West Hollywood hosts an awesome, incredible, fun and fantastic Halloween party each year, a fun and colorful event called Carnaval.
And it is indeed a carnival atmosphere.
The 2016 street block party is the 29th annual event and it’s Oct. 31 from 6 p.m- midnight. Well, technically it ends at 11, but doesn’t disperse until later; after all, you just can”t clear out 500,000 people in an instant.
A mini Mardi Gras, Halloween Carnaval is a block party along Santa Monica Blvd. It brings out the best in this notoriously gay community, as well as people from all over L.A., many wearing elaborate costumes that look as if they belong on a movie set.
And in this town, that may well be where they originated.
This story contains information on the event and tons of photos.
Drag queens mix with pure queens, lovely ladies who dress as cops, cats and princesses. In fact, tens of thousands of people from all walks of life cruise the 10 or so blocks, stopping along the way to talk, take pictures, have their pictures taken or party in the many bars along the route.
If you think it’s all gay, then think again. Just check out these photos as proof otherwise. About 75% of the people are straight and they are out to meet and mingle.
That being said, the most elaborate costumes are from the gay people, so it’s full entertainment no matter one’s sexual preference.
This is a rare event in Los Angeles, to be sure. In a city hardly known for its all-out party atmosphere, this is as good as it gets. So hats off to West Hollywood for hosting Carnival.
The street is closed to traffic and along the way are three stages with live music. If that’s not enough to stir the soul, some people bring DJ equipment on wheels, and this leads to dancing in the streets.
In addition to two main stages, four smaller stages feature DJs, graffiti artists, voguers and go-go dancers.
A parade starts just before 7 p.m. starting at La Cienega & Santa Monica Boulevard.
Carnival is LA’s version of Bay to Breakers, the crazy event up north each May in San Francisco. There are not floats stocked with kegs – in fact, there’s very little drinking at all except what people bring with them – but elaborate, outlandish, fun and political costumes. People are proud of them and love to pose for pictures.
There is minimal police presence and frankly, no more is needed. The crowd is cool and well behaved, friendly and the atmosphere is casual. There is no doubt this event takes place in L.A., and not in, say, New York.
There are no open alcohol containers allowed but there are beer gardens in the street and the bars are open, of course.
But who wants to be in a bar when all the action is in the street!?
West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval Details
The event is free and open to anyone, even those few who choose to go without costumes…It runs from 6-11 p.m., though the streets are not cleared until after midnight…There are food booths but no alcohol is sold…The location is between La Cienega Boulevard and Doheny Drive…Parking is available for $15 at these locations (overnight okay but then standard rates apply the following day, not exceeding $7): Kings Road Parking Structure at the corner of Santa Monica and Kings Road, West Hollywood Park Parking Lot at San Vicente and Melrose Avenue and El Tovar Lot near Melrose and Robertson…This is a link to the official website of the event...The phone number is (323) 848-6534.
West Hollywood Halloween Carnival Photos