Love from San Francisco holds onto a large bong she made out of newspaper and chicken wire to celebrate 420 at Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park on April 20, 2018. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Love from San Francisco holds onto a large bong she made out of newspaper and chicken wire to celebrate 420 at Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park on April 20, 2018. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

City prepares for record breaking 420 celebration

Supervisor Brown is hoping this years event is less chaotic.

City officials are preparing for what they say is expected to be the largest 420 celebration ever.

Police estimate that more than 15,000 people attended last year, but this year the unofficial cannabis holiday will fall on Easter weekend, in the middle of spring break and excellent weather. Those factors are expected to draw an estimated additional five to 10 thousand people to the park, according to District 5 Supervisor Vallie Brown.

The larger crowds may create a sticky situation for neighbors, traffic and security.

Even so, Brown is hoping this years event is less chaotic.

“Once this is finished, a few hours after this event is over, we want to make sure that the neighbors didn’t even feel it,” Brown said.

To accomplish this the event will start at 10 a.m., an hour later than last year.

Additional buses will be provided by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and police will shut down portions of Stanyan, Lincoln, Masonic, Oak and Fredrick to manage the influx of traffic.

A spokesperson for the transportation agency said the additional buses will not affect regular service for The City.

City agencies have also established a designated pick up and drop off zone in front of McLaren Lodge for ride-share companies.

The details of the street closure and traffic plans can be found on the San Francisco Police Department website.

Fencing and private security have also been increased. A total of 90 security guards will be monitoring the interior, perimeter and entry points of the event, a 33 percent increase in the number of security personnel, according to city officials.

Phil Ginsburg, the general manager for The City’s Recreation and Parks department, announced that there will be twice as many ambulances and emergency medical technicians.

The event will also include 35 trained personnel carrying Naloxone, a medication designed to rapidly reverse the symptoms of opioid overdose, as a precaution against fentanyl overdoses, which were a problem at last year’s event.

“We want to make sure that anyone that comes to this event goes home safe,” said Anne Mannix, deputy chief.

This will also be the first year pets will not be allowed into the event area, according to park officials.

Brown ended the press release by urging the city to “be safe, be smart, and respectful of our park and neighbors.”

vtence@sfexaminer.com

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