The West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval is celebrating 30 years in 2017, making it a tradition almost as old as the city of West Hollywood itself. The free event attracts crowds of an estimated 500,000 adults in elaborate costumes (often somewhere on the spectrum of “cheeky” to “decidedly NSFW”) to a mile-long stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard on Halloween night.
Here’s everything you need to know if you’re going to be among the revelers—or are just passing through the neighborhood on your way to turn off the porch lights and avoid the trick or treaters.
When: The West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval takes place on October 31 from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Where: Officially, the Carnaval is outdoors, along Santa Monica Boulevard, with a main stage for DJs and entertainment located at the intersection of Santa Monica and San Vicente. Unofficially, the party rages on in neighborhood bars and nightclubs, most popularly at The Abbey.
What Not to Bring: For safety reasons, no large bags, backpacks, totes, or camera cases are allowed. If you need to cary items that don’t fit in the pockets of your skimpy costume, a clear plastic bag is permitted. Do not bring alcohol to the event or get caught drinking in public, though while the official event is booze-free, don’t mistake that for “family friendly.” Children and pets are strongly encouraged to stay home. Other banned items include banners, poles, any form of weapon, drones, laser pointers, and any glass bottle or beverage container, regardless of what’s inside.
How to Get There: Between the crowds, street closures, and general hubbub, you’re just not going to have fun trying to park your car anywhere near the event. Trust us. Instead, you’re going to ant to do a ride-share or try one of the several public transportation options available. In addition to Metro, the PickUp and CityLineX buses and trolleys will be offering special, free Carnaval service from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m.; a full route map is available online.
Traffic and Street Closures: You’re going to want to find an alternate route if you need to get around West Hollywood on Halloween, and plan ahead to find a safe place for your ride-share to drop-off and pick-up outside the closure zone.
Specific closures are as follows:
- San Vicente Boulevard between Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue — Midnight on Tuesday through 7 a.m. Wednesday
- Santa Monica Boulevard between La Cienega Boulevard and Croft Avenue/Holloway Drive — 6 a.m. on Tuesday through 6 a.m. on Wednesday
- Santa Monica Boulevard between Doheny Drive and La Cienega Boulevard and all adjacent side streets just to the north and south of Santa Monica Boulevard between Doheny and La Cienega — Noon on Tuesday through 6 a.m. Wednesday
- La Cienega Boulevard will close to northbound/southbound traffic in the vicinity of Santa Monica Boulevard at 2 p.m. on Tuesday
- Robertson Boulevard between Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue — Noon on Tuesday through 6 a.m. on Wednesday
- Almont Drive between Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue — Noon on Tuesday through 6 a.m. on Wednesday
- La Peer Drive between Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue — Noon on Tuesday through 6 a.m. on Wednesday
- San Vicente Boulevard between Santa Monica Boulevard and Cynthia Street — Noon on Tuesday through 6 a.m. on Wednesday
- Sunset Boulevard eastbound/westbound turn lanes onto southbound La Cienega Boulevard — 2 p.m. on Tuesday, through 6 a.m. on Wednesday
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