Nobody apologizes for St. Patrick’s, Thanksgiving or Earth Day...
However, that’s hardly the case with 420 Day, at least around these parts.
Take Westport sparkplug Bill Nigro, the organizer of Westport’s First Annual 420 Day Celebration.
"Everyone around here is kind of bashful about the whole 420 thing," Nigro confesses. "They don’t want us to be making too big a deal out of it – this is the Bible Belt, buddy."
It’s also the year 2012 Anno Domini.
And since 420 Day (April 20th) is the longstanding day of celebration for all things pot, Kansas City’s party central has elected to launch a festival recognizing the holiday.
They’re not alone. Take Vancouver’s annual 420 celebration.
"April 20th or ‘420’ as it is called is a considered a holiday for marijuana smokers in downtown Vancouver," says entertainment writer Dawnn Behrens. "Each year thousands of cannabis fans gather across the country on ‘420’ for ‘smoke ins’
"During the annual 420 celebration the Georgia Street lawn of the VAG comes alive with free concerts, artists and street performers. There are also vendors offering everything from pot brownies,cookies, to cannibis paraphernalia."
There’ll be none of the latter – wink, wink – in Westport, Nigro says.
"Just a peaceful crowd, a small peaceful crowd," he says. "It all starts today at 4:20 p.m. and it’s being put on by all the bars that surround the alley in Westport – Ernie Biggs, Buzzard Beach, Dark Horse Tavern, Harry’s Bar & Tables and (by special invitation) Gusto.
How about Kelly’s? "Uh, no," Nigro says.
"And it’s not really just about getting high," Nigro says. "That’s why Jerusalem Cafe is gonna have a Hookah bar outside. And we’ll have free tobacco and cigarette rolling contests."
Not to mention a slate of bands outside Buzzard beach with ridiculously insane names starting around 4:20 pm.
"The Buttermilk Boys are the opening act," Nigro says. "Then we have the Fall Down Drunks and Whiskey Breath. And then the main acts are David Hasselhoff on Acid and the main act is The Porn Huskers at 9 p.m."
All of that said, Nigro can envision the day – not that far in the future – when 420 Day will take its rightful place alongside mainstream holidays like Cinco de Mayo and Mother’s Day.
"It’ll be like Oktoberfest," Nigro says. "States are realizing the tax money is too tempting. I realistically see Missouri only about three years away from legalizing marijuana."
In other words, there may come a day when Wild Bill can envision himself standing along Westport Road alongside a peace officer, relaxing and blowing a joint?
"Long as I got my medical card," Nigro quips.