure safety for all. One of the main reasons was because of the high crime in the area.
According to the City of Denver’s crime map, 339 offenses have been committed at the park this year. That’s the fourth most offenses per square mile in Denver. So to help keep everyone safe, event organizers spent $125,000 to hire a security team as well as a cleanup crew to pick up trash after the festival.
In total about 120 security personnel will be there to help keep everyone safe.
“We just feel it’s important,” Chubin said. “We have metal detectors that are going on. We are going to be checking in what people are bring in. No bags are going to be allowed this year. No weapons of any kind. We just really want to do right by the community and the community members to feel really safe for this festival.”
Advocates were also calling for stricter age limits ahead of the event. They want the festival to be only for people over the age of 21. Right now, all ages are allowed on festival grounds. Advocates at 5280 High School say, from experience, being exposed to marijuana at a young age led them to using harder drugs, and it shouldn’t be accessible to teens.
“I would say that they’re completely wrong due to my experience. I guarantee if I had not started with marijuana I would’ve not gone to the place I was at,” 5280 HS student Savannah Crowder said. “I got introduced to people who sold marijuana, then acid and harder drugs.
Right now, the high school services 125 students who are in recovery from substance abuse.