Cannabis street fest returning to Uptown neighborhood

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(Verano Holdings)

The Waldo Forever Fest, an event that celebrates and educates people about cannabis culture - is returning to Chicago for a second year.

Saturday's festival - which falls on the popular cannabis holiday of 4/20 - will be held from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. next to Dispensary33, located at 5001 N. Clark Street in the Uptown neighborhood. The event, open to anyone 18 or older, is free for those who RSVP in advance.

Verano — a Chicago-based cannabis company that is participating in the festival, said it expects more than 4,000 people to attend. Last year's event drew 1,500, said Tim Tennant, Verano's chief marketing officer.

Attendees can browse a variety of vendors and educational booths from organizations dedicated to raising awareness about marijuana legalization and medical marijuana use in Chicago. Cannabis consumption, ironically, is not permitted.

Rap and hip-hop icon Big Freedia will headline the festival. Other live performances include musical acts Air Credits, White Mystery, Tatiana Hazel, and Akasha as well as comedy sets from Maureen Sandiego and Rachel Relman.

Food trucks from Three Legged Tacos and Chicago Lunchbox will also be on site for anyone with the munchies.

An assortment of pinball machines and vintage arcade games will also be available.

According to organizers, the event got its name from four California high schoolers who called themselves "Waldos." The teens embarked on a failed treasure hunt for an abandoned cannabis plant. The Waldos set their meeting time for the hunt at 4:20, a random time that became code for cannabis use. The term stuck and is still used today.

For more information, visit the Waldo Forever Fest website.