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LA’s Best Halloween Festival: Finding Our Inner West Hollywood Halloween Queen

Survival guide for LA's Best Halloween Festival: The West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval

For your spooks with some sass, the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval is not only one of the most remarkable seasonal events in the Los Angeles area, but it just might be the most wickedly exceptional Halloween festival in the world!


WARNING: The following post contains a few photographs of devilish and cheeky costumes taken from the West Hollywood Halloween parade that may be considered provocative. No nudity (this is a public event in the street monitored by police, after all!), but definitely some skin!


West Hollywood Halloween Festival

With enough light-hearted debauchery to make your party goblin squeal, the West Hollywood Halloween festival attracts a solid half a million party people, dressed to the nines in some of the most elaborate, witty, and, of course, downright raunchy costumes you’ll be honored enough to see.

Geishas at the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval in LA

Photograph by Clinton Steeds via freeforcommercialuse.org

In fact, the West Hollywood Halloween festival is such a crucial LA bucket list item, some consider a visit to the carnivalesque affair essential to be considered a true Angeleno.

Disco Queens at the West Hollywood Halloween Parade

WeHo Stomping Ground

The largest street Halloween festival on the planet, the West Hollywood Halloween festival claims Santa Monica Boulevard as its stomping ground for the evening, between N Doheny Drive and La Cienega Boulevard.

Crazy group costumes at WeHo Halloween Parade

Food Trucks and Music Stages

It’s this mile or so West Hollywood stretch in which you can partake in some Bachanalian fun (October seems to be the month of drunkenness, after all), enjoy the spectacle of the Halloween festival parade, feast on some delicious munchies from the plentiful street food trucks and food vendors, and visit some of the several music stages scattered across the closed-off street. Here you can witness the crowning of the Halloween Queen and dance your witchy booty off to DJ’s and live music. It’s no mystery why the event is often considered LA’s best Halloween festival.

 

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Singers at Halloween Parade in West Hollywood, CA

Photograph by Ray S. via freeforcommercialuse.org

No Dolla Makes Me Holla

And what makes LA’s best Halloween festival even better? The West Hollywood Halloween Festival is FREE. The Halloween street festival is all-ages, and everyone is invited (no, it’s not a gay-only event!), but you really probably should not be bringing children or dogs!

Censored

Photograph by Clinton Steeds via freeforcommercialuse.org

 

The Party Don’t Stop

The Carnaval itself will start at 6 pm and finish at around 11 pm, but the party doesn’t stop there. The numerous bumping bars in West Hollywood will satisfy your late night Halloween party thirst (and will be available during the festival, as alcohol isn’t allowed on the street itself). Check out this list of nearby Halloween parties in WeHo to work out your plan of attack ahead of time.

Bad Kitty at a West Hollywood bar on Halloween

Best Costumes in LA

What can you expect to feast your eyes on? Drag queens? Duh. Massive group costumes? Yes, and they’re a hit! Costumes with some biting and hilarious political commentary? Most definitely. The most muscles on a man you’ve ever seen? Um yes, this is West Hollywood. Hysterical takes on pop culture? Do you even have to ask?! And of course, your standard slutty (fill-in-the-blank) from the ladies (and the boys—and some of those in between!). Clap your hands, Los Angeles!


West Hollywood Halloween Festival has some of the best costumes
In a class all by itself, the West Hollywood Carnaval steps up the Halloween costume game big-time. Attendees get their creative juices seriously a-flowin’, their political correctness thrown out the window, and all judgement lost and forgotten.


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The spectacle is such a delight, you may even spot straight older couples perched out on lawn chairs on the sidewalks, relishing in the people show.

Pimp at West Hollywood Festival in Los Angeles

Male beer guts and tutus, furry heeled pandas, dancing dinosaurs and wolves, twerking dead presidents, 7-foot-tall feats of engineering and design, juicy-bottomed green fairies, and almost certainly a horde of staggering touped Trumps can be found twirling their way through the fantastic event.

 

Tapatio Salsa Picante Halloween Costume at WeHo Halloween Carnaval

Photograph by Clinton Steeds via freeforcommercialuse.org

 

From the campy to the creative, you’ll find some of the best costumes in LA at the West Hollywood Halloween festival!

 

Elaborate WeHo Halloween Costume

Photograph by Clinton Steeds via freeforcommercialuse.org

 

 

Things to Know About LA’s Best Halloween Festival

Entertainment

  • At least 4 stages can be found throughout the festival, showcasing bands, performances, DJ sets, and prize contests.
Wild and Untamed Things

Photograph by Clinton Steeds via freeforcommercialuse.org

  • This is a popular event: 500,000 people (or more) will be in attendance. So if crowds aren’t your thing, you should plan for a different event!

Hours

  • The festival will be held from 6-11 pm, after which the event itself will be shut down by police, but bars will be open until late. But remember, the later you arrive for the festival, the more of a nightmare traffic and parking will be! 

Location

  • The West Hollywood Halloween festival will take place on a 1-2 mile-long closed-off stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard between N Doheny Drive and La Cienega Boulevard.
  • So Bring Comfy Shoes! You will most likely be doing a lot of walking, standing, and dancing, and you don’t want those stilettos to interfere with your fun!

Parking

This is LA, after all.

  • Most people will be driving, so street parking will be near impossible to find, and will be pretty much all gone by 7 pm. To find street parking before 5 pm, you’ll need to look several blocks away and walk the rest of the way.
  • Parking lots will cost about $20. But remember, the event is free! The parking fees go towards cleanup and security for the event.
  • Recommended parking places: the Beverly Center (it will be a mile walk to the event, but traffic won’t be as bad when you’re trying to leave later!) and the Pacific Design Center.

 

Alternative Ways to Get There

Do NOT drive if you intend on drinking. Here are some DUI-free options you can use to enjoy the festival with some peace-of-mind!

  • Take a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft. You will need to set your drop-off point a few blocks away from the Halloween festival and walk the rest of the way.
  • Stay at a nearby hotel. No traffic, parking fees, or DUI’s. Voila!
  • Take the bus:  For about $1.25 you can take a bus that will save you the $20-30 bucks on parking. From the bus stop, it will be a short half a mile walk downhill to reach the festival. You’ll still want to leave early to avoid the hellish traffic. Words of warning: Plan your return bus time carefully! You would hate to be waiting outside in the cold (well, cold for LA) for an hour waiting for your bus to show up. While this is the cheapest option, keep in mind that the buses can get very busy during the festival and may reach capacity quickly!

Food/Drinks

  • Food trucks and food vendors will be readily available throughout the festival, but there’s nowhere to sit (other than the street curb). Prices aren’t cheap, and lines can get long, which will suck up valuable time that you could be spent having a blast!
  • We recommend you eat beforehand (maybe at one of these 15 dope places to eat in LA), then enjoy one of the cheap bacon dog vendors on the street on your way out!

Bathrooms

  • Port-a-potties will be available throughout the festival.

Safety Tips

  • Check out the city of West Hollywood’s Halloween Carnaval Safety Tips.
  • Security for the event will be provided by police, who will be found everywhere.
  • THIS IS NOT THE PLACE FOR KIDS AND DOGS! The festival is a crowded event, and (especially smaller) dogs may not be safe walking through the drunken crowd. While the event is all-ages, many attendees will be drinking and wearing provocative costumes, so bringing your kids is highly discouraged.

 

 

PeeWee Herman at WeHo Halloween Festival

Photograph by Clinton Steeds via freeforcommercialuse.org

 

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Survival tips for LA's Best Halloween Festival: the delectably devilish West Hollywood Halloween Parade, attracting over 500,000 party goblins and some of the best costumes in Los Angeles, California.

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36 Comments

  • Reply
    Wangui
    October 19, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    The festival looks like loads of fun…

  • Reply
    bee
    October 19, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    Some really creative costumes here. I might steal one of the ideas for my next costume party.

    • Reply
      Lauren West
      November 27, 2016 at 2:55 am

      Glad you could get some inspiration!

  • Reply
    Cliodhna Ryan
    October 20, 2016 at 12:59 am

    I’m not going to lie- I hate Halloween. But part of my reason for this is the lack of anything interesting to do where I live. Maybe I just need to seek out some Halloween festivals. This looks really fun!

    • Reply
      Lauren West
      October 20, 2016 at 9:40 pm

      Oh shame! The WeHo festival definitely is a blast though!

  • Reply
    Clare
    October 20, 2016 at 3:39 am

    Some great costumes. I wish that Halloween was not just a kids think in England. Would be great to go and see 🙂

    • Reply
      Lauren West
      October 20, 2016 at 9:41 pm

      The funny thing is I probably love Halloween more now than I ever did as a kid!

  • Reply
    Tina and Jimmy
    October 20, 2016 at 4:54 am

    hahaha, well Santa Monica BLVD never looked like that all the times I’ve passed through 🙂 Your photos bring a smile to my face, what an awesome event and would love to be there one year when it’s on again! Looks like so much fun! Great Post!

    • Reply
      Lauren West
      November 27, 2016 at 2:56 am

      It definitely TRANSFORMS during the festival!!

  • Reply
    Allison
    October 20, 2016 at 10:33 am

    This looks like an absolute hoot! I would love to experience Hallowen in the US given it pretty lame down under and LA looks like the place to do it! Even better that it is free 😀

    • Reply
      Lauren West
      October 20, 2016 at 9:42 pm

      I know, right?! I really hope the day never comes where they decide to start charging!

  • Reply
    Jan Michael De Guzman
    October 20, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    It is not creepy at all but it looks really a fun party and event. Will surely love this kind of party.

  • Reply
    The Alternative Ways
    October 20, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    Never thought of Halloween in LA! As you said it must get pretty raunchy and debaucherous. Thanks for the info!

    • Reply
      Lauren West
      October 20, 2016 at 9:44 pm

      No problem 🙂 And the best part is everyone is super friendly. Everyone just wants to have fun without any drama!

  • Reply
    Rirhandzu Marivate
    October 20, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    The Hollywood Halloween Festival sounds like a blast!!1 We don’t really do Halloween in South Africa, and all I can do is watch horror films on the night of halloween. I pretty much like festivals were people can to dress up and eat!!

    • Reply
      Lauren West
      October 20, 2016 at 9:46 pm

      I love horror movies in Halloween season as well, but whenever I’m in LA I live for the WeHo Carnaval!

  • Reply
    Hanani
    October 24, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    Looks like a lot of fun, Lauren. We’re gonna have a Halloween party this weekend. Let’s see if it’ll be just as interesting.

    • Reply
      Lauren West
      October 24, 2016 at 1:20 pm

      Wish you a ton of tricks and treats!

  • Reply
    Brooke
    October 24, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    Drag Queens, Geisha’s and Chinese Empresses…. pretty impressive! I definitely would not drive into LA for Halloween. public transport in and then cab it early and hang out somewhere in the area to avoid being stuck in a #$50 stopped cab on way to event!

    • Reply
      Lauren West
      November 27, 2016 at 2:57 am

      It’s definitely the smarter way to plan it!

  • Reply
    Gareth
    October 24, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    Wow, this looks like just sooo much fun. And it’s certainly not surprising that they do costumes bigger and better in West Hollywood. Also, I can’t agree enough about comfortable shoes. I can’t remember how many people I’ve seen compromise on comfortable clothes on Halloween for a cool costume and consequently ruin there night a little bit. Remember you’re there to have fun, not just look awesome!

    • Reply
      Lauren West
      November 27, 2016 at 2:57 am

      Absolutely! Your feet will thank you later!

  • Reply
    Cori
    October 24, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    I used to love the East Village halloween parade; this looks similarly awesome! Nowadays the dog halloween costume contests are a little more my thing, but if I find myself in LA some future Halloween I’ll have to check this out.

    • Reply
      Lauren West
      November 27, 2016 at 2:58 am

      You should if you’re in the area on the day–I’m sure it’s quite similar to the East Village parade!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    October 25, 2016 at 1:39 am

    Haha, everything looks crazy and fun! I always loved LA! And I know LA people can REALLY PARTY! So no doubt, whichever Halloween festival you go to, it will surely be phenomenal!

  • Reply
    Fern
    October 25, 2016 at 1:43 am

    Damn, some of those LA costumes are killer! The safety tips were also super helpful! Great post idea!

    • Reply
      Lauren West
      November 27, 2016 at 2:59 am

      The costumes are impressive every year!

  • Reply
    Vyjay
    October 31, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    This promises to be a fun and rocking experience. Of course not for the faint hearted.

  • Reply
    Kiersten
    December 21, 2016 at 8:31 am

    I love what you guys are usually up too. Such clever work and coverage!
    Keep up the fantastic works guys I’ve included
    you guys to my personal blogroll.

  • Reply
    Frank
    December 25, 2016 at 6:24 am

    Hello would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re working with?
    I’m going to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a hard time
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    The reason I ask is because your layout seems
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