Friendly street party ‘Waldos Forever Fest’ returns to Andersonville for the first time since weed was legalized

ANDERSONVILLE — The Andersonville Dispensary decided it was high time to celebrate legal pot sales in the city.

Dispensary 33’s Waldos Forever Fest will be held from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on April 23 in front of the dispensary’s headquarters, 5001 N. Clark St. The festival is free and open to anyone 21 and older.

This will be the first Waldos Forever Fest to be held since weed sales were legalized in 2020 – although pot smoking is not permitted at the festival.

The Andersonville-based dispensary launched its Waldos Forever Fest in 2018 to mark the smokers’ holiday known as 4/20, or April 20. A second edition of the festival in 2019 saw 6,000 people come to Clark Street for the event.

Dispensary 33 had big plans to celebrate the state’s new pot laws in April 2020 for what would have been the third Waldos Forever Fest. But that year’s festival was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The street festival also didn’t take place in 2021, with Dispensary 33 instead releasing a retro-inspired Chicago-themed video game to mark 4/20.

But with Chicago dropping coronavirus restrictions this year, the festival is back, organizers said.

Credit: Hanna Walkowaik/Do312
Credit: Hanna Walkowaik/Do312

Junglepussy and Sudan Archives will be the headliners of the music scene. There will also be performances by dragsters from Bambi Banks-Couleé, Mom Jeans and Lucy Stoole, as well as “cannabis” vendors and local food options, organizers said.

Ironically, smoking weed is prohibited at the festival as it is against city rules to smoke in public places.

“We are here to promote the benefits of cannabis, however, consumption is not permitted at the festival,” reads the Waldos Forever Fest website.

The name “Waldos Forever Fest” also refers to the pot party known as 4/20.

Five friends in California — who call themselves the Waldos — were meeting at 4:20 p.m. after school to smoke weed and hang out. The term “4/20” became their code word for the pot.

For more information on Waldos Forever Fest, click here.

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