Police said Friday they expected as many as half a million people to attend the West Hollywood Costume Carnaval on Halloween night. At least 300 police officers will be on the scene, as well.
Even if you've never been, you might feel as though you may have gone, at least once, maybe.
We understand if you're getting that odd sensation, almost like deja vu. After all, the famous/infamous (and free!) Carnaval is covered by news organizations from around the globe. People from the office/church/Y have all been multiple times. And the over-the-top costumes are legendary (snaking conga lines, a dozen people reenacting a Renaissance painting, the nearly nude, fully painted attendee sporting glittery wings the size of a Buick).
But we say this now: if you haven't been, going is a gas, and remains one of the important rites of being a Southern Californian (finding your way from Burbank to Long Beach via surface streets is another). And if you have been, you know what you'll find, principally about a half million people strolling Santa Monica Boulevard on Halloween night in merry spirits. Many of those people are dressed up, and a small but impressive contingent is fantastically, outlandishly, weirdly decked out; think "look at me" to the nth degree. As in, once you see those costumes they'll probably cross your mind on occasion when you're 96.
Packing a camera is advised. Comfortable shoes, essential. Forget that they clash with your zombie get-up or that shoulder-pad-y, Joan-Crawford-in-"Mildred-Pierce" gown. Wear tennies. And figure out parking beforehand, not as you're grumpily circling some block for the sixth time. Or find a WeHo-based chum and crash at their pad for the night. A bit of cash is good, too, just in case you need to call a cab.
Cha-cha-cha-ing down Santa Monica Boulevard with a mass of costumed humanity is exhilarating, but forethought (and an outfit that isn't cumbersome or too heavy after five minutes) is everything.
October 31, 6-11PM
Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood
(between La Cienega Boulevard and Robertson Boulevard)
- WeHo.org/halloween (travel tips, where to park)