Reflecting on an Unforgettable 420 at Ivy Hall

This entry was posted on May 13, 2024 by Samantha Garcia.

Relive the unforgettable 420 celebrations at Ivy Hall with our event recap. Discover the community spirit, educational insights, and look ahead to future cannabis events in Illinois.

420 Event at Ivy Hall

Saturday, April 20th started as a slow, peaceful, sunny morning in Illinois. People from all walks of life woke up early to come start their day by shopping with us on 420. Some came dressed for the day, while others came ready and donned in their PJs. Geese were laying on guard (IYKYK) with one eye open in case anyone dared tried to cut in. The energy at 7am was unmatched. The excitement the customers felt only made our team’s anticipation soar, leaving us eager to get the party started; we had our fingers on the play button ready to start the music. We all had been in planning mode for over a month. We were ready. Lines of customers at all the Ivy Halls across Illinois ran down the block, across the parking lots, and wrapped around the buildings. It was a sight to see. Lines were record-breaking for Ivy Hall and it was only our second 420.

For some, April 20th is just any other day. For others, April 20th is considered to be the Black Friday of the Cannabis industry. Last year, by comparison, our Bucktown, Crystal Lake, and Waukegan locations all experienced their first Ivy Hall 420; whereas this year, all nine Ivy Hall locations were fully open and operational, and each community had the opportunity to experience an Ivy Hall 420. You can read more about 420 in Illinois and the origin and history of 420 here.


Last year’s 420 was the first ever rollout of our Ivy Hall x SWAG Golf collaboration with the Putt ‘n Puff Swag golf challenge. It was a huge hit – and still is! Each location also had mid-day food trucks, and our flagship store, Ivy Hall Bucktown, saw long lines wrap throughout the store, and guest DJ for the afternoon. 2024’s 420 celebration definitely needed to far exceed and surpass last year’s, which it did.

This year saw over 10,000 visitors in total with quite the lineup for customers to look forward to. From the Golden Ticket chocolate bar prizes for the first 150 customers along with complimentary coffee and donuts from local coffee and donut shops, to the joint rolling competition, to the afternoon pizza by Lou Malnati’s, 4:20pm spin the wheel prizes, and even caricature artists, dunk tank, mechanical bull, and cash box, there was something for everyone to enjoy at any point of the day.

420 at Ivy Hall Crystal Lake
Ivy Hall Logan Square customers in a wrap-around line on 4/20 being helped by a Budtender.

Tim LaRue, General Manager of Ivy Hall Crystal Lake, took note of the energy that was building that morning saying, “We had one hell of a time at CL! Online wrapped around the whole store! People loved having coffee and donuts to welcome them in the store!

420 at Ivy Hall Crystal Lake
The line on 420 at Ivy Hall Crystal Lake

Heady Cup Coffee Roasters of McHenry set up an on-site coffee cart for the morning crowd at Ivy Hall Crystal Lake

At other stores like Ivy Hall Bucktown and Ivy Hall Logan Square, customers were given a free gift with purchase in the form of a succulent from local Chicago plant store, The Plant Shop Chicago. On top of receiving a succulent, city customers also had hot coffee from Dark Matter and donuts from Mariano’s waiting for them inside once we opened, along with the suspense of who would get one of the many hidden Golden Ticket prizes.

The Plant Shop Chicago - Free Ivy Hall 420 Event Succulents

The overall atmosphere amongst the customers and budtenders at Ivy Hall Glendale Heights started off on a high note even later in the day.

“I started my shift at 1pm. Got in and immediately felt the stoner energy everywhere. Everyone was hypey in the best pothead way and having a good time, including budtenders! This is my first 420 in the industry. Coming from across the world where cannabis is illegal, this was a very liberating milestone for me!” says Maria De Guzman, an Agent-in-Charge at Ivy Hall Glendale Heights.

Just 22 miles away at Ivy Hall Bolingbrook, a similar environment. Mike Kalambayi, Front of House Manager at Ivy Hall Bolingbrook was all eyes and ears on 420 as the store’s second-in-command leader.

“The entire floor was buzzing with energy from start to finish as we had a line wrapped around the entire sales floor offering every guest a glimpse of all parts of the dispensary as well as an easy transition out the door.”

420 Event at Ivy Hall Dispensary

Ivy Hall Budtenders on 420

Meanwhile at newly opened Ivy Hall Streamwood, despite the long lines, the morale there was up. Kayla Larson, Agent-in-Charge at Ivy Hall Streamwood, shared her perspective of being on the sales floor for her shift during the festivities:

“I was on the sales floor for the entire day of 4/20 and it was so much fun. Customers were super excited for all the activities we had going on and everyone was in really high spirits. Every time someone won one of the golden tickets it wasn’t only the employees cheering, but even the customers in line!”


The golden ticket chocolate bar prizes were a huge hit across the board. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was obviously the inspiration behind the Ivy Hall Golden Ticket prizes, but Jonny Boucher, Director of Marketing, was the brains behind the idea of bringing it to Ivy Hall. The golden ticket bar prizes were first introduced on Black Friday in the spirit of the season, with the renowned film being long associated with the Thanksgiving holiday.

Ivy Hall 420 Golden Ticket Prizes

“Big Star Taco of One-Off Hospitality approached us first,” says Jonny. “They wanted to partner with us for 420 by offering our customers a unique experience in the form of Big Star prizes, and from there, we just took off running with the golden ticket prizes by asking ourselves, ‘what else and who else could we incorporate into our golden tickets to make this idea- these prizes,come to life for our big stoner holiday?’”

Ivy Hall Waukegan 420 Golden Ticket Winner
An Ivy Hall Waukegan customer pictured winning the Ozone Bundle as a golden ticket prize.
Ivy Hall Waukegan Gift Card Winners
Ivy Hall Waukegan customers are shown after winning a gift card to Bowlero and The Ozone Bundle.
Ivy Hall Glendale Heights Concert Ticket Winner
An Ivy Hall Glendale Heights customer beams with excitement over winning tickets to a popular IL music festival.

For the most part, every store had the same lineup of activities with select stores having certain activities relative to the area’s demographic. Since the Crystal Lake area has a large golf community, the Putt ‘n Puff was brought back just for this location, specifically. A free canna gift was redeemed if the customer scored a hole in one!

Ivy Hall Crystal Lake 420 Event Putt ‘n Puff

Putt ‘n Puff on 420 at Ivy Hall Dispensary

We’ve done Spin the Wheel in the past and have mostly incorporated them for special events, such as Customer Appreciation Events or one year anniversary parties. Since it was 420, ALL stores had Spin the Wheel. The difference being that when we rolled out Spin the Wheel at 4:20pm, every spin would win some kind of prize until 8pm. Prizes ranged from free Ivy Hall batteries, an Ivy Hall glass ashtray, to % off next purchase, etc.

“Customers were elated to be receiving a free promo item on top of their purchase and constantly let us know the deals we do at Ivy Hall are always the best.” – Mike Kalambayi, FOH Manager – Ivy Hall Bolingbrook.

Andrew Santucci of Ivy Hall Bolingbrook with the Wheel full of 420 prizes
Agent-in-Charge, Andrew Santucci of Ivy Hall Bolingbrook can be seen here posing in the Fotio photo booth with the Wheel full of 420 prizes (photo credit: Fotio).

“SO MUCH ROOM FOR ACTIVITIES!” – Step Brothers (2008)

Our whole company seemed to agree that having all day long activities kept up the 420 momentum throughout the day. We saw customers who were one of the first few 150 customers in the morning come back later in the day and make a purchase again just to take part in the fun activities we offered.

Kayla Larson, an Agent in Charge at Ivy Hall Streamwood said that the highlight of her shift was a combination of the joint rolling contest and interacting with customers who were waiting in record-breaking long lines.

“At first it seemed like people were slowly trickling in for the joint rolling contest, but it became a hit after a while! Even though it wasn’t part of the events of the day; I had so much fun playing the “Stack the joints” jenga with customers who were waiting in line. It killed time, and also boosted my ego when I kept winning!”

Ivy Hall Waukegan 420 Joint Rolling Competition
Ivy Hall Waukegan
Ivy Hall Logan Square 420 Joint Rolling Competition
Ivy Hall Logan Square
Ivy Hall Crystal Lake 420 Joint Rolling Competition
Ivy Hall Crystal Lake

Kayla wasn’t the only one who enjoyed the joint rolling station. Maria De Guzman, an Agent-in-Charge, recalled that the joint rolling station at Ivy Hall Glendale Heights, was a personal favorite along with the photo booth provided by Fotio.

“It’s gotta be the joint rolling station since I saw a lot of customers got excited to flex their rolling skills. And I loved the photobooth so much! All the photos came out so good with our beautiful people!”


Fotio Photo Booth at Ivy Hall on 420
Members of our team taking a break to have fun in the photo booth by Fotio.

Other exciting 420 activities worth highlighting included the aforementioned dunk tank (Ivy Hall Crystal Lake and Logan Square), mechanical bull (Ivy Hall Crystal Lake), caricature artists, and a special appearance by rap artist and owner of 93 Boyz, Vic Mensa. The aroma of movie theater popcorn filled the air in all stores for several hours until Lou Malnati’s rolled up with pizza to help curb the munchies – even for Ivy Hall Peoria!

As the day went on, the temperature dropped and it became too cold for the dunk tank to last long or the ice cream and snow cone stations to stick around much longer. It didn’t stop customers from stopping to snag one though!

Free Icecream on 420 at Ivy Hall

Ivy Hall 420 Event Dunk Tank

Ivy Hall 420 Event Caricature Drawings

Ivy Hall 420 Event Free Popcorn

Ivy Hall 420 Event Bull Riding

Ivy Hall Logan Square and 93 Boyz’ owner, Vic Mensa
Members of the Ivy Hall Logan Square pose for a picture with 93 Boyz’ owner, Vic Mensa, during his 420 Meet ‘n Greet Dispensary Tour.


Since the beginning, Ivy Hall has been all about serving, engaging with, and educating our communities. We wanted to create a 420 celebration that was engaging for our communities, that brought other members from our communities together, all while offering the best customer service experience possible and educating on all the products we offer.

“Come and Stay Awhile” is not just a phrase we throw around with casualty. The secret’s in our sauce. We want you to come and have an exceptionally extraordinary dispensary experience every single time you visit us. Same goes for 420. The best 420 feedback we received was from a Crystal Lake customer. They said,

“On 4/20, while waiting in line, I told a staff member of being in pain from standing. He offered a nearby chair and asked another staff member to stand in my place in line. Thank you, all of you. Ivy Hall walks the walk when it comes to customer service.”

It’s reviews like these that remind us of why we do what we do and set our hearts on fire.

Good or bad feedback, we welcome and embrace it because it helps us become stronger as individuals and as a company. Thank you from the bottom of our stoner hearts.


For now, 420 2024, the year of the 420 palindrome, or the “stoner eclipse” is what it’s being called, will live on in our memories and in the photos and videos we all took to commemorate the day. Looking back, what was your favorite 420 moment or activity? We want to hear from you!

Our 420 wouldn’t have been possible without you, our community. Thank you for your support and for choosing Ivy Hall for all your dispensing needs. A special thank you to all our amazing brand cultivators who worked with us to get our customers the best deals in Illinois. We are so grateful to all the businesses who contributed to our golden ticket prizes, which helped to make our customers feel special and enjoy the most unique experience at a dispensary on 420 in Illinois.

Last year was a successful first 420, and this year we wanted to go even bigger. I think it’s safe to say, it was another successful 420 in the books and even bigger than we could have ever imagined. Who’s to say what next year’s 420 will bring or what kinds of ideas we’ll come up with. Perhaps we’ll bring back crowd favorite activities like the joint rolling contest or the photo booth. Perhaps there will be a theme. Afterall, 420 is on Easter next year…Did someone say, ‘Golden Egg Hunt?’

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Samantha Garcia

Samantha is an Ivy Hall Budtender turned Social Media and Marketing Coordinator with a penchant for visual merchandising, content creating, and writing in all forms. Prior to entering the cannabis and marketing industry she was and still is a Chicago-based Actor, voice actor, and sketch comedy writer and performer.

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