City Councilmembers John D’Amico and John Duran are proposing that the city co-sponsor a Fat Tuesday event in the alley off Larabee Street near Santa Monica Boulevard on March 4. Similar events were held to celebrate Mardi Gras in 2011 and 2012.
As co-sponsor of the event, the city will waive fees totalling $2,265, which includes a public safety fee of $1,800.
While the proposal that will go before the City Council for a vote Monday doesn’t name the other sponsors, in the past they included Eleven, the gay nightclub at 8811 Santa Monica Blvd. near Larrabee. The city-sponsored Go Go Appreciation Day, an annual event that began in 2011, has attracted crowds of gay partiers. The Mayan Day of the Dead celebration, also on Larrabee in 2012, attracted only about 50 celebrants, possibly because death isn’t a subject that resonates with young gay partiers.
Other commercial areas of the city such as Sunset Strip and the Design District (which encompasses Robertson and Beverly Boulevards and part of Melrose Avenue) have created business improvement districts that levy a tax on local businesses and use the money to promote the areas. By contrast, the city spends hundreds of thousands of dollars each year on the annual Halloween event and LA Gay Pride, which draw customers for the bars, restaurants and shops in the gay nightlife area on the west end of Santa Monica Boulevard that is popularly known as Boystown. West Hollywood so far has been unsuccessful in getting businesses in that area to approve a district in which they would be taxed to promote themselves.