Vancouver’s 4-20 event goes digital amid coronavirus pandemic

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Monday would have marked Vancouver’s 26th annual 4-20 marijuana festival. Sarah MacDonald has more on what happened instead. – Apr 20, 2020

Thousands of people will not be gathering at Sunset Beach in Vancouver Monday for the annual 4-20 event.

Organizers say the event is going digital this year as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

Participants will be able to tune in to  Pot TV and Cannabis Life Network for the event, which gets underway at 11:50 a.m. PT.

Organizers say 150,000 people attended last year’s event at Sunset Beach while police put the number at 60,000.

READ MORE: Cleanup begins on Sunset Beach after massive 4-20 Vancouver celebrations

Amid the pandemic, major public events across the province are faced with tough questions about whether to postpone, cancel or go ahead with their plans.

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READ MORE: Coronavirus pandemic — What’s cancelled, what’s postponed in B.C.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Saturday that physical-distancing measures put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 will remain through the season and that organizers of large outdoor events should be thinking about alternatives.

“We do not have enough herd immunity to protect everybody and allow that type of event to happen,” she said. “Large parades, large mass gatherings where we all come together — those will not be happening this summer.”

WATCH: Coverage of Vancouver’s 4-20 event on

READ MORE: B.C. reports 3 more deaths from COVID-19, 29 new confirmed cases

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Henry said that also applies to weddings and other large family gatherings, urging people to consider reducing guest lists and finding other, virtual ways to connect.

Several large-scale events have already been cancelled across B.C. this year. Vancouver’s Vaisakhi Parade, which normally brings thousands to the city’s streets, took place virtually on Saturday.

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Shortly after Henry’s comments, the Vancouver Pride Society announced it would be hosting a “virtual Pride Week celebration” this summer and is in contact with its vendors and partners to make the necessary arrangements.

-With files from Sean Boynton

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