A couple of days ago, more than 15,000 people gathered on Hippie Hill at Golden Gate Park to celebrate ‘4/20,’ and while the gathering on the eastern end of the park was relatively peaceful – it did however, leave San Francisco with expenses reportedly totaling more than $15,000. The unofficial commemoration centers on marijuana as pot enthusiasts have had a long history of making the trip to Hippie Hill at least once a year.
On April 20, the Hill swelled with tents, coolers, barbeques, and throngs of people who look forward to the clock striking 4:20 p.m. Some revelers arrive in the morning and party until the sun sets. When all was set and done, and the smoke cleared (no pun intended) – the city was left with the aftermath – a clean-up job they say cost more than $15,000 to remedy.
Dozens of workers devoted their time (around eight hours on Sunday) to relieve Golden Gate Park of about five tons of trash. Some people clocked in overtime hours to address the cleanup effort. Joined by Earth Day volunteers, the park received a wave of tender loving care to get it looking presentable once more.
This recent incident may have an effect on how the next April 20 celebration will unfold – celebrants may have to acquire a permit in order to legally gather in the park. The event may also have to designate an organizer who will make sure that taxpayers aren’t the ones picking up the bill for future gatherings.