Ultimate guide for West Hollywood’s Halloween Carnaval

Three fashion bags were seen walking along Santa Monica Boulevard in the 2011 Halloween Carnaval. Photos: Joshua Barash

WEST HOLLYWOOD – West Hollywood’s Halloween Carnaval (think a Halloween version of Mardi Gras) takes place Tuesday, when thousands of people parade elaborate, creative and flamboyant costumes along a pedestrian only section of Santa Monica Boulevard.

The party officially lasts from 6 to 10:30 p.m.

Here’s a survival guide for Tueaday’s mother of all monster mashes.

The Carnaval

The event will take place from 6 to 11 p.m. on a 1-mile stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard from Doheny Drive to La Cienega Boulevard. The event is free, but bring money for the street vendors selling food and drinks. Many of the bars will be charging a cover. Be prepared for long lines.

The cast from the film “Clue” were ready for an evening of comedy and murder in 2011 at the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval.

No kids or pets

People are discouraged from bringing pets and children due to the dense crowds. Also, don’t bring strollers. This suggestion should be obvious.

Street Closures

Main Closures:

  • San Vicente Boulevard between Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue from midnight Tuesday to 7 a.m. Wednesday.
  • Santa Monica Boulevard between La Cienega Boulevard and Croft Avenue/Holloway Drive from 6 a.m. Tuesday to 6 a.m. Wednesday
  • Santa Monica Boulevard between Doheny Drive and La Cienega Boulevard and all adjacent side streets just to the north and south of Santa Monica Boulevard between Doheny and La Cienega from noon Tuesday to 6 a.m. Wednesday
  • La Cienega Boulevard’s northbound and southbound traffic in the vicinity of Santa Monica Boulevard will close 2 p.m. on Tuesday

Additional Closures:

  • All alleyways between Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue from midnight Monday to 7 a.m. Tuesday
  • The following streets will be closed from noon Tuesday to 6 a.m. Wednesday:
    • Robertson Boulevard between Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue
    • Almont Drive between Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue
    • La Peer Drive between Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue
    • San Vicente Boulevard between Santa Monica Boulevard and Cynthia Street
    • Sunset Boulevard’s eastbound and westbound turn lanes onto south La Cienega Boulevard

The Grady daughters from “The Shining” made a spooky appearance at West Hollywood’s Halloween Carnaval in 2011.

Public Transportation

Visitors are encouraged to carpool or use public transportation to arrive at the carnaval. Metro offers several transit options to get to West Hollywood. Use the trip planner.

The City will offer three free transit options:

  • CityLineX will run from 5  to 8 p.m. Tuesday from Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue to Santa Monica Boulevard and Sweetzer Avenue
  • Hollywood Link (a special CityLineX service to and from La Brea only) – will run from 8 p.m. Tuesday to 1 a.m. Wednesday between Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard and La Brea Avenue. (Connect to The PickUp’s special service from the stop at La Brea, on the south side of the street, to reach the carnaval)
  • The PickUp will run from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday along Santa Monica Boulevard and will stop at all regular eastbound stops between Sweetzer and La Brea avenues. Once the PickUp reaches its La Brea Avenue stop, it will take an express route west toward the Halloween Carnaval via Melrose Avenue to its special Halloween stop on Kings Road and Santa Monica Boulevard. From 11 p.m. Tuesday to 3 a.m. Wednesday, the PickUp will only run eastbound from Kings Road and Santa Monica Boulevard to La Brea Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard.


The City of West Hollywood will suspend permit parking from 11 a.m. Tuesday to noon Wednesday.

Parking meters will be waived citywide from 6 p.m. Tuesday to 2 a.m. Wednesday.

Observe the boundaries of West Hollywood. If parking occurs in Los Angeles or  Beverly Hills, those parking restrictions will be enforced.

Public parking for the West Hollywood Halloween Costume Carnaval will be available at the following locations for a fee:

        8383 Santa Monica  Blvd.

        EV charging stations

         1044 La Jolla Ave.

         1114 N. Orange Grove Ave.

        8687 Melrose Ave.

         8459 Sunset Blvd.

         7718 Santa Monica Blvd.

         8775 Sunset Blvd.

         901 Hancock Ave.

         815 Palm Ave

         7100 Santa Monica Blvd. (enter from Romaine Street, just south of Santa Monica Boulevard)

         Open 24 hours

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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