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Getting Ready For 4/20 In Provincetown: “Honey, I Smoked The Weed”

Pictured: Heather “Heat” MacFarland | All pics courtesy of the Crown & Anchor

“This year’s theme is saturation and total immersion, with the venue undertaking a little bit of a makeover.”

There’s a whole lot popping off in Mass for 4/20, but honey, none of it compares to what is happening in Provincetown during the highest holiday.

At this point, though only in year four, the festivities at the Crown & Anchor are a commonwealth cannabis tradition. Critically, the “spectravaganza” even changes every spring, with with year’s taking the form of an “original weed drag show” called “4/20 Honey: Honey, I Smoked the Weed,” plus other activities like a pre-show “weed fair” at the Crown’s Wave Bar on 4/18 and 4/20 plus Andrew Lenox’s Mushroom Head afterparty after each show.

Last year, we spoke with Provincetown Ganja Goddess Mackenzie ahead of the action, and that’s an interview worth going back to if you missed it. This year, we reached out to the main set design maestro behind the spectacle, Heather “Heat” MacFarland, about what’s in store for the Crown’s big green celebration.

We have been following the story of 4/20 week(end) in Provincetown and specifically the Crown & Anchor, but can you help bring our readers up to speed about what the festivities have turned into over the past few years?  

A few years ago, Mackenzie kicked off a wild ride of fantasy meets cannabis-infused plot twists, evolving into not only the show itself but also a vendor fair where local artists, dispensaries, and weed-related businesses can showcase their offerings. The official after party this year on Saturday, 4/20, Mushroom Head, will elevate the experience further with live painting and other rad art installations. A joint effort amongst the community to elevate the vibes is ever-growing.

Last year, we spoke with Mackenzie about the Legend of the Ganja Goddesses 4/20 Experience, which features a backstory and a weed drag show extraordinaire. And now we learn that you are largely behind the spectacle. What’s your role in this tradition? 

I am the creative ninja (art director) providing set design and all things rad for a truly immersive and stimulating experience. Mackenzie and I jam about her show ideas, and then I climb into her brain, take notes, and turn it all into reality. The brain babies, my name for the wilds in my head, are alive and well this year, there are no limits on creativity. Get ready, it’s about to be wild!

What’s changed for this year’s show? 

In last year’s show, I focused on digital graphics and a few physical props, leading to a mind-bending experience. This year’s theme is saturation and total immersion, with the venue undertaking a little bit of a makeover. I played around with an idea, and well, y’all will just have to wait and see. A few hints: neon and effects will be very present. I cannot highlight this enough. We also have made every effort to make the show environmentally friendly by sourcing 85% of our set material from recycled means. All of it will be repurposed post show as well for a cleaner approach to entertainment. Stoners care.

And what’s changed for the celebration overall? What can people expect, especially with 4/20 being on a Saturday this year?  

The major change is that people can openly celebrate without the taboo of feeling like they are in the wrong. In general, cannabis has been viewed in varying lights, and this weekend of events allows folks to participate regardless if they partake in the leafy goodness. The high holiday falling on a Saturday amps up the energy for sure. I say go high or go higher. We are. 

Mackenzie told us that there’s been a calm of sorts over Provincetown since cannabis legalization. How do you see things being with weed there these days? Too many tourists like us puffing on your beautiful beaches? 

Initially, when the dispensaries opened, we saw an influx of folks coming to town for cannabis curiosities without knowledge of how to consume or where. The variety one is able to procure at any of the dispensaries is endless. A menu of mind-bending awesomeness. These days there is evidence of usage with pollution and litter on our beaches and streets, which quite frankly is upsetting. While we love weed and all things weed, we also love the environment, our beaches, and wildlife. I encourage folks to be mindful and discard products appropriately, as it’s the kind thing to do. Respect goes a long way. Think of wilds and sea life, please, we love it here. Also, the local authorities have the power to remind folks of legal ramifications if they are openly consuming, as one is supposed to do so on private property and not while cruising Commercial Street or lounging on the beach. 

Last year, on the consumption front, there was a “Hot Box” afterparty where people could consume. Of course people can’t smoke in the actual venue now, but what kinds of laws would a place like the Crown & Anchor like to see put in place as the state figures out how to actually license social consumption events sometime hopefully soon? 

Overall, the buzz around town is that folks are interested in a consumption cafe similar to establishments abroad. However, legislation hasn’t allowed for movement forward here, yet. It is important for people to be mindful of local laws as well as being responsible within Provincetown (and all Mass) establishments. We gently remind folks that while we love weed, we cannot have folks sparking up here on property as the law is, well the law.

Does 4/20 in Provincetown seem to be getting bigger and bigger? It seems to be the perfect place for such an occasion. Could you see it becoming a destination for the day in the future? Or is it a tradition best kept alive by regulars and those who are lucky enough to get out there for the party? 

The level of excitement and nostalgia that 4/20 evoked in people is awesome. I do see Provincetown becoming a destination for the stoner masses, as there is so much opening up this time of year, and it’s like a rebirth into the summer season. Late April gives people a chance to stroll the beaches, dine out, and truly absorb all the magic that we call home. The weekend itself has gotten bigger, almost with a cult following. Once the legislation allows for more versatility within cannabis here in town, this celebration could grow into a full-on festival; time will tell. Keep the high vibes going!