Organizers of the Denver County Fair, an annual event held at the National Western Complex in the state’s capital city, have chosen not to have a Pot Pavilion onsite at this year’s event despite not being implicated in a recently settled lawsuit involving last year’s marijuana-themed showcase.
Numerous news organizations reported on an incident at last year’s Pot Pavilion, a special area of the county fairgrounds that saw cannabis-related events and special attractions like a joint-rolling competition and a pot brownie baking contest. At the 2014 event, roughly a dozen Pot Pavilion attendees reported they were served marijuana-laced edibles at what was hailed as a drug-free event.
Denver County Fair Organizer Dana Cain said that the primary reason this year’s Pot Pavilion was canceled was because interest simply was not as strong this year. Cain reported,
“In the first year, we got tons of vendor support, waves of international attention, tons of sponsor support and everybody was all about it. But fast-forward a year later and it’s completely old hat. There’s a huge overload of marijuana events in this town now.”
She added that while to some it may seem strange to host a special marijuana-themed area without any actual marijuana, it was necessary in order to get the venue to agree to have the Pot Pavilion onsite in the first place.
Cain further explained that the county fair’s primary mission is to celebrate what is special and significant about Denver, and last year, that was undoubtedly the state’s move to legalize recreational marijuana.
Things have changed considerably since last year’s event, and nowadays, the city and region regularly see a broad array of marijuana-themed events. To put it in perspective, 57 vendors secured spots at last year’s Pot Pavilion. Pre-sales of 2015 vendor spots were not even 10 percent of that figure.
In place of the Pot Pavilion, this year’s fair will feature something feline-friendly: a Kitten Pavilion.
The 2015 Denver County Fair is set for July 31- Aug. 2, 2015.
Denver County Fair Pot Pavilion 2014
photo credit: Brennan Linsley, The Associated Press