If you’re looking for the Los Angeles Halloween experience of a lifetime, you need to make a trip to the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval on Santa Monica Boulevard this October 31.
Since 1987, WeHo has been hosting one of the nation’s largest Halloween parties, with an estimated 500,000 people in the most spectacular (and very diverse) costumes that you can imagine.
This FREE event happens every year ON Halloween regardless of the weekday it falls on (last year it was a Wednesday- this year it’s a Thursday which meeeeans all you need to do is take off Friday and you can be at Mickey’s until the sun comes up!).
Carnaval officially takes place from 6-11pm, but the bars after the event are just as much fun as the party itself. It’s located on Santa Monica Boulevard, along a one-mile stretch between N. Doheny Drive and La Cienega Boulevard. If you’re looking to travel anywhere NEAR this area within a couple days of the event I strongly suggest you find another route, because many of the major roads are shut down in preparation for the festivities.
The night includes a gathering on Santa Monica Boulevard of costume-clad heathens (like you and me) congregated in the street for dancing, DJ sets, picture taking, and general debauchery. My personal favorite part of the night is the costumes- some people get REALLY into it- so whether you’re feeling like showing up as an “Ax-Bride” like Cady Heron or whatever animal Regina George decided on in the current year, anything goes. And to top it off, the weather is generally pretty mild even though it’s October because, Los Angeles.
For security purposes, backpacks, camera bags, and totes are NOT allowed but I do highly suggest you bring cash in your clutch bag for after-carnaval bar festivities (and if you’re dressed up as Forrest Gump like Conner did, you MUST bring chocolates because it’ll make you a very popular guy).
Police set up DUI checkpoints consistently throughout the Los Angeles area every Halloween and you’d be an absolute villain (more than any villain costume at the Carnaval) to drink and drive in the first place…. And parking/traffic in the surrounding area is more of a horrifying than any thriller movie to date- so uber and lyft are your best bet for getting around via rideshare. Pro tip: SCHEDULE the uber beforehand so that the rate is lower.
This year’s West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval will take place on Thursday, October 31, 2019 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on a one-mile stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard between Doheny Drive and La Cienega Boulevard. Stick around for the after parties on the boulevard, for a spine-tingling experience (and potentially some free vodka crans, depending on what friends you make and how great your costume is 😉 ).
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