Event Profile: West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval
Despite the rich culture, celebrity sightings and posh shopping along the Sunset Strip, West Hollywood may be better known this time of year for another iconic feature, the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval.
Growing every year since its inception in 1987, this elaborate Halloween parade welcomes some 500,000 Halloween fanatics dressed in their best costumes to celebrate the year’s most bewitching festivities. This free annual parade has featured appearances from honorary guests Rihanna, Pink, and Queen Latifah, in addition to observing thousands of dramatic and creative costumes – a highlight in itself!
Now in it’s 27th year, the City of West Hollywood, sole sponsors and producers of the event, is busy in preparation for another exciting experience. The staff, which includes roughly 24 special events and facilities personnel, started planning the 2014 parade shortly after Halloween last year and is now down to one final week to pull all the last minute details together!
It’s not without hurdles that this small team designs and deploys the region’s 2nd largest annual event, coming in just behind the Tournament of Roses New Year’s Day Parade. When you add an extra 500,000 guests to a city that boasts a mere 34,399 residents, a lot can go wrong! “The sheer size of the event can be a challenge, since the Halloween Carnaval is in the center of a dense urban area and is staged on a main thoroughfare in the heart of the City,” says Cleo Smith, Special Events Manager for the City of West Hollywood. But with the assistance of the Sheriff’s Station and public safety teams, the City is able to coordinate the logistics and vet performances to keep the area safe and maintained throughout the event.
Although grassroots and word of mouth efforts run most of the event’s marketing, the event gains more domestic and international visibility each year and has transformed into an annual gathering of culture and self-expression with a myriad of observers, revelers, exhibitionists and performers, all decked out in phenomenal costumes.
If you’re lucky enough to be in the area on October 31st, put on your best festive garb, stop by and experience this tremendous event for yourself. Happy haunting!
eNews October 2014