Where to 4/20: 12 events, 4 cities

Published on April 16, 2019 by Special to the oz.

This year’s 4/20 is extra special — it’s the first since legalization.

We put together a list of events marking the date in Vancouver, Kelowna, Calgary and Toronto. Join your cannabis fam and get lit.


420 Vancouver
B.C. has long been known for its bud. It’s also known for having the world’s longest running 4/20 event. This year, Cypress Hill is performing at 420 Vancouver’s 25th annual event at Sunset Beach Park. It runs from noon to 8 p.m. Organizers are anticipating more than 100,000 people this year. “We welcome you to join us, enjoy some of the world’s best cannabis products, celebrate the cannabis culture, and protest against the stigma and harassment which cannabis users still face,” say organizers. (FYI: the Vancouver Park Board is making an “urgent” request to quash the event.) More info.

420 Yoga
Get lifted into a higher state of mind with a yoga session. Dee Dussault, author of Ganja Yoga says both yoga and weed, “bring a shift in consciousness that allows one to become more open to psychological, emotional, and energy states that aren’t usually operational in the grind of daily life.” Weed with vaporizers are provided. It starts at 4 p.m., with the yoga session taking place at 4:20 p.m. at 1430 Rupert Street in North Vancouver. Tickets are $20. More info.

Pineapple Express
The 13th semi-annual dance showcase on 420 features an amazing show and one hell of a party. Presented by the Main Event, tickets to the show at the Rickshaw Theatre are $25. More info.


420 at Hemp City
Join a tradition. Come chill where there’s an arcade, DJs, smoke lounge and prizes. “Music starts at 12 and we will be there till we fall asleep,” say organizers. There will also be a BBQ with vegetarian options. Music is by Vinnie the squid (trip hop set), Shamanic technology (hip hop set), Dusko (Chill Set) and Grizz Lee (vinyl trip hop/ hip hop set). More info.

Comics Go Green
Laughter and weed go well together. Comics Go Green wants to give you a fit of the giggles. The event features experienced comics performing two sets: one stone sober and another super stoned. The show is from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at Dakoda’s Sports Bar & Grill. Tickets are $10 at the door. More info.

Projekt: 420 Party
Celebrate 420 at Sapphire Nightclub, featuring everyone’s favourite red-eyed anthems from Snoop Dogg to Afroman. The event starts at 10 p.m. (Cannabis isn’t allowed in the club.) More info.


420 Music and Arts Festival
A psychedelic celebration from April 18-20 in Calgary’s County Line Saloon. The festival features a lineup of rock, hard rock blues and metal bands like Great Electric Quest, Valley of the Sun, and Crobot, with a side of Southern Alberta’s best food trucks. Other festivities include local artists and craftsmen vendors, along with a chance to win the beard contest. Festival pass is $60, with single day tickets and packages available. More info

Buds and Blooms 420 Party
The Ranch House at the Calgary Polo Club is hosting live music, cocktails and a chance to smoke with some industry leaders on April 20 from 2-8 p.m. The daytime event features a food station with award-winning chef Elycia Ross, which is sure to satisfy the munchies. More info

Smoke & Show 420 Party
After Buds and Blooms, join the after-party where DJs, a cannabis comedy show, VIP tables, and the Ultra VIP Lounge wait. The event is at 9:30 p.m. at Junction Food Stage Bar. Tickets are $20. More info


Legalized 420
Celebrate legalization with dancing to live reggae at Junction City Music Hall, featuring Toronto’s heavy hitting reggae bands Memberz, Feeling the One Drop and Bredren Dub. The doors open at 8 p.m., with DJs and pinball/video game tournament. The party starts at 8 p.m. and is expected to last until 2 a.m. Tickets are $15 at the door. More info.

The 420 Comedy Festival 
This hilarious festival is in its third year and is bigger and better than ever. There are four venues featuring stand-up and improv. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. More info.

The 420 Ball
Cannabis and ballroom partner up. Dress to impress and hit the dance floor for a number of contests that look like a lot of fun, including King and Queen of cannabis and best dressed. Doors open at 8 p.m. at 160 Saint George Street. Tickets are $10, with VIP tickets at $30. More info.

— files by Lauren Edwards and Jenny Neufeld
Photo source YouTube video


The 420 origin story

The number “420” was first used in reference to cannabis in the 1970s by a group of high school friends in California. They called themselves “The Waldos” and met every day at 4:20 p.m. after school to smoke cannabis.

They popularized the 420 term among the Grateful Dead community, which was then picked up and promoted in High Times magazine.

Vancouver’s first April 20 protest was a small event, held in 1995 at Victory Square Park at Hastings and Cambie. By 2007, there were more than 7,000 people at 4/20, packing the front of the Art Gallery. The event had grown to include day-long live music, public speakers and many booths openly selling cannabis products. Other 4/20 events had become established in cities across Canada.

Vancouver’s annual event never stopped growing. This year, 100,000 people are expected to attend.