WeHo’s Halloween Carnaval Puts Creative Costumes on the Street

West Hollywood Mayor John Heilman on the main stage at Santa Monica Boulevard and San Vicente (Photo by Trevor Ott)

West Hollywood’s answer to New York City’s Times Square New Year’s Eve bash ended early Wednesday after thousands of elaborately costumed revelers had taken to the streets for the annual Halloween Carnaval, billed as the world’s largest Halloween party.

In light of the terror attack in New York that killed eight people and the mass shooting in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, sheriff’s deputies stepped up patrols Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, but officials said their plans for keeping revelers safe already took into account previous attacks.

“All of this stuff was taken into consideration,” sheriff’s Sgt. Shawn Cohen said of planning for the Carnaval.

A man dressed as the Pope stands in front of protesters in the intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard and La Cienega at the West Hollywood Halloween Carnival. (Photo by Jim Garrecht / ANG News)

Still, patrols were beefed up in light of what happened Tuesday in New York, where a man in a rented van mowed down people on a Manhattan bike path.

A few arrests were made in West Hollywood Tuesday night and early this morning for crimes related to drunken and disorderly conduct, but authorities said it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary and that most people enjoyed the festivities in safety. The exact number of arrests was not immediately tabulated but deputies at the sheriff’s West Hollywood Station said it was not many.

The party went on along Santa Monica Boulevard between Doheny Drive and La Cienega Boulevard, and as of midnight no violence had been reported.

“I’m amazed each year by the imagination and talent that go into creating elaborate and inventive costumes,” Mayor John Heilman said. “The joy of the crowd is palpable and the celebration is a wonderful testament to the city of West Hollywood’s creativity.”

The Carnaval began in 1987 and has grown annually, evolving into a Southland and national phenomenon.

No backpacks, camera cases, tote bags or similar items were permitted at the event. Weapons and drones were prohibited, as was alcohol.

As is common at major West Hollywood events such as Carnaval and the annual Pride parade, a small group of Christian evangelicals gathered on the south side of the intersection of La Cienega Boulevard with Santa Monica to proclaim that gay people were going to hell. Carnaval-goers in elaborate costumes largely responded with laughs.

Jake DuPree, crowned Queen of West Hollywood Carnaval 2017. (Photo by Trevor Ott)

Trevor Ott, who photographed the event for WEHOville, caught some of the more memorable costumes, which are posted on the pages that follow:

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Kristal
Kristal
5 years ago

What a fun idea for an article! A pleasure to look at for sure.

Woody McBreairty
Woody McBreairty
5 years ago

BTW, these costumes are pretty spectacular. It’s hard to even imagine the time, effort & expense that went into these. Not to mention the creative minds. Truly admirable

Joshua88
Joshua88
5 years ago

Great costumes! Thank you for the photographs.

fine7760
5 years ago

Concerning the Jesus freaks. They attacked men, women, the parents and grandparents of those who were attempting to have a good time. But the most outrageous comments were made by one them who threatened; “some of you are going to end up in the hospital and maybe dead if we get a hold of you.” That was a Terrorist Threat and when I pointed it out to a deputy he agreed and stated they had heard it also and it was noted for their report. They rarely quote scripture and instead throw out their vile hatred for everyone in attendance… Read more »

Woody McBreairty
Woody McBreairty
5 years ago

These “protesters” should not be given any kind of publicity, especially publishing pictures of them & their vulgar hate signs. Event participants should not stop & engage them. This is what they want & plays right into their hopes & plans. I don’t think their presence can legitimately be called “freedom of speech”. They are a public nuisance, disturbers of the peace & really offensive by the things they are saying. They can be heard even over & above the music & other loud noises from the event. I live nearby & these people’s shouting into bull horns was all… Read more »

Chris Sanger
Chris Sanger
5 years ago

Thank you for the reasonable estimate of people attending, not the absurd and physically impossible (either in terms of room for people or their cars or the available transportation to bring them to WeHo) estimates often heard of hundreds of thousands.

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