Now Reading
High on Hippie Hill

High on Hippie Hill

cannabis world news event recaps green pot leaves with sunshine glowing through them

What started as an overflow of hippies from the 1967 Summer of Love celebration on nearby Haight Street has now become a world-renowned annual gathering of cannabis enthusiasts surrounding the eponymous hill. Nestled in Golden Gate Park, Hippie Hill sits north by northeast of Sharon Meadows – now Robin William Meadows – and has hosted everything from clandestine dead drops under the introduced Eucalyptus trees to drum circles and an annual 420 celebration.

Over the years, 420 at Hippie Hill became known as the largest free cannabis celebration on this most lit of holidaze. The 21st-century version sees tens of thousands of people during the day’s festivities. Much more than the established infrastructure of that area of the park can handle. The Hippie Hill website explains that in 2016, 22,000 pounds of trash were left behind by event attendees. Since then, every year, Golden Gate Park has worked with local officials and event organizers to provide the necessary logistics support for the event. Over the last several years, 420 at Hippie Hill has evolved into a fenced-off and official affair respite with ample portapotties, security, ID checks, multiple stages, legal cannabis sales, and supporting sponsor banners and booths.

The event kicked off right before noon. The faucet of attendees continued to flow all afternoon until, eventually, you couldn’t see grass anymore, just smoke. The largest crowd assembled on the meadow in front of the main stage right at 4:20 PM. That wasn’t the only place that 420 was being celebrated, though.

To the south of Robin William Meadows, the Little Rec Soccer Fields were the site of the first-ever 420 Wellness Stage and Lounge hosted by Nouera. They had a full relaxation schedule for attendees that needed a break from the crowd featuring guided meditation, a stretch sesh, sound healing, and a High Tea Experience at 4:20 PM. A 420 Hippie Hill attendee’s 4:20 experience may have been different depending on their location – but it’s safe to say they were all similarly enjoyed in high cheer.

High on Hippie Hill… for the first time in 420 Hippie Hill’s decades-long history – the hill played host to a cannabis competition with a $120,000 prize pool unironically titled: King of Z Hill. The competition was put on by Brandon Parker (@3rd_gen_family_farm), and in keeping with the longstanding and well-respected Ego Clash tradition, what started as a post on the ‘gram ended up as a Hippie Hill spectacular.

Parker felt that it was fitting that the largest 420 event in the world host the largest cash prize for a cannabis competition ever. All in all, over 70 entrants competed in flower, rosin, and hash/sift categories. The entrants were also the judges – no celebrity guest appearances – just an intense single-day session of anonymized peer review.

cannabis world news event recaps image of man in red cap speaking into bullhorn at outdoor event

The 1st place winners would split the pool evenly, heading home with $40,000 each.

Nowadays, the Hippie Hill celebration is largely centered around Robin Williams Meadow, and thousands upon thousands of revelers sit with their backs to the actual Hippie Hill for the duration of the event. The King of Z Hill competition occupied a shadeless black stage dead center on the hill, situated like a VIP box at the single-day music festival that 420 Hippie Hill has become.

For the entire duration of the competition, participants were forbidden from talking about entries to avoid undue influence on judges, following Ego Clash rules. On 4/20, all the competitors arrived early on the hill and eventually settled around three tables.

Closest to the festivities in the meadow below was the flower table.

cannabis world news event recaps people tasting cannabis at table

Next up the hill was the rosin table.

cannabis world news event recaps long table outdoors with cannabis products everywhere and people imbibing

Furthest up the hill was the hash/sift table.

cannabis world news event recaps people imbibing cannabis at long table outdoors, trees in background

These tables featured hundreds of thousands of dollars of “paraphernalia,” as it used to be called. The headiest glass and accessories, from literal one-of-a-kind trophy pieces to top-of-the-line slurpers, pearls, columns, pills galore, and even a solar battery bank with inverter being used to power an e-nail.

Each competitor received a box of anonymized samples from their category and spent the next several hours rating the anonymized samples using a digital scorecard. The competitors sat there for hours under the sun; the lack of shade was relentless, resulting in the most terped out smell wafting down from the King of Z Hill stage, penetrating the copious secondhand smoke with notes of “lots of Z and papaya terps” up to a dozen feet away.

See Also
Common Growing Issues

An early afternoon temp check by The Bryantist from Heritage Hash read 90 degrees in the jars of rosin. One onlooker who had traveled from Los Angeles to witness the historic competition was overheard saying: “I feel bad for the melt.”

Once the scorecards were totaled by the event organizers, the winners were revealed. The three checks were handed to the newly crowned winners with as much fanfare as the biggest mega millions lottery win of the century. Luck wasn’t what won this competition, though.

Congratulations to the winners of the King of Z Hill competition.

Hash/Sift Category: The Real Cannabis Chris – Raspberry Bellini (Grown by The Real Cannabis Chris)

Rosin Category: Hand Made Hash – Zkittlez (Grown by Mendoja Farms)

Flower Category: Royal Budline – Royal Zkittlez

The heat of the uncharacteristically clear day of great weather in San Francisco matched the heat brought by competitors and attendees. As the Hippie Hill tradition grows, it’s refreshing to see the cannabis community and the local government join hands to provide an unforgettable experience that every self-proclaimed 420-friendly person should experience at least once. As the festivities ended and people walked slowly out of the park, it was striking to see how many people gathered to attend, even outside of the fenced-off area. This a stark reminder that 420, with its origin story just across the bridge to the north in Point Reyes Peninsula, is still a worldwide phenomenon, and Hippie Hill on 4/20 is just its most public-facing epicenter.

Follow online: @thehighestcritic

Photo Credits: Caleb Chen

Share Skunk Magazine With Your Friends

© 2022 Skunk Magazine. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.