SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Celebrations for the unofficial pot-smoking holiday 4/20 were canceled for the second year in a row last week due to the pandemic, but San Francisco still took some preventive steps Tuesday in case crowds don’t obey instructions.
At Dolores Park, the city had sprinklers going to keep the grass wet and a little less appealing for people looking to celebrate 4/20. Before noon is a little early for the smoke-out crowd. The big moment won’t come until later Tuesday afternoon.READ MORE: Farms, Ranches In Southern Santa Clara County Grapple With Worsening Drought
A week ago, San Francisco officials announced that the celebration on Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park was canceled due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions on large gatherings.
“Anyone traveling to Golden Gate Park or Hippie Hill looking for a party will be disappointed,” Mayor London Breed said in a statement.
Rec and Park officials said fencing would go up in the open space officially named Robin Williams Meadow on Monday, April 19th and remain in place through Wednesday the 21st. Access to Nancy Pelosi Drive and Bowling Green Drive will be restricted to the tennis center and museums during that period. MLK Jr. Way between Kezar Drive to the Botanical Gardens will also be closed.
The area will also see increased patrols by police, rangers and parking control officers. Violators may receive citations.
KPIX found one well-planned 4/20 celebrant already scoping spots for the big day.READ MORE: 5 Boats Burn, 4 Destroyed in the Delta Near Bethel Island
“Usually we go to Golden Gate Park and Hippie Hill. But it’s closed this year, so we’re thinking about Dolores Park,” said Mojamito Libunao. “But it looks like they’re trying to wet the field so we don’t sit here, actually.”
In the days before the pandemic, 4/20 drew tens of thousands of people to Golden Gate Park, with another large crowd regularly gathering at Dolores Park.
The concern for neighbors around Dolores Park is that their neighborhood could end up being the new hotspot.
“I personally am worried they might block driveways,” said area resident Ann Cromey. They might not be respectful or have politeness.”
Park rangers in San Francisco have been out since the early morning and will be working longer hours Tuesday, but aren’t increasing staffing at Dolores. The city has said it will focus primarily on Golden Gate Park. That is where Libunao said he would likely go insteadMORE NEWS: COVID: Service Industry Employers Lament Lack of People Willing to Fill Open Jobs
“I’m not sure exactly how it’s gonna go, because I have seen a lot of cops out,” said Libunao. “But we are going to try and go on the outskirts of Golden Gate Park, maybe the beach.”