The cancellation of Hippie Hill’s official 4/20 celebration seems unlikely to keep thousands of pot-smoking revelers out of Golden Gate Park, and so a psilocybin-themed church is stepping up to provide porta-potties, a medical tent, and water bottles.

When the news broke last month that the official and sanctioned 4/20 Hippie Hill event was canceled for 2024, and would be replaced with some highly counterintuitive kickball and volleyball tournament, many of us figured that throngs of mairjuana smokers would simply show up and mob Hippie Hill anyway. After all, 4/20 falls on a Saturday this year. And you can’t really play kickball or volleyball on a hill, so won’t the hill still be available anyway?

A follow-up report from SFGate noted that the city would still provide some services despite the event being canceled: an on-site ambulance, some police staffing, 11 porta-potties, and three wash stations. That sounded woefully inadequate to the Haight-Ashbury Merchants Association, whose board member (and Mendel’s owner) Naomi Silverman told SFGate, “As merchants, we are prepared for the neighborhood to be overrun.”

So because of that, the merchants association and a “magic mushrooms” church called Church of Ambrosia have teamed up to massively bolster services at Hippie Hill on Saturday, according to NBC Bay Area. The Church of Ambrosia says they’ll be providing more than 30 porta-potties, a medical tent with four medics, a station providing free water bottles, plus Narcan and free opioid testing strips.

“This is like a pilgrimage to Mecca,” the Church of Ambrosia’s Pastor Dave Hodges said in a press release. “We see this as a religious event. Anybody who is going out to Hippie Hill on 420 to smoke a joint, they’re doing that religiously, whether or not they realize it.”

That release also notes that “Urban Alchemy is staffing the event with 10 people,” but those Urban Alchemy “street ambassadors” are usually contracted by the City of SF. So it’s unclear if the Church of Ambrosia is footing the bill for them. But the church claims they will have other support staff who will be recognizable in their “Stoner Safety” t-shirts.

As for the kickball and volleyball event, known as Volo Field Day Festival, there is no indication if the event’s footprint or size, nor how many attendees are expected.

But notably, the kickball event lists its time range as 10 am to 4 pm. That means it will have finished by the time that the magic minute of 4:20 pm strikes.

So what will happen at Hippie Hill on Saturday? Will the scruffy stoners trample the kickball counterprogramming, or will the games keep the riff-raff out? Will Rec and Parks use fences or water sprinklers to block access to Hippie Hill, as they did during COVID? Will the lack of dedicated services result in 22,000 pounds of trash being left behind, as it did back in 2016 before this event was permitted?

We don’t know now. But SFNews will have a report first thing Sunday morning on whatever happens at 4/20 Hippie Hill this Saturday afternoon.

Related: SF Police Vow DUI Patrols Will Be Out in Force for 4/20 [SFNews]

Image: Joe Kukura, SFNews