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Coronavirus Update: San Francisco Blunts Any Attempt To Celebrate 4/20 At Hippie Hill In Golden Gate Park

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) -- From high above Golden Gate Park, you could actually see the green grass of Hippie Hill Monday instead of wall-to-wall people and clouds of smoke. You can see signs at ground level: Stay 6-feet Apart. Stay home. Closed.

It seems like 4/20 enthusiasts successfully found different places to celebrate this year. Based on what we saw (or didn't see) in San Francisco today, many chose to stay home.

Just before sunrise Monday park rangers were out in force early. They pushed everybody - including media crews - to the outer perimeter.

Guards posted at the roadblocks turned vehicles around - only foot and bicycle traffic were allowed. There was fencing around the entire area. Maintenance trucks were lit up, signs were everywhere, just in case you didn't get the city's message over the past week, that 4/20 is canceled.

Public places in San Francisco like Dolores Park and Ocean Beach were essentially empty with not a lot of people hanging out. Road closures remained in effect in and around Golden Gate Park until 7 p.m.

But over in SoMa, Barbary Coast Dispensary was a popular place to be this morning, and customers were still able to maintain social distancing while in line. Barbary Coast had their own online party with a live DJ. Jesse Henry, Barbary Coast Dispensary's CEO said, "And I think that was the goal from the beginning of any event that we have is to have a good, fun, safe experience."

To help encourage people to stay put, there were virtual parties all across the Bay and country. "The Great American Sesh-In" in Indiana drew thousands of visitors and raised money for first responders.

To help flatten the curve, Barbary Coast tried to put an emphasis on online delivery this year, especially since they've been deemed an essential service. "This is something that provides so much relief to so many people, we want to be able to continue to provide that option for people to get that relief," Henry said. "Especially in times like these with anxiety I'm sure at an all-time high."

In previous years, the annual 4/20 celebration would attract 10 to 20,000 people to Hippie Hill.

It's a great day to celebrate at home, this is a moment in history that you could just pass up on," said San Francisco resident Dwight Moore."You don't have to break the rules, just stay at home."

"I'm glad they postponed it, but I think they should have it later on," said San Francisco resident Rudy Ray Moore.

"You know, people can still stay at home with their family and enjoy 4/20 in a different way this year, everyone's having to adapt to a different normal," said Barbary Coast worker Greg Longacre.

"Ain't just about the hills, or going to the park to smoke. We not gonna be within our regular element, but you know what, 4/20 is everywhere, you can smoke at your house," said Barbary Coast customer Delvon Webster.

Kiet Do and Jackie Ward contributed to this report.

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