It’s Halloween! There are parties all over Los Angeles, but the most famed is the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval on Santa Monica Boulevard.
Officials expect up to half a million costumed partiers. There will be entertainment on six stages, but the real draw is seeing the crowds of people and who has the most creative — or most provocative — costume. (And be sure to check back here tonight when we post our photo gallery of the Carnaval's best costumes!)
The main stage is the Drag Hotel of Horrors stage, featuring a rock drag show with, most importantly, pyrotechnics. Hopefully any tassels are out of the line of fire.
You’ve also got the Dungeon of Sin stage, which features several bands including one of my personal favorites, Vaud and the Villains. There’s also the slightly more tame-sounding Thrills and Chills stage. In addition, there are three DJ stages for dancing with all your friendly neighborhood PSYs, Carly Rae Jepsens, Big Birds and binders full of women.
If you are going to be driving anywhere in the remote vicinity of West Hollywood, though, be wary — traffic is a nightmare around the festival, with street closures galore, most closing early Wednesday and not reopening until Thursday morning. Here are the closures:
- San Vicente Boulevard between Melrose Avenue and Santa Monica will be closed all day
- Santa Monica between Doheny Drive and La Cienega Boulevard, including all side streets, closes at noon
- Robertson Boulevard between Melrose and Santa Monica closes at noon
- Almont Drive and La Peer Drive will be closed from Santa Monica to Melrose starting at noon
- San Vicente between Cynthia Street and Santa Monica closes at noon
- Santa Monica between La Cienega Boulevard and Holloway Drive/Croft Avenue closes at 4 p.m.
- La Cienega between Sunset Boulevard and Santa Monica closes at 4 p.m.
- The Sunset east and westbound turn lanes onto La Cienega close at 4 p.m.
West Hollywood is suspending permit parking restrictions for Halloween, which can be good for visitors, but parking meters will still be enforced. You also need to watch which side of the lines you’re on, as restrictions will still be in place in neighboring Beverly Hills and Los Angeles.
You can park off the street in West Hollywood city-operated parking — for 20 bucks. You can find out more on the city’s website at weho.org.
There’s also a special bus operating, starting at 5:30 p.m. and running until 12:30 a.m. It will take you down Santa Monica and Sunset boulevards in the area.
The Carnaval’s honorary mayor is actor Donovan Leitch Jr., who played transgender rock star Hedwig in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” Leitch is also the son of famed folk singer Donovan, perhaps best known for “Sunshine Superman.”
The party officials starts at 6 p.m. and officially ends at 11 p.m., but the chances of everyone turning in for the night at that point are rather low. Have fun and stay safe, everyone.