People walk through Civic Center Park the morning after the 4/20 marijuana event was held at the park on April 21, 2017 in Denver. (RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post)

Who trashed Civic Center? Park was clean after Denver 4/20 rally, organizers say

People passing through the park stop to help clean up the mess

Denver woke up Friday to piles and piles of trash covering Civic Center the morning after the annual 4/20 rally downtown.

The garbage was mostly strewn around trash cans and appeared to have been pulled out of bags and boxes that had been emptied and tossed aside.

UPDATE: Videos from Civic Center show park was left a mess overnight after 4/20 event

Related: Denver 4/20 wrap-up: Rain and one-hour lines, but thousands of enthusiastic attendees

Rally organizer Miguel Lopez said volunteers were cleaning up the area around 10:30 p.m. Thursday night when a man went through the park, tearing up trash bags. When volunteers confronted him, Lopez said the man threatened them with a knife.

Organizers came back Friday to finish cleaning, he said. Their permit expires at 11:59 p.m., city parks officials said.

Early Friday, city workers took photos of the trash piles as people walking to their offices picked their way through the mess, some stopping to stare and take their own pictures. A worker mentioned that the park had been clean the night before.

Several thousand people spent Thursday in Civic Center for the annual 4/20 rally. The event included vendors, food trucks, the 4:20 p.m. marijuana smoke in and a 2 Chainz concert that ended around 6 p.m. The festival was scheduled to end at 8 p.m., organizers said.

Dawnarie Brook’s was out cleaning up the trash Friday morning. She had gone to the 4/20 rally yesterday and said the park was clean — although “it wasn’t immaculate,” she said, when she was leaving at about 8 p.m.

She left the Samaritan House Homeless Shelter this morning around 6:30 a.m. and was shocked when she reached Civic Center. She’s been cleaning at least one of the large garbage piles since, collecting trash into boxes because the city trash can was lying on its side. A passerby heard her talking about the situation and stopped to help stand the heavy trash can back up.

Brook’s said she was going to keep cleaning until that pile was gone, but would have to stop at that point because her back was in too much pain. For her, it was especially upsetting to see all of the recyclables that have been strewn around and rained on.

“Colorado is a green state,” she said. “It’s a very healthy state.”

Photo gallery from Thursday’s 4/20 rally:

420 marijuana holiday 420 marijuana holiday 420 marijuana holiday 420 marijuana holiday 420 marijuana holiday 420 marijuana holiday Denver 420 Rally Denver 420 Rally Denver 420 Rally Denver 420 Rally Denver 420 Rally Denver 420 Rally Denver 420 Rally Denver 420 Rally Denver 420 Rally Denver 420 Rally Denver 420 Rally Denver 420 Rally Denver 420 Rally Crowds roll up for annual 4/20 smoke-in at Denver's Civic Center
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DENVER, CO - APRIL 20: Co-owner of Airlounj, an inflatable air lounge company, Don Siegel, inflates a special marijuana inspired air lounge for Denver's 420 rally at Civic Center Park April 20, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post)

This story was first published on DenverPost.com