BANGOR, Mich. (WOOD) — On Saturday morning, the main drag through Bangor will shut down for the town’s first ever 4/20 festival.
“People would gather on 4/20 and said, ‘We’re against prohibition on marijuana,’ and that is how it started off as a protest,” festival organizer Mark Smith said. “Now that the United States has moved into legalization, it’s more of a celebration.”
Smith owns the medical marijuana shop The Green Door in downtown Bangor. He wants to make sure those who attend know what the festival is and what it is not.
“Not a high time event, not a hash bash. A festival,” Smith said.
Smith got approval from the city and has been working with people like the mayor, police and fire personnel along with other business owners to pull off the event and wants to make sure everyone is happy.
“We’re gonna have educational pieces to this with speakers that are coming in, from doctors to lawyers to veterans’ groups and growers,” Smith said.
There will also be bands, local food vendors and a beer tent. All the vendors have pledged to give part of their proceeds back to the city police force so they can buy new bulletproof vests.
Bangor Mayor Nick Householder says there hasn’t been much pushback.
“So far, majority has been positive,” Householder said. “And with the marijuana being approved for recreational use, that tells me that the majority of Michigan supports it — and who are we to change that?”
People won’t be able to smoke wherever they want at the festival, but there will be designated areas where they can light up.
“The festival is on private property and we’ve secured those private properties because of the businesses that are going to join us in this festival,” Smith said. “That property you are allowed to use recreationally. You can’t sell, you can share.”
The hope from Smith is simple: educate and have a good time.
“The news got out and we’ve had a lot of response,” he said. “We’ll see, it’s the first time, so we’ll see.”
Right now, the city is anticipating about 2,000 people. But that number could increase because the city has been getting calls from all over the state of Michigan in addition to Indiana and Illinois.
The festival runs from 11 a.m. though 11 p.m. Saturday.