Stephanie Hodge uses a full-face marijuana smoking apparatus during Denver's annual 4/20 festival at Civic Center Park on Sunday, April 19, 2015. Thousands of people gathered to watch a free Rick Ross concert, while partaking in the day's goods and services. (AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post)

Estimated 125,000 turn out for two-day 4/20 rally in Civic Center

As the last night of the annual 4/20 rally in Denver’s Civic Center park comes to a close Sunday, crowds remain large and diverse.

Rally founder Miguel Lopez said more people showed up to the rally Sunday than Saturday.

“There’s still, surprisingly, a large number of people here,” Lopez said around 6:30 p.m.

MOBILE: View photos of the 4/20 rally

The event, which began Saturday and runs through Sunday night, features a full lineup of music, including a concert by rapper Rick Ross at 4:20 p.m. Sunday. Gates are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. for the free public event, with a ticketed after-party running 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. at the McNichols building.

Between Saturday and Sunday night, Lopez estimated about 125,000 filled the park to browse marijuana-themed merchandise and discuss the pot industry.

He predicted that even more would turn out for the after-party.

“It’s a well-rounded atmosphere,” Lopez said. “There are people here from all financial backgrounds. It’s very peaceful, warm and friendly.”

A city moratorium on new three-day events kept the rally’s organizers from expanding beyond the weekend, so Lopez plans a separate Monday 4/20 event, on the actual holiday, at Lincoln Park.He said he knows of no official 4/20 event planned for Civic Center park.

“My favorite aspect of these events is that people can come together and agree that the government is still oppressive,” Lopez said.

Between this year’s rally and last year’s, Lopez said the atmosphere was very much the same and believes even more people showed up to celebrate this year.

Police were also present at the rally, issuing citations for public consumption of marijuana. While recreational use was legalized in Colorado with the passage of Amendment 64 in 2012, it remains illegal to consume it in public. At last year’s 4/20 rally, police issued dozens of citations. This year, officers issued approximately 60 citations on Saturday. Police did not have a count yet for the number of citations issued Sunday.

Lopez said the future of the rally will focus on the national marijuana rally held at the White House on the Fourth of July.

“We push all the 4/20 rallies to head there to extend the national, grassroots narrative that’s been going on for 45 years,” Lopez said.

Elizabeth Hernandez: 303-954-1223, or

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