Tag Archives: Denver

Patsy’s Italian Restaurant in Denver, Colorado

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This is a quick, update post – Patsy’s has been reviewed before (there’s a link at the bottom of this post.) Pardon my grammar, the editor is otherwise indisposed, and I wanted to get this out there. Story by William Carbone

Patsy's Italian Restaurant
Patsy's Italian Restaurant

Patsy’s Italian Restaurant
3651 Navajo Street
Denver, CO 80211
(303) 477-8910

Mural in Patsy's dining room
Mural in Patsy's dining room

Mural on the north-side-wall of Patsy’s: did someone tell me that an itinerant artist painted this mural for food and a room to sleep above the restaurant – or did I imagine this?

“With a history that spans more than 80 years, Patsy’s Italian Restaurant is Denver’s oldest Italian restaurant. Founded in 1921 by the Aiello family, Patsy’s has undergone a few changes over the years but the heart and soul of tradition have remained the same” read more…

One thing that hasn’t remained the same is the food. I’m laying down my cards here, saying that the food is getting better, probably better than anytime in Patsy’s long history – not that I’ve been around for all of those years. I’ve been enjoying the pasta since the 60s. That was when business-men in suits and ties, and secretaries with stiff-hair would drive up from downtown Denver to lunch. So what’s new besides transplants moving into the Lower Highlands neighborhood and joining long-time locals who have been returning to the restaurant, week after week, since the days when Patsy’s was in the center of *Denver’s Little Italy?

It’s 2013, tons of sophisticated transplants are moving to the Lower Highlands and diners are generally becoming more hip to the nuances of restaurants/food. Someone at Patsy’s is doing a good job raising the bar. That would (most) probably be (a relative of Chubby Aiello, the original owner) Ron Cito, and Kim Delancey, the current owners.

The homemade noodles and the other traditional Italian dishes have always been good. The soups, salads and desserts, always good. The bar has always been impeccably, vintage cool.

The food – though still based in tradition – has become more sophisticated. The marinara sauce has been jacked-up, jacked-up with garlic. Owner Ron Cito shared his secret of the great, gastronomic, garlic flavor: he steams the garlic. Other food items are more subtly seasoned, and there are, in addition to standard, old-school favorites, new creative dishes on the menu.

Patsy's Homemade Spaghetti

This, in my opinion, is Patsy’s signature dish: Homemade Spaghetti with meatball or sausage, served with soup or salad and bread ($10.75.)

Italian Fried Trout

The elegant Italian Fried (Ruby) Trout served with garlic cream spaghetti, soup or salad and bread ($13.75.)

What else is new? The restaurant itself is a time-capsule from the 1920s, definitely not new. The owners and staff are new. The service is generally good, sometimes it’s a notch above good. We do miss “Sherrie,” who was a real asset to the business.

*In the late 1800s and the first half or so of the 1900s the area in Denver between Broadway and Zuni Streets on the east and west and 46th and 32nd Avenues on the north and south was known as “Little Italy”. It was an area of Italian grocery stores and bakeries, community bread ovens, churches, and schools; an area where a new wave of immigrants from all over Italy moved to and where they were comfortable and socially secure in this new country read more…

The Official Website of Patsy’s Inn Italian Restaurant.

Open 7 days… Parking lot 1/2 block north…

View another post on Patsy’s from 2009 here.

Patsy’s Italian Restaurant is a TrueItalianTable recommended authentic Italian restaurant.

Odyssey Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar in Denver, CO

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First published September 15, 2013

Odyssey Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar
603 E 6th Ave
Denver, CO 80203
(303) 318-0102

Odyssey Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar
Odyssey Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar

A funny thing happened on the way to a longtime, favorite, hideaway restaurant on 6th Avenue in Denver: the new owner’s renovations were a bit more extensive than we thought they would be. The “new” restaurant’s ambience exceeded our comfort level so we left.

Standing at the curb, feeling forlorn and betrayed, we were trying to regain some level of composure as I gazed across the street. Lo and behold, a sideways banner, silently shouting “pasta,” was beckoning to us. Across 6th and a half-block to the west, a world of promise was possibly opening. It was Odyssey Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar.

I said, “Let’s go!” We went.

Upon entering Odyssey, my first thoughts were of a cozy eatery in West Los Angeles—Hollywood to be more specific, The Sunset Strip to be even more specific—where clean water runs down the curbs, and the restaurants are so fancy one hesitates to enter if one is, say, homeless and wandering, or on a lessor note, just not dressed appropriately. (A couple of days later, I thought of the well-worn Alexander Graham Bell adage “When one door closes, another opens.” Perfect!)

At that moment a very animated and over-the-top gracious young man introduced himself and gave us a quick tour and brief history of the restaurant and the owners—his father and himself: Executive Chef Ignazio Mulei (father) and Michael Mulei. It is a good thing.

This little bistro on East 6th Avenue is in an old, established neighborhood in a turn-of-the-century house that proudly displays exposed old-brick walls; worn wood; many wine bottles, photos and paintings; a small cave-like corner bar; white tablecloths and sometimes candles on the tables glowing in champagne glasses.

Odyssey Dining Room
Odyssey Dining Room

Cozy interior of Odyssey Italian Restaurant’s main dining area

Odyssey's cozy little bar
Odyssey's Cozy Little Bar

A half-dozen tables, a few booths left over from other restaurants that have occupied the space, and the bar complete the main dining room. Another dining room sits up a short flight of stairs, past photos of Dean Martin and Saint Francis (F.S.) with other members of the The Rat Pack, and past a kitchen door. Here are more tables and booths, a fireplace, and a special deeply recessed space with a U-shaped booth—an intimate, private, mini dining room with curtains. Guess where I’ll be next visit, and I guarantee there will be a next visit. Three slanting tables out front (the sidewalk slants, see top photo) and another half-dozen on a raised patio are there for fresh-air romance on 6th Avenue.

Odyssey's upper level fireplace
Odyssey's Upper Level Fireplace

We didn’t stay that first evening, but we did return for the following Monday Night Pasta Special—pasta dinner with Caesar Salad and bread for $8.99.

Let the Odyssey begin. We chose the table in the middle of the room. Not my usual favorite place but the other choices were right up in the other diners’ business, so to speak, so we drew our cards and sat down. A lovely, petite server warmly greeted us with the menus and the standard opening gambit of asking if we would like to order cocktails or wine before dinner. Sure! We both ordered a glass of wine from the bottom of the menu, the $5.00 house red for me and a $6.00 Little Black Dress white for Sue Ann.

Bang! Chef Ignazio appeared out of nowhere with an appetizer plate of calamari. As East Coast-animated and gracious as his son, Chef Ignazio told us that he’d like to have us try the calamari, on the house, and launches into a bit more history of his life and of the restaurant, speaking to us like an old friend or a relative. It was good. The calamari were perfect – velvety golden-brown, tempura-like on the outside, and on the inside the meat was not too soft and not too hard, served with a light marinara and wedges of lemon. The portion size was decent.

I was there for the pasta special, however, after perusing the menu and listening to the recitation of the night’s other special entrees, we decided to split a dish called Red Snapper Florentine with roasted seasonal vegetables (Caesar Salad & bread included ($16.00).

After savoring the calamari, sipping the wine and taking in the sweet vibe of the restaurant, the fish dish arrived. The Red Snapper was swimming in an ocean of spinach, with a few long green beans, resting on a bed of (whole-wheat, my choice) spaghetti in an Aglio E Olio sauce. The portion was very generous.

Chef Ignazio offered to share a Sambuca with us. After waiting a while, we decided that he was busy in the kitchen, so we paid the check and left knowing we’d be back.

The next Monday we returned with a guest, a food and travel writer. This time I called ahead, reserving a corner booth for 7 p.m. Once again, we were cheerfully greeted by the servers and Michael, who immediately began chatting in Italian with our guest like a long lost friend. He entertained us with stories of his family—mostly stories of the family kitchen—and there was the kissing of the hand and conversation about the due baci (the kissing of both cheeks).

Once again, Chef Ignazio appeared with a complimentary appetizer, this time a Sicilian dish of sausage slices, cheese, salami, green peppers, onions, and . . .raisins, which were the coup de grâce. The sweetness and flavor of the raisins, juxtaposed with the other spicy flavors imparted a memorable taste.

The Beautiful Eggplant Caprese
The Beautiful Eggplant Caprese

After much chatting in Italian between the guest, the chef and the son and many stories told—and we hadn’t yet ordered dinner—Chef Ignazio announced that he was going to cook the guest’s dinner tableside. OK. In the meantime, we ordered an appetizer. It was a beautiful Eggplant Caprese (tomato and mozzarella layered with grilled eggplant with a slightly crunchy outer edge). I could easily do one of these as a meal, or if I needed a bit more, I’d also order the Calamari.

Here’s Open Table’s menu for Odyssey. I don’t know if it’s complete or accurate, it’s the only one I can find since Odyssey doesn’t have an active website.

Chef Ignazio Cooking Tableside
Chef Ignazio Cooking Tableside

This evening two of us split the Veal Braciole, flavorful and tender. It was served over a bed of butterfly pasta. Our guest had a Sicilian Red Snapper dish, prepared tableside over a little cooking plate; Every time the chef added a splash of Captain Morgan’s rum to the pan, a flame would shoot up eighteen inches, instantly creating a show; everyone in the dining room was having a great time.

Red Snapper Cooked Tableside
Red Snapper Cooked Tableside

Impressive and generous entrées at Odyssey Italian Restaurant

Veal Braciole over Butterfly Pasta with Marinara
Veal Braciole over Butterfly Pasta with Marinara

The only thing on the negative side is the very limited parking. There may be some curbside parking across the street or around the corner, but there are no nearby parking lots, or valet service that I’m aware of. Valet would be a good addition and make the over-the-top service complete.

This post was written and assembled by William Carbone
Thank’s to Claudia Carbone for editing

Odyssey Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar is a TrueItalianTable recomended authentic Italian restaurant.

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GB Fish & Chips: In Cod They Trust

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GB Fish and Chips
GB Fish and Chips

GB Fish & Chips
5325 E Colfax Ave
Denver, CO 80220 ‎

The fourth location for GB Fish & Chips is in the old Park Hill hood, on East Colfax. This is the former home of package-liquor store, Continental Liquors.

GB Fish & Chips is a English-style fish & chips restaurant with football (soccer) on the TV, soccer jerseys on the walls (Broadway location,) wooden picnic tables, beer and wine?, and for sure, Fish & Chips ($6.50 – Just Fish to $15.10 – Full Meal.) Also on the menu, they offer: Bangers (Al La Carte, $5.95 – Meal, $8.45,) Shepherd’s Pie ($6.95 – $9.45,) Pork Pie ($4.15 – $6.65,) Pasties ($6.50 – $9.00,) Sides (Chips, Beans, Slaw, Potato Chips $1.50) and Soup (Clam Chowder $3.95 – $5.95.)

Back to the Swimmers, battered and deep fried: Cod, Tilapia, Prawns, Oysters, Squid, Scallops and Combinations: Half (Just Fish $5.50 to $7.65,) Half Meal ($8.00 to $10.15,) Full (Just Fish $9.95 to $14.25,) and Full (Meal $12.45 to $16.76.)

View the complete menu on GB Fish and Chips Official Website

Wine/Beer/Specials – Sides/Soups/Kids Meals – Street parking on Colfax

Different location, same good English fare.

Other locations in Denver area: Washington Park, Sloan’s Lake and South Broadway

June’s Full Moon: The Full Strawberry Moon/Super Moon

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Full Moon
Full Moon

The Old Farmer’s Almanac’s Amy Nieskens

From The Old Farmer’s Almanac
Historically, the Native Americans who lived in the area that is now the northern and eastern United States kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to the recurring full Moons.

Each full Moon name was applied to the entire lunar month in which it occurred.

These names, and some variations, were used by the Algonquin tribes from New England to Lake Superior.

The month of June’s full Moon’s name is the Full Strawberry Moon. June’s Full Strawberry Moon got its name because the Algonquin tribes knew it as a signal to gather ripening fruit.

It was often known as the Full Rose Moon in Europe (where strawberries aren’t native).

From space.brevardtimes.com/
2013 Strawberry Moon is a SUPER MOON

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida — There is going to be a full Moon on the night of June 22, 2013, but not just any full Moon, it will be a Strawberry Moon that is also a Super Moon.

According to Native American folklore, this full Moon is called a Strawberry Moon because the short season for harvesting strawberries comes during the month of June. Other names for the first full Moon is June are Rose Moon and Flower Moon.

Are Strawberry Moons red or pink in color?

Sometimes. But Strawberry Moons are not necessarily red or pink in color just because they occur in June.

Like any full Moon, the Moon can appear pink, like the one in this video taken two months ago, which can be caused by atmospheric conditions on Earth or a partial lunar eclipse. Strawberry Moons can also appear brown-red in color during a total lunar eclipse.

According to NASA, the full moon on June 30, 1996 was barely a “Blue Moon” because it occurred as the second Full Moon within the month. In time zones East of Brevard County on Florida’s Space Coast, however, this was the first Full Moon of July.

What’s so special about this 2013 Strawberry Super Moon?

This Super Moon will be the closest Super Moon of 2013. This Strawberry Super Moon will appear 13% larger and 30% brighter than normal Full Moons.

According to NASA, a Super Moon occurs because the Moon is in an elliptical orbit around the Earth. When the Moon is closest, it is at its orbital perigee, which is why a Super Moon is also known as a Perigee Moon Read more…

La Loma Mexican Restaurant in Denver

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La Loma
La Loma

La Loma Mexican Restaurant
2527 West 26th Avenue
Denver, CO 80211-4804
(303) 433-8300

La Loma is the Real-Deal traditional, Mexican restaurant in an old house (1887) in the *”old neighborhood.”

“La Loma is located in a distinctive Denver home that was constructed in 1887. The home accommodates a Cantina with a large fireplace, and three unique dining rooms – The Colonial Room, The Victorian Room and The Galleria are a blend of early American and Southwestern Cultures.” [Excerpt is from La Loma’s website]

The Old House is an island of tranquility and class in an old North Denver neighborhood. Dark woods/beams, exposed brick, cozy booths, and an antique, (working) taco machine provide the background for this above average Mexican restaurant.

Several dining areas including the main dining room, with booths and tables underneath a high beamed-ceiling of rich dark woods that invite the eye to explore the nooks and crevices, and a couple of ceilings fans. There are booths and tables as well as a dozen bar stools in the lounge area; there’s a gorgeous patio with a half-wall of old vines, with dining tables, and there’s another dining room up a few stairs I have not had the pleasure of visiting – next time.

The food is fairly traditional Mexican fare serving the standards such as: tacos, burritos, fajitas, enchiladas, chimichangas, and combinations, as well as seafood, steaks, soups, salads and more. Access La Loma’s Full Menu here.

The place is all class with an attentive, friendly staff. The clientele is varied with a large number of young, affluent, good-looking Margarita aficionados. Seriously, some very attractive young ladies have been spotted – every time this writer has been there. I have to be on the lookout so that I can report accurately.

The chips “of” the Chips and Salsa are the lightest I’ve ever had, thin and not the least bit greasy. The Margaritas are served in small, medium and large sizes, with a variety of flavors and tequilas. FYI – the small is big.

Of course there’s the full, well-stocked bar.
Hours: Sun – Thu/ 11am – 10pm – Fri – Sat/ 11am – 11pm
Happy Hour: Reduced drink prices and appetizers
Mon – Sat/ 2pm – 6pm

La Loma’s Official Website

*Hispanic neighborhood near – what used to be – Denver’s Little Italy.

Tony Ps: Italian Imagination with a Side of Marinara

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Tony Ps
777 East 17th Avenue
Denver, CO 80203

Tony Ps
Tony Ps

We were driving down 17th in Denver (not 4th Street in San Raphael, CA, where American Graffiti was filmed.) Huh?

Saw a pink building which immediately made me think of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

I was familiar with the building, I had been there before, and have seen it’s many incarnations over the years. In fact the building had quite a rep: it was jinxed, so to speak. Some also say that the place is haunted. Tony Pasquini says it.

I saw the name Tony Ps and knew immediately this was another Italian restaurant by Denver pizza king, Tony Pasquini. Tony now operates a number of restaurants in and around Denver. We decided to stop even though we had to circle the block several times before we found a place just in front of the restaurant on E 17th.

We went in, felt a good vibe and sat at a cozy table on the lower level. High back booths, Pasquiniesque inlaid tables: this one had gears, bottle-tops, and other assorted guy’s stuff sunk into hard resin-topped table tops. There was a view south across 17th. through a lot of glass and a – sort of yellow-hue Tuscan shadow thing going on on the other side of the room.

Tony Ps lower level
Tony Ps lower level

I saw several very hip ladies of the staff walking about. Tony Pasquini is attracting some very hip people with this latest incarnation of the Tony Ps brand, formerly Pasquinis – not just staff, customers as well.

We enjoyed a house, Happy Hour vino with bites of a Pasquini staple: soft, buttered pizza-dough twists served gratis, with a red dipping sauce, shaker-cheese and red-pepper-flakes. The cheese and pepper are up to you. Well we sat there enjoying the vibe for awhile.

The indomitable Tony Pasquini stopped at the table and engaged us. We talked a bit about the old days; I remember him when he was just starting to bar-tend at the first Pasquini’s on South Broadway. I remember when it was The Pizza Queen. I was traveling in a motor home and would periodically check in to a small motel down the road a piece from the restaurant.

Time flies squared!

I mentioned that several restaurateurs failed in this location, he countered that the building was also haunted. I had heard that.

He asked if we had been upstairs, we had not but I had been eyeing the stairs. He invited us to go up, and that he’d meet us upstairs. Very cool. The walk up the stairs was about dark wood and a promise of something good. The promise delivered. A dance floor, long bar and little booths, tables and crevices where one can hide, or show off

Tony introduced us to a nice couple who were planning a swing-dance event. It was cool, reminded me of Vegas’ Four Queens when they were doing Jazz upstairs. We signed off leaving an email address and left the premises. I’m sure we will come back. Did I feel so comfortable because this was my hood, or is it really that cool?

Formerly, JR’s Bar & Grill as well as several others, like a New Orleans themed club, 777 East 17th Avenue has seen owners come and go as other venues seemed to click. There have always been rumors that the building is haunted.

I’m bett’n that this is a hit; it will be one of Denver’s places to see and be seen this summer, especially with the upstairs bar, to say nothing of the second floor balcony overlooking 17th. Ave. It’s a Denver thing.

Balconies overlooking 17th Ave
Balconies overlooking 17th Ave

Tony Ps serves excellent NY style pizza and classic Italian entrees and more. Click the website link for full menus. There are two bars and two levels of restaurant seating.

Tony Ps official website

Patsy’s Inn Italian Restaurant in Denver: Go Fish

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Patsy's Italian Restaurant
Patsy's Italian Restaurant

Patsy’s Italian Restaurant
3651 Navajo Street
Denver, CO 80211
(303) 477-8910

We dined at my favorite Denver Italian restaurant the other night, and the dish we shared was the best we’ve had in years. Of course there have been several owners as well as different dishes served over the years, but this was – hands down one of the best.

The dish was “Italian Fried Trout
Ruby Trout dusted lightly with herbed flour and flash fried, served with garlic creme spaghetti. The huge (bragging rights) fish was filleted and laid out on a large plate in two fat pieces with golden garlic creme spaghetti filling the rest of the plate. I’m a red-sauce guy but this light, creamy beauty hugged the spaghetti in a perfect marriage with the fish ($13.75) including Homemade Minestrone Soup or House Salad, and bread.

This may be a one hit wonder – we’ll see – though I might have to order my regular fav next time: Patsy’s big, fat homemade noodles with the garlicky red sauce served with balls or sausage, or one of each ($10.75) with Homemade Minestrone Soup or House Salad, and bread.

Or we’ll try the Ruby Trout again hoping they can repeat perfection.

There’s a new seats-you-at-a-table guy/barkeep at Patsy’s. He seems to be a good guy and adds high energy to the place; the downside is that the ice-cool and lovely, SB is no longer at the helm of the bar – a role she could have played in a Bogart film scene for scene. She will be missed.

Patsy’s Inn Italian Restaurant


Tony Pasquini keeps hit ‘n ’em out of the park with another home run – his new Tonys Ps on 17th Street in Denver.

Tonys Ps
777 East 17th Avenue
Denver, CO 80203

Tony Ps
Tony Ps

Lodged in a deep groove of Denver hip, Tony P found a sweet spot with this uptown Dr. Parnassus-like Imaginarium/Restaurant/Hip Lounge.

They say it’s haunted… More later…

Tony Ps Website

Pioneering Promoter Barry Fey Dead At 73: “some Denver media reporting an apparent suicide.”

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Barry Fey
Barry Fey

Barry Fey, one of the pioneering promoters in the U.S., and highly influential in building Denver into one of the most robust live concert markets in the country, died at his home yesterday, with some Denver media reporting an apparent suicide. Fey was 73, and had recently undergone hip replacement surgery that kept him hospitalized for a month, and sources say he had been despondent about the pace of his recovery read more from Billboard.Com…

Barry Fey, legendary Colorado concert promoter, dies at 73

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Barry Fey in Denver on Monday, November 14, 2011.
Barry Fey in Denver on Monday, November 14, 2011.

By Joey Bunch and Ricardo Baca
The Denver Post

The colorful promoter who made Colorado a destination for the biggest names in music died Sunday. Barry Fey was 73.
The cause of death was not immediately available, but an unusually downtrodden Fey told The Denver Post last week that he was recovering from hip-replacement surgery.

“Barry Fey is one of the giants of a generation,” said William Dean Singleton, chairman and publisher of The Denver Post and a close friend of Fey’s. “He brought the music scene to Colorado, and every part of the music scene you see here today has his fingerprints on it.”

Fey promoted tens of thousands of concerts and other events from the 1960s until he retired his Feyline corporation in the late-’90s. (He even dipped his toes back into the waters with a consulting gig with House of Blues in the 2000s.) He was friends with acts he promoted, a list that included the Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, U2, Led Zeppelin, the Grateful Dead, the Who, the Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and other big-time acts read more:

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AP/ April 20, 2013, 9:06 PM Police: Shots fired at Colo. pot holiday gathering >>>UPDATE<<< 11:00 PM, Mountain Time: Three Wounded

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Police: Shots fired at Colo. pot holiday gathering
Police: Shots fired at Colo. pot holiday gathering

>>>UPDATE< << From ChicagoTribune.Com
Keith Coffman
6:53 p.m. CDT, April 20, 2013

Three people shot at pro-marijuana rally in Denver

DENVER, April 20 (Reuters) – Three people were shot and wounded at a pro-marijuana rally on Saturday, disrupting the first celebration of a symbolic drug culture holiday since Colorado voters legalized the recreational use of pot.
A man and a woman were each shot in the leg and a youth was grazed by a bullet, but the wounds were not life-threatening, Denver police said on Twitter. Officers were looking for two suspects in the shootings, which occurred as the rally was winding down.

A man and a woman were each shot in the leg and a youth was grazed by a bullet, but the wounds were not life-threatening, Denver police said on Twitter. Officers were looking for two suspects in the shootings, which occurred as the rally was winding down.

“I heard five or six gunshots in quick succession,” said Cole Wagenknecht, 27, who attended the rally at a downtown park near the State Capitol. “That’s why I knew it wasn’t fireworks. Then everybody started to scatter and ran toward one end of the park.”

The rally was one of a number of marijuana-related activities, including classes on hashish making and cooking with cannabis, held in Colorado on April 20 – within the drug culture, “4/20” and “420” are synonymous with marijuana use.

The shootings came at a sensitive time for Colorado marijuana activists, who are closely watching proposals from state lawmakers on the rules that will govern the sale of small amounts of pot to people 21 and older. In November, voters in Colorado and Washington state became the first in the country to approve recreational use of marijuana read more…


DENVER (AP) — Gunfire erupted at a Denver park Saturday, injuring two people and sending tens of thousands gathered for an annual pot celebration fleeing the area, police said.

A crowd of marijuana smokers expected to swell to 80,000 had gathered at the park to mark the counterculture holiday known as 4/20 on the first celebration since Colorado and Washington made pot legal for recreational use. The shooting happened at about 5 p.m. and shortly after pot smokes shared hugs and joints in a mass 4:20 p.m. smoke-out.

Police spokesman Sonny Jackson confirmed two people had been shot and both were taken to a hospital with injuries that did not appear to be life-threating. The gunshots quickly dispelled the festive atmosphere, with police swarming the scene.

Witnesses said they heard three or more shots and crime tape was around the pavilion where the celebration was being held.

Aerial footage showed the massive crowd frantically running from the park.

A sizable police force on motorcycles and horses had been watching the celebration. But officers didn’t arrest people for smoking in public, which is still illegal.

Ian Bay, who was skateboarding through Civic Center Park when shots erupted, said he was listening to music on his headphones when he looked to his right and saw a swarm of hundreds of people running at him.

“I sort of panicked. I thought I was going through an anxiety thing because so many people were coming after me,” he said.

Before the shooting, reggae music filled the air, and so did the smell of marijuana, as celebrants gathered by mid-morning in the park just beside the state Capitol.

Authorities generally look the other way at public pot smoking here on April 20. Police said this week before the event that they were focused on crowd security in light of attacks that killed three at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

“We’re aware of the events in Boston,” said Denver police spokesman Aaron Kafer, who declined to give specifics about security measures being taken. “Our message to the public is that, if you see something, say something” read more…

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