West Hollywood’s Halloween Carnaval was canceled this year, the third year in a row, with the officials saying it was due in large part to COVID-19 taking a toll on the city’s budget.
Instead, local businesses and restaurants were encouraged to host smaller parties and events.
Previously, the event would shut down Santa Monica Boulevard and bring anywhere from 400,000 to 500,000 partiers into the city from all over California and elsewhere.
This year, however, attendance lagged, though it was not hard to find people out and about having fun, even people from another country.
“We are from Portugal,” David Pissao told KTLA. “We are on a honeymoon, first time in L.A., just having a great time. Although no parade, we having a great time.
West Hollywood Mayor Lauren Meister explained what went into the decision to cancel the event again.
“We were still coming out of the COVID pandemic, our revenues were definitely much lower than they had been in the past because of the shutdowns, and so we had to consider all of those things going in,” the mayor said.
Meister added that production and security for Carnaval costs close to $5 million, and the city council decided that it just wasn’t feasible.
It’s a decision that David Cooley, founder and CEO of the Abbey restaurant and bar, said was disappointing. Even so, Cooley said this weekend’s festivities were a success.
“The last three nights have just been packed, partiers and Halloweeners having the best time. We didn’t have any major incidents and it’s Halloween,” Cooley told KTLA.
The mayor said that with the upcoming election and a new influx of people on the council, the possibility that Carnaval could return next year will definitely be up for discussion.
In terms of security in West Hollywood tonight, the mayor said they’ve added new kiosks for security ambassadors and that there will be more sheriff’s deputies patrolling in preparation for the large crowds.