See the above photo? That comes courtesy of reader Joel Davis, and as he said in his note to us, “Thought you might dig this pic taken at the Table Mesa King Soops in Boulder. Feel free to share.”
For the non-locals: King Soops, a.k.a. King Soopers, is one of the major grocery store chains in Colorado and a brand of grocery giant Kroger, the single-largest supermarket chain in America with $108.5 billion in fiscal 2014 sales.
Kroger’s a big dog, a legitimate worldwide player in this industry and others. And here’s one of its stores commemorating 4/20 via a green-flowered holiday display reading, “Mile High Get Your Munchie On,” and featuring a well-rounded selection of snacks. See the Cheetos (Crunchy, Flamin’ Hot and Mix-Ups), Doritos (Cool Ranch and Nacho Cheese), a couple gallons of Mountain Dew and a wealth of store-baked goods.
“I think it was the bakery’s idea,” said Eric, a manager at the Boulder King Soopers store at 3600 Table Mesa Dr. who preferred to not use his last name. “A few people laughed at it. Really, that’s what it was all about it.”
Is the display still up in the store?
“No, it’s done,” Eric told me 4/21 morning.
Let that digest for a minute. The single-largest grocery chain in the U.S. has at least one store in a legal marijuana state that is celebrating the “unofficial holiday” we call 4/20. This American grocery giant — which owns and runs stores under the names Ralphs, City Market, Harris Teeter, Smith’s, Food 4 Less, QFC, Loaf ‘N Jug and even Fred Meyer — has an outlet celebrating 4/20 as if it’s St. Patrick’s Day.
Could this be what they call normalization?
It’s time to call it: 4/20 is no longer an “unofficial” holiday, as we so often call it in the media. April 20 is now a legit, full-on holiday, at least in Colorado, where giants of industry that are traded on the New York Stock Exchange mark the occasion with a kitschy endcap of snacks and green-themed revelry.
Denver, home to the largest Cannabis Cup in the world and one of the biggest 4/20 Rallies on Earth, has another legit holiday on its hands. It’s straightforward and simple, and it doesn’t rely on the lunar cycle. Same day every year. 4/20.
Don’t expect April 20 to become a bank holiday or a day off work anytime soon, if ever. But with the legalization movement continuing to show forward-moving progress, and with another important test coming up in the 2016 election, and with a grocery store in Boulder, Colo., celebrating 4/20 with a festive display of munchies, get used to 4/20 being a real thing people intentionally and officially celebrate — “unofficial” no more.