It’s that time of year again. No, not Easter — but April 20 (420), the unofficial cannabis holiday.
Many know 420 is slang for smoking pot, but where did the nickname originate? Contrary to some theories, the term 420 is not a reference to the police dispatch code for cannabis possession, the date of Adolf Hilter’s birthday, the name of a Bob Dylan song, or the number of active chemicals in marijuana.
It actually began with the Waldos, a group of kids at San Rafael High School in 1971 (who often hung out at a wall). When the five friends learned about a recently abandoned cannabis crop, they made it their quest to find the plant. Once a week, the athletes met at a school statue after sports practice at — you guessed it — 4:20 p.m. to search for the treasure.
The time they met became a code they used to be able to refer to their mission, and drug of choice, in public without anyone raising an eyebrow. The secret phrase then gained widespread fame due to its use on stage by the Grateful Dead, a band who some of the Waldos knew through family connections.
With or without knowledge of that origin story, cannabis lovers worldwide still celebrate April 20. Here are some events happening throughout the county for stoners (and non-stoners) to enjoy the 420-friendly day.
What’s better than music and munchies? Bayked promises all that and more at its 21-plus waterfront festival downtown. From wood-fried pizza to gnarly nachos, satisfy your munchies from six vendors. The day’s music lineup features rapper Rick Ross, with live music from Gramik (aka Denis Jašarević), Brasstracks and Boostive. Get hyped at the silent disco, then chill out in hammock lounges or with a yoga class. Cannabis vendors will join the party for demonstrations and education purposes, but no cannabis products will be sampled or sold. Tickets start at $35 and are available online.
2-9 p.m., Embarcadero Marina Park North, 499 Kettner Blvd., downtown, baykedsd.com
4/20 Tie-Dye Party
If you’re looking for something chill and creative this 4/20, why not pair tie-dye with a pint of craft beer? Modern Times — nicknamed Modern Times Fortress of Raditude for the groovy event — invites celebrants to exercise their artistic muscles and get their hands dirty with a tie-dye project at its brewery. Tickets are $25 and include a “Beer Jesus” graphic t-shirt, all art supplies and a Modern Times beer.
Noon to 4 p.m., Modern Times Beer, 3725 Greenwood St., Midway District, moderntimesbeer.com
Duck Foot promotes that people “keep on rolling” at its fourth annual 420 Party to celebrate the holidaze. Enjoy two original brews for the occasion: a coffee kush red ale, and a “super dank strain” of Duckzilla, which will both be available for purchase all day long. Show off your skills with the crowd-favorite hop rolling contest in the afternoon, followed by other games. And no need to leave when you get hungry — Smokey Jack’s BBQ will join the party from 2-6 p.m.
Noon to 10 p.m., Duck Foot, 8920 Kenmar Dr., duckfootbeer.com
Finest Social Tattoo Fest
Want a tattoo to commemorate the special day? Finest Tattoo presents its 420 Tattoo Fest, which offers tattoo specials from six artists. If planning to get inked, set up an appointment via Instagram DM. In addition to the ink, be ready to laugh along with national touring comedians (still TBA) starting at 7:30 p.m. at the free, 21+ show. Music, raffles and food vendors will also be offered throughout the day, or feel free to bring your own munchies.
Noon to 1 a.m., Finest Tattoo Social Club, 4239 University Ave., City Heights, finesttattooparlor.com
4.20 Supper Club
Living Tea Kombucha offers a classy evening with a cozy, outdoor dinner concert in Oceanside. Its inaugural 4.20 Supper Club will feature drink pairings with CBD treats provided by Care by Design, followed by a four-course dinner with hemp-based dishes. Iron Sage Wood and Shift Music will bring the acoustic tunes to compliment the evening. Attendees are encouraged to wear their hemp clothing, and the most uniquely dressed individual will win a prize. Tickets are $50 (excluding service fee) online.
4:20 p.m., Living Tea Kombucha, 302 Wisconsin Ave., Oceanside, livingteabrewingco.com
Original Stylin’ 4/20 Fest
Ring in the holiday in style all night long with Fluently Fresh. This music festival presents a lineup packed full of reggae, funk, hip-hop and R&B, featuring seven DJs, five emcees, and a live funk performance by NO FACE. In between jams, take a ride on the cannabis bus tour, chow down food from the munchie bar and sip some drink specials. Tickets are $15 online and $20 at the door.
4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Til Two Club, 4746 El Cajon Blvd., City Heights, facebook.com/tiltwoclubsandiego
Experience San Diego buds and brews with West Coast Cannabis Tours. On the journey riders will receive free beer tastings and behind-the-scenes tours at Green Flash Brewery and Mike Hess Brewing. The tour will also stop at a recreational cannabis dispensary for attendees to discover local products and get questions answered from insiders and bus tour guides. Tickets are $100 online, with Cannapacks available for purchase. No cannabis will be provided or sold, so BYOC (bring your own cannabis). Bonus: this event happens every Saturday, so the fun doesn’t end after 4/20.
5-9 p.m., 9747 Businesspark Ave. #225, Scripps Ranch, westcoastcannabistours.com
Cheba Hut 420 Party
Swing by the marijuana-themed sandwich shop Cheba Hut anytime on 4/20 to snag a “nug” (four-inch sandwich) and a Cheba Hut frisbee for $4.20. Then at 4:20 p.m. Cheba Hut will throw cash out into the crowd and host its annual food challenge for the ninth year. The customer who can eat a ghost pepper-infused sandwich (with only a cup of ranch to wash it down) wins a free sandwich every day for a year. The 420 party is happening at both San Diego locations, but the shop on El Cajon Boulevard will also have a stage for music and debut its new full-service bar with original drinks like “Ms. Parker” and “Hash Can.”
10 a.m. to midnight, 3664 El Cajon Blvd. (SDSU) and 4651 Mission Blvd. (Pacific Beach), chebahut.com