The Vancouver Park Board released a statement earlier today maintaining their opposition to Vancouver’s 420 protest and farmers’ market which is scheduled to take place at Sunset Beach Park on April 20 from noon to 8 pm.
This annual event is in its 24th cycle and is expected to draw over 25,000 people.
Regarding public safety, the Park Board stated that it “does not believe this event is an appropriate use of park space because it violates our no smoking by-laws and has negative consequences for park users and infrastructure. The Board has declined to give organizers a permit as the event does not meet our criteria for issuing a special event permit.”
“In the best interest of the public, the Park Board will do everything it can – in cooperation with partners at the city, VPD, VFRS, BC Ambulance and health authorities – to ensure public safety is maintained and to minimize public and park impacts during this event.”
“Park Rangers have gone door to door in the vicinity of Sunset Beach to hand deliver leaflets outlining plans for the event and to inform residents of significant crowds, traffic impacts and potential health concerns to those with sensitivity to smoke.”
The board also addressed concerns about protecting the park grounds.
“We are looking at ways to better protect the wet and soggy turf in the park so the public does not experience a loss of park and playing field use, as was the case last year. Event organizers have told us they will place a protective covering, at their expense, around the main stage area to protect the turf at this year’s 420 event.”
Visitors and residents of Vancouver’s west end should be mindful of closures, including the seawall adjacent to Sunset Beach Park, the Sunset Concession, and the Vancouver Aquatic Centre (VAC).
The Park Board concluded by stating they will “continue to work with partners at the city to encourage organizers to find an alternate location for the event in future years.”