While Illinois pot proponents wait with bated, presumably smoke-filled breath as Democrats in Springfield hash out their plan to legalize the drug statewide, they will have a chance this weekend to celebrate the wonders of weed in a variety of ways — even though many of them still can’t legally spark up.
Saturday marks April 20, or 4/20, the yearly celebration of all things reefer. This year, there are a variety of ways for Chicagoans to ring in the “high” holiday, including a street festival in the Uptown community that could draw thousands of people.
Here’s info about the festival and four other pot-centric events scheduled to take place around Chicago on 4/20:
Waldos Forever Fest
Intersection of Argyle and Clark streets
Runs from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The 2nd annual Waldos Forever Fest pays homage to the legacy of The Waldos, a group of men from Northern California who are credited with starting the 4/20 holiday as stoned teenagers in the early-70s.
To carry on the trippy tradition, Do312 and the Chicago Cannabis Alliance have organized a jam-packed street fair featuring live DJs, stand-up comics and scheduled performances from New Orleans Bounce queen Big Freedia and Chicago hip-hop duo Air Credits. The festival, which is free of charge, is being sponsored by some of the top players in the state’s cannabis industry.
Chicago Cannabis Health and Wellness Fair
Chicago Medical Training Center, 7415 S. East End Ave.
Runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx will deliver the keynote speech at the Chicago Cannabis Health and Wellness Fair, a new event organized by the Chicago chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and CANNAHEALTH magazine. Foxx recently told the Sun-Times that she hopes to start expunging thousands of minor marijuana convictions in a matter of months. Additionally, Foxx said her office is looking into how it handles cases involving the sale of cannabis.
The event is being touted as a “community focused and cannabis driven health and wellness fair” put on by people of color. Like the Waldos festival, the conference is being sponsored by a list of cannabis power players.
Tickets for the event at priced at $10. Click here to register.
The 420 Conference
4701 S. King Drive
Starts at 12 p.m.
The 420 Conference was created by a group of four black women as a way to empower communities of color “to confidently move into the legal space as entrepreneurs, formulators, and investors,” the event’s website says.
“We exist to help end the negative stigma that has caused communities around the world to suffer and lose out on the health and wealth benefits of the Cannabis plan,” according to a statement from the groups organizers.
General admission tickets cost $19.95, while VIP passes are priced at $39.95. Click here for more information.
All That Kush Stuff: A 420-friendly comedy show
Lagunitas Tap Room & Beer Sanctuary, 2607 W. 17th St.
Show runs runs from 8 p.m. until 9:15 p.m.
The Lagunitas Brewing Company hosts All That Kush Stuff, a weed-themed comedy show geared toward folks looking to have a laugh and a few craft beers as they celebrate the yearly bacchanal of bud. Headliner Mary Kate Beck and host Paige Blair are among the lineup of local talent scheduled to perform
Unfortunately, for those who spaced on buying tickets, the show is already sold out.
Yes We Cann 420 Edition with Terrapin Flyer
Emporium, 1366 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Show starts at 9 p.m.
Members of The Grateful Dead won’t be performing in Chicago on 4/20, but a local cover band will be playing some of their tunes at the Emporium arcade bar in Wicker Park. The band, Terrapin Flyer, has a close connection to their psychedelic forebears, having toured with both The Dead and The Jerry Garcia Band.
The show is free of charge and no RSVP is necessary.