WeHo’s Halloween Carnaval rises from the dead

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West Hollywood is resurrecting its famous Halloween Carnaval this fall with a little help from the ganja gods.

Mayor Sepi Shyne and City Manager David Wilson’s office confirmed the annual West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval will return after three years on hiatus, and it will be the first city-sponsored festival to feature newly permitted cannabis special events.

The announcement was made at Thursday night’s semi-clandestine Finance & Budget Subcommittee meeting, which was open to the public but held inside City Hall behind locked front doors at the same time as the Planning Commission meeting. Coincidentally, Thursday was also the cannabis holiday 4/20.

City Hall conducted a survey of 200 businesses to gauge support for restoring the city-sponsored festival, and the results were largely in favor of doing so, Assistant City Manager Christine Safriet said. Curiously, the businesses reported that Halloween generally has only a modest impact on their annual revenues.

The proposed plan for the Carnaval would close Santa Monica Boulevard from San Vicente to La Cienega and install portable restrooms and additional lighting. The proposal included some stages for live musical performances, but Shyne and Erickson were not drawn to the idea.

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“Rather than us, let the businesses handle it,” Shyne said in reference to the live music aspects of the event. She pointed to last year’s unofficial Halloween celebration, which developed organically without the city’s direct involvement.

“I think Halloween can be done in a way that isn’t as grandiose as before, with DJ stages everywhere,” Erickson said. 

Minus the stages, City Hall estimates the Carnaval will cost about $1.5 milllion.

 

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Stephen
Stephen
10 months ago

Halloween is the only holiday that L.A. does right, and WeHo’s Halloween – before Covid – was the very heart of it for years. The pandemic has receded and it’s much safer to be in groups now, especially outdoors when people are constantly moving around. So it’s essential that WeHo once again takes its place as the center of L.A.’s one and only communal celebration

Steve Zlick
Steve Zlick
10 months ago

Go big or go home. The DJ stages are a big part of it. People like to stop walking around constantly, and dance for a spell. That’s what makes it a party and not just a slow-moving crowd. Oh well … baby steps.

Kristopher Elder
Kristopher Elder
10 months ago

I’m so glad it’s coming back. I’ve gone every year since I moved here in 2006 and I love seeing the excitement and creativity. I can’t see a West Hollywood without the festival.

There’s no rule that Halloween is only for kids. Adults can enjoy it as well. Why limit ourselves in what we can and cannot enjoy? Weho is a city like no other. We’re unabashedly proud and there’s no reason to do what other cities do.

BloodshotEyedGuy
BloodshotEyedGuy
10 months ago

It sounds terrifying to bring this back in this day and age. I’d attended this event annually for over a decade; saw Pink, Jonas Bros., Robyn, Better Than Ezra, Jody Watley, and so many other great artists perform for free at this event over the years, when WeHo was safe and awesome. You couldn’t pay me to go nowadays–NOT even if you held a seance and had Led Zeppelin and The Beatles perform for free!

Last edited 10 months ago by BloodshotEyedGuy
Manny
Manny
10 months ago

They should have the same attitude about Pride. The city should only handle the parade and the businesses do everything else.

Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
10 months ago

It’s a horrible event for the residents (homeowners). They approve it for the bars making money off the undesirables that attend.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
10 months ago
Reply to  Ham Shipey

Good thing you’re not a resident here, right?

Woke Up Weho
Woke Up Weho
10 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Halloween will be great. Because we could see John Erickson in drag. Or is he a drag?

Mick Remmington
Mick Remmington
10 months ago
Reply to  Woke Up Weho

well he’s certainly a clown

Court Jester
Court Jester
10 months ago

Erickson, The Official Court Jester but far from amusing. Secretly channeling Dame Edna who recently passed away.

Jimmy palmieri
Jimmy palmieri
10 months ago
Reply to  Ham Shipey

Good grief

kab1200
kab1200
10 months ago
Reply to  Ham Shipey

No, it’s not. I’m a homeowner here since 1995, and I love it.

Mick Remmington
Mick Remmington
10 months ago
Reply to  kab1200

one of a very few

Cheri
Cheri
10 months ago
Reply to  Ham Shipey

Buy a house in the middle of a city with one of the biggest carnivals in the world…then complain.
Got it.

Randy
Randy
10 months ago
Reply to  Cheri

Exactly. Thank you.

Randy
Randy
10 months ago
Reply to  Ham Shipey

If you live here, please move. If you don’t like it. I lived in the heart of it, for five years, on Larrabee. I’ve distance myself a bit, near Santa Monica Blvd., and Fairfax. But I love it. And I miss it.

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
10 months ago

I’m glad for this! I just wish kids and dogs would be banned. There was a time when there were no children at the carnival because parents knew this was an adult event, and people just had more sense than to bring their dog because the dog would hate it and it certainly got in the way of people.

kab1200
kab1200
10 months ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

Stop being so non inclusive. Kids love it. You can keep your d*ck in your pants for one night. I do agree about dogs though. I always feel bad for them.

Randy
Randy
10 months ago
Reply to  kab1200

Truth. I’ve been going to this for over two decades. I see families, before the sun goes down, including pets. Things change once the sun goes down.

JF1
JF1
10 months ago

What IS City Hall’s plan? We certainly don’t need to have it come back as big (and expensive) as it had gotten. Large crowds these days post big security risks – add alcohol to the mix…

Outraged
Outraged
10 months ago

By all means, let’s spend city resources so that homophobic and Trans phobic straight people from Torrance can flood the city and make a big mess that we all have to pay to clean up. Because, you know, that’s our city’s obligation to the rest of Los Angeles county, is to entertain the breeders and make all the drunk bigots feel welcome. That’s just great.

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
10 months ago
Reply to  Outraged

You summed it up better than I could. I recall some local activist once proposed the city fence it all off, and charge something like $2 or $5 entry fee to get in. ($10 if you’re not in costume). Some people might even donate more to get in. That’s maybe $1,000,000 for the City to help pay to cleanup the mess the straight bigots make, that we currently entertain for free. Let’s not forget the out of town foodtrucks we let in, that charge $20 for some bad street tacos, and all of that money immediately leaves weho forever. And… Read more »

kab1200
kab1200
10 months ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

Please be quiet. Thanks.

Mike
Mike
9 months ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

Ban the food trucks on Santa Monica Bl. With the huge crowds they cause huge road blocks to those wishing to walk along the boulevard. In addition put the stages on San Vicente for the same reason. Lastly, we contract with the Sheriff s to provide security for the entire event, however much of the resources are deployed to defend the same Christian organization each year that in flame the attendees with their personal attacks. Although I believe in free speech, their conduct is not only offensive but hinges on” in sighting a riot.”

Pete Strohl
Pete Strohl
10 months ago
Reply to  Outraged

very revealing comment

Stephen
Stephen
10 months ago
Reply to  Outraged

One might argue Halloween is WeHo’s best and only chance to expose these homophobic and Trans phobic straight people from Torrance to the fun and creativity and relatability of the LGBTQ+ community. A lot of straight people in general only think about us when the news tells them we’re victims of crime or state hate legislation, or their church tells them we’re deviants. But it’s harder to shun people you have a great time with

Last edited 10 months ago by Stephen
Randy
Randy
10 months ago
Reply to  Stephen

👏👏👏

kab1200
kab1200
10 months ago
Reply to  Outraged

Give it a rest. Not happy unless virtue signaling,,I see. What you stated has never been the case at Halloween.

C'mon Sense
C'mon Sense
10 months ago
Reply to  Outraged

Why did you capitalize the “t” in trans?

Tkc
Tkc
10 months ago

I live in Weho
And it was a beautiful, quite three years.

Enough!
Enough!
10 months ago
Reply to  Tkc

yup, for the most part. Sad to see that end.

:dpb
:dpb
10 months ago

What is the City Manager’s plan?

Pete Strohl
Pete Strohl
10 months ago

Halloween is for kids……not another reason for certain adults to get drunk.

For Kids
For Kids
10 months ago
Reply to  Pete Strohl

Precisely. Let’s return Halloween to the kids and have adults learn how to behave as adults. Every occasion does not need to be a runaway commercial enterprise.

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
10 months ago
Reply to  Pete Strohl

I think Halloween should be for everyone. It’s actually the one event that is truly for everyone. But I’m confident Sepi will figure out a way to destroy it for everyone. Truth be told, the past Halloween events gave me the most pride about what west hollywood could be. Something fun and happy for everyone. But no more free ride for the haters who come for free, then leave, and don’t come back til next year.

J C
J C
10 months ago
Reply to  Pete Strohl

This isn’t the suburbs. Let the kids go there to trick or treat if they want. Halloween today is very much a holiday for adults. And the Weho Carnaval has always been a more adult-oriented event.
I’m fine with kids coming (not pets), but Weho has done enough for the minuscule number of children in our city. We don’t need to ruin the fun in order to cater to kids.

Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
10 months ago
Reply to  J C

it’s just for a certain group to get drunk and behave as fools.

lets not fool ourselves.

Jimmy palmieri
Jimmy palmieri
10 months ago
Reply to  Ham Shipey

Good grief

kab1200
kab1200
10 months ago
Reply to  Ham Shipey

Stay in your basement.

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
10 months ago
Reply to  Pete Strohl

You seem like a miserable party pooper. I love how you alone have decided who Halloween is for, and who it isn’t for. How about the city ban all alcohol sales in the entire city all day and all night October 31. I wonder how popular that would be.

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
10 months ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

Kids and dogs are a hazard! It is easy to fall over them in the crowd where there could be injuries. Children would much rather be with other kids doing “kid” things, but their parents don’t want to pay for a babysitter so they bring them to this adult event where often very scantily clad adults are present which is inappropriate for children. Dogs on leashes and babies in strollers in a crowd of thousands of people is beyond irresponsible, it is dangerous. The adults who bring them should be turned away.

kab1200
kab1200
10 months ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

Hahaha, you seem confused.

kab1200
kab1200
10 months ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

Exactly

kab1200
kab1200
10 months ago
Reply to  Pete Strohl

No, it’s not, it’s for everyone.

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