Everyone we met at Denver’s Mile High 420 Festival

Y’all looked good!

Denver's 420 celebration at Civic Center Park. April 20, 2022.

Denver's 420 celebration at Civic Center Park. April 20, 2022.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
KEVIN-lighter

It’s been two years since local tokers and visiting stoners were able to gather on 420, the international marijuana holiday. Denver’s celebration began as a protest to repeal the prohibition on pot; in the years since legalization, it’s become a major event in the heart of the city.

So, without much more to advocate for, the annual festivities at Civic Center Park are more centered around good vibes and funky fashion. Here are the looks and humans we saw in a few hours amidst the haze.

Brian Pham and AJ Kirksey (left) and Erika Mitchell and Matt Chandler seen at Denver's 420 celebration at Civic Center Park. April 20, 2022.

Brian Pham and AJ Kirksey (left) and Erika Mitchell and Matt Chandler seen at Denver's 420 celebration at Civic Center Park. April 20, 2022.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Jessy Torres (left) and Austin Hayes seen at Denver's 420 celebration at Civic Center Park. April 20, 2022.

Jessy Torres (left) and Austin Hayes seen at Denver's 420 celebration at Civic Center Park. April 20, 2022.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

“I’m about to get high as a mother,” Jasmine Steele said, stoked about more than smoking. “It means something to me. I’m free. I can be who I want to be this day. I’m celebrating myself.”

Jasmine Steele seen at Denver's 420 celebration at Civic Center Park. April 20, 2022.

Jasmine Steele seen at Denver's 420 celebration at Civic Center Park. April 20, 2022.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Jasmine Steele and her friends (left) and Jasmine Gordon, Latoya Steel and Tameka White seen at Denver's 420 celebration at Civic Center Park. April 20, 2022.

Jasmine Steele and her friends (left) and Jasmine Gordon, Latoya Steel and Tameka White seen at Denver's 420 celebration at Civic Center Park. April 20, 2022.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Hillary Alkire also felt this celebration represents something more than the act of burning one down: “We live here, so we stay smoking. Everybody comes together. It’s nice not to feel judgement.”

Charlize Wellington and Hillary Alkire (left) and Ryn McKinley and Sarah Artmeie seen at Denver's 420 celebration at Civic Center Park. April 20, 2022.

Charlize Wellington and Hillary Alkire (left) and Ryn McKinley and Sarah Artmeie seen at Denver's 420 celebration at Civic Center Park. April 20, 2022.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
"Handlebar" Holly Hall (left) and Aaron and Fatima Gordon seen at Denver's 420 celebration at Civic Center Park. April 20, 2022.

"Handlebar" Holly Hall (left) and Aaron and Fatima Gordon seen at Denver's 420 celebration at Civic Center Park. April 20, 2022.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Even though recreational marijuana has been legal for years, Persephone Stevens said she was still celebrating the end of the prohibition.

“When I started smoking it in Boulder, I went to a Hawaiian church,” she remembered. “I got by on a religious exemption.”

Seeing people gathered in Denver – even though it’s technically illegal to smoke in public – still floors her.

Persephone Stevens (left) and Devon Shields seen at Denver's 420 celebration at Civic Center Park. April 20, 2022.

Persephone Stevens (left) and Devon Shields seen at Denver's 420 celebration at Civic Center Park. April 20, 2022.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Andre Lopez and Luffy the dog seen at Denver's 420 celebration at Civic Center Park. April 20, 2022.

Andre Lopez and Luffy the dog seen at Denver's 420 celebration at Civic Center Park. April 20, 2022.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Noah “Lil’ Apsy” Hubler, the “number one autistic rapper in the western U.S.,” said the celebration represented a kind of hope in humanity: “Without weed, man, the world would be a darker place. It has this element of tranquility to it.”

“Yeah, I smoke pounds of the kush,” he added.

Kenneath Burnett Fred Vialpando (left) and comedians Kenneath Burnett and Noah "Lil' Aspy" Hubler seen at Denver's 420 celebration at Civic Center Park. April 20, 2022.

Kenneath Burnett Fred Vialpando (left) and comedians Kenneath Burnett and Noah "Lil' Aspy" Hubler seen at Denver's 420 celebration at Civic Center Park. April 20, 2022.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Larry Goodwin and Ray Lumley (left) and Crystal Sullivan seen at Denver's 420 celebration at Civic Center Park. April 20, 2022.

Larry Goodwin and Ray Lumley (left) and Crystal Sullivan seen at Denver's 420 celebration at Civic Center Park. April 20, 2022.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Tweet Williams, who was toting around multiple two-foot joints, was also excited: “I love being high with random strangers. That sounds weird, but I love it!”

Tweet Williams found a joint that's at least a third of her height, seen here at Denver's 420 celebration at Civic Center Park. April 20, 2022.

Tweet Williams found a joint that's at least a third of her height, seen here at Denver's 420 celebration at Civic Center Park. April 20, 2022.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Ben Romero (left) and Kent Jonsson seen at Denver's 420 celebration at Civic Center Park. April 20, 2022.

Ben Romero (left) and Kent Jonsson seen at Denver's 420 celebration at Civic Center Park. April 20, 2022.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

A lot of regulars said it was just nice to be back after two years on COVID hiatus.

“It definitely feels very different. It feels like we’re back to normal,” Zexel Nightshade said in a moment of reflection. “I’m so taken aback by what’s happening right now, and I’m for it.”

Zexel Nightshade (left) and Alex Haun seen at Denver's 420 celebration at Civic Center Park. April 20, 2022.

Zexel Nightshade (left) and Alex Haun seen at Denver's 420 celebration at Civic Center Park. April 20, 2022.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Josh Amann was just glad tickets didn’t cost him a dime: “It’s free! You can’t beat that with a stick!”

Brandon Collins (left) and Josh Amann seen at Denver's 420 celebration at Civic Center Park. April 20, 2022.

Brandon Collins (left) and Josh Amann seen at Denver's 420 celebration at Civic Center Park. April 20, 2022.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

And though Brandon Collins said his habits didn’t quite change because of the hallowed date, he was glad everyone came out: “This is just a normal day, except I get to see people who smoke weed, too!”

Check out more of our portrait projects, like everyone we met at Dolly (Parton) Day Denver, all the dogs we met at City Park Jazz and everyone we met at the UMS.

 

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Denverite members have made the decision to financially support local journalism that matters to you. Ready to tell your networks why? Sharing our “About” page with your own personal comments could really help us out.