4/20 Street Fair

Written by Lizzy Solorzano, Designed by Abigail Raike – 4/20 Edition 2024.

The Chalice Sorority House has partnered with local businesses on 11th Ave. to organize a 4/20 street fair, where attendees can enjoy exclusive deals offered by each store.

Participating businesses include stores like Cheba Hut, Horai Farm, Pandita, Jim the Shoe Doctor, Minit Market, and White Rabbit Tattoo Collective.  

“The basis of the event was between us and Cheba Hut because we’re both 420-oriented,” said CJ Rayson, The Sorority House store owner. “We thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if we did our 420 events together?’ and even more so, make everybody else involved.”

During the event, attendees will use a map, starting at Cheba Hut or The Sorority House to navigate each participating location along the street. Upon making a purchase, they will receive a sticker to paste on the corresponding location on the map. Once all stickers are collected, participants will return to The Sorority House and exchange the completed map for a goody bag.

On its property, The Sorority House will host special live performances from local bands like Bowl Peace and Under the Clothesline.

Additionally, attendees can look forward to collecting Chalice Farm’s gear, indulging in donuts from the O’My Mini Donuts food cart and browsing a variety of artworks by local artists including canvas paintings, stained glass and pottery.

Other cannabis vendors like Willamette Valley Alchemy, Noblecraft Cannabis, and Hapy Kitchen will also make appearances, providing customers with a wide range of options to choose from.

Although the street fair is a cannabis-themed event, it is open for everyone to enjoy. Tattoo lovers can find flash tattoos at White Rabbit Tattoo Collective and sneakerheads can find matching pairs of socks from Jim the Shoe Doctor, or enjoy the company of the community.

“For the local community, it’s really great because it could pull people from other parts of Eugene who don’t usually come down this street and are just looking for something fun to do,” Rayson said.

Rayson hopes to make this an annual event. Following several changes in ownership over the years, The Sorority House is now under its original owner, William Simpson, allowing Rayson to coordinate events like this one.

“Before, when we were owned by these higher corporate companies from out-of-state, they didn’t really understand working with communities,” Rayson said. “Now, with new Oregon owners, they’re a lot more into community marketing and more Oregon-based stuff. They let us have more freedom on what we wanted to do in our areas.”

James Nielsen, a budtender at The Sorority House, encourages attendees to explore all aspects of the event to make the most out of their experience.

“I’m super excited about the street fair,” said Nielsen. “I think CJ wants to get an area around here so we have people hanging out, street fair stuff, people selling stuff they make at home, and make it bigger than people just coming and getting their [cannabis].”

Nielsen admires Rayson’s initiative in launching this event, recognizing its significant contribution to the cannabis culture in Eugene. He commends Rayson’s pioneering effort in organizing the event.

“I feel like that’s something that hasn’t happened here yet,” Nielsen said. “This is literally the weed capital of the United States. We’ve got the cheapest weed, we’ve had some of the dankest dabs longer than other places, so I feel like we’ve been lightyears ahead of everyone.”

Given Eugene’s deep-rooted cannabis culture, Rayson aims to destigmatize cannabis by organizing events like this to raise awareness of its benefits. Rayson notes the prevalence of alcohol-centric events, so he hopes to change that with events like this one to foster greater acceptance towards cannabis.

“For Oregon as a whole, I think there should be a lot more events like this, make cannabis a little more regular,” Rayson said. “There’s always kinds of events with [alcohol], it’s so normalized and I think that cannabis should be more normalized.”

Joshua Donaldson, the store owner of Cheba Hut, worked with Rayson to orchestrate this event. He believes that an event like this embodies Eugene because of its prominent cannabis culture and agrees that it could contribute to the de-stigmatization of cannabis.

“It helps showcase what we’re all about and what the cannabis industry is about,” Donaldson said. “It’s about connection, it’s about hanging out with people like your best friends, it’s about happy and uplifting times.”

Donaldson presumes that the calming aspects from cannabis can allow people to connect on a different level. He noted that lighting a joint at the park with friends on a sunny day offers a contrasting experience to a wild night of partying with alcohol.

“Alcohol has been in the spotlight I think a little bit too long,” Donaldson said. “Weed as a whole is such a different vibe that I think a lot of people are starting to tap into more.”

Because Cheba Hut’s theme revolves around weed, Donaldson said that there is often a misconception about the restaurant, with some assuming the employees might make mistakes on sandwich orders because they are too high. However, Donaldson aims to challenge the stigma by demonstrating that his employees can do their work well and still enjoy themselves.

“We don’t want to be professional stoners, we want to be stoner professionals,” Donaldson said. “It’s letting us be stoners but also showing that you can do the job, and that you’re not just some lazy person that doesn’t want to do anything.”

Donaldson said while each business stands to benefit from this event, it focuses more on collaborating with neighbors to foster a strong sense of community.

“Something that I love is that this is what Eugene is about, which is coming together, a lot of community outreach, a lot of working together towards a fun goal and just being there for your neighbor,” Donaldson said. “I think this is a great spotlight for that because it shows that we are not just all in it for ourselves but that we’re in it for the community. It’s really fun to give people something to come together for.”