The Recorder – Extravaganja comes to Franklin County Fairgrounds in Greenfield

GREENFIELD — Following a series of pandemic-related delays, organizers of Extravaganja are finally able to bring their event to Greenfield this weekend.

Extravaganja, a rally to support widespread legalization and social acceptance of marijuana, will be held Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. at the Franklin County Fairgrounds, a new venue for the event’s 29th rendition.

Organized by the University of Massachusetts Amherst Cannabis Education Coalition, the event will feature around 75 vendors, including local artists and food vendors, and live music from UMass bands like Reservations@8 and The Leadheads. There will also be an area for ages 21 and over where attendees can buy products from local dispensaries such as The Heirloom Collective, RedCardinal, Patriot Care and Hadleaf Cannabis.

Additionally, the UMass Cannabis Education Coalition has partnered with the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition to run an educational area where people can learn about cannabis, medicine and the war on drugs.

The first-ever Extravaganja was held in 1991 on Amherst’s town common in protest “to end prohibition of cannabis nationally, as well as contribute to ending [the] stigmatization of both medical and recreational use,” according to UMass Cannabis Education Coalition President Liz Mawrey.

This mark’s the first time that Extravaganja will be held in Greenfield. Although organizers had originally planned to bring the event to the Franklin County Fairgrounds in April 2020, those plans were sidelined by the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was last held at the Three County Fairgrounds in Northampton in 2019.

In searching for a venue, Mawrey said organizers wanted to find a place where it wouldn’t be a requirement for all attendees to be over 21, which Mawrey said was “everything we don’t stand for.” The UMass junior noted she personally wouldn’t be able to attend her own event as she’s only 20 years old. Instead, the event setup will allow for a specific 21-and-up area for marijuana users.

“Everyone has been a really open community,” Mawry said of Greenfield. “Mike Nelson with the Franklin County Fairgrounds … he’s been phenomenal and we are grateful. … It’s about being in a community that’s ready for it.”

Mawrey said when she arrived to the Amherst campus in 2021, the Cannabis Education Coalition had no active student members. Instead, meetings were led by alumni.

“I kind of re-found it,” she said.

Now there are seven members. The Cannabis Education Coalition used to be known as the Cannabis Reform Coalition. Mawrey said the name changed following the state’s legalization of marijuana in 2016 and also to “give it a new name for this new era of reform.”

Currently, Mawrey said there are around 1,300 tickets reserved, but Extravaganja had as many as 10,000 attendees back in 2017.

“We’re hoping for a couple thousand people, and the weather is going to be so beautiful,” Mawrey said, “so I bet it’s going to be a really good turnout.”

According to the Cannabis Education Coalition’s website, free shuttles will be available from the UMass Campus Center, and will be departing at 11:30 a.m. Parking opens at 11:30 a.m. and will be $5 for carpools of three or more people, and $10 for one to two people. Tickets can be reserved for free at

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