The City of West Hollywood is reminding people that its annual Halloween Carnaval, which has attracted tens of thousands of people every October since it began in 1987, is cancelled this year.
The cancellation is required to comply with an order from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health that bans public gatherings of more than 10 people because of the risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus. The Health Department also recommends that children not be allowed to do door-to-door trick or treating because of the difficulty in maintaining social distancing on porches and at front door. And if anyone answers a ring or knock on the front door, he or she should be wearing a face covering. “Trunk or treating,” where children go from car to car instead of door to door to receive treats, is also not recommended, particularly when part of Halloween events, since it is difficult to avoid crowding and sharing food.
Halloween Carnaval attracts masses of people from across Southern California who walk up and down Santa Monica Boulevard in their funny and often eccentric Halloween costumes, stopping along the way to listen to music performed on street stages and taking selfies and pictures of others.
In anticipation of people coming to WeHo on Saturday night despite the ban, the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station is going to be rolling out metal bins at various intersections that will block a flood of traffic. However, deputies will not close the streets to traffic, which means visitors will not be able to walk the streets as they do during the normal Carnaval. Sheriff’s deputies also will be enforcing the requirement that people wear face coverings when outside and may issue citations to those who don’t. Such citations come with a $250 fine and an additional $50 processing fee.
In a statement reminding people of the cancellation, the City of West Hollywood says it will issue a curfew if there is overcrowding “in order to protect public health and avoid the potential for a COVID-19 super spreader event.” If a curfew is issued, people will be ordered off the streets and sidewalks and sent home for the night.
As usual, some restaurants will be serving meals in areas on the sidewalk or in the city’s “outzones” in public parking spaces along Santa Monica Boulevard. Given the possibility of large crowds on the sidewalks, the city recommends that people order food for pickup or delivery instead.
In May 2020, the City Council approved the cancellation of all major special events through the end of 2020. That included the Pride parade and festival in June, Halloween Carnaval, and New Year’s Eve events. In its reminder of this year’s suspension of Carnaval, the city said it looks forward to celebrating Halloween Carnaval in the future when activities for public gatherings are permitted by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.