Huge crowds descended on Vancouver’s Sunset Beach on Saturday to celebrate 4/20 for the 25th year. While the Park Board again chose to deny the event a permit, the protest still required the assistance of Vancouver’s policing and emergency resources to make sure everyone was safe.
According to a release from the VPD, the crowd peaked at “just before 4:30 in the afternoon.” Police estimate that 60,000 people attended the event alongside over 400 vendor tents.
Police report no major safety incidents connected to the 4/20 revellers, however, there were over a dozen medical emergencies on the beach, police say.
“VPD officers assisted BC Emergency Health Services with more than 14 medical emergencies,” they wrote, in the release. “Traffic enforcement officers issued more than 30 tickets and investigated three people for impaired driving.”
The problems aside, the city’s emergency services seem content with how the event proceeded from their perspective.
“Today was a good example of remarkable teamwork between the Vancouver Police, fellow first responders, the Vancouver Park Board, and the City of Vancouver,” says Sergeant Jason Robillard, Vancouver Police Department, “allowing for a safe environment during a large scale event.”
In the days leading up to the protest, Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart said that organizers would be receiving a bill for the costs incurred by the city.
On Wednesday, a spokesperson for the mayor’s office confirmed with Daily Hive that Stewart has said the city will be sending organizers “a bill for all the costs [of the event] including policing costs.”
He added that the city also reserves the right to “take legal action” in order to recover the costs.
With files from Eric Zimmer.