WeHo Halloween 2022 is in the bag. The city of West Hollywood forfeited its hard-earned global standing as the biggest, baddest and best Halloween destination after city council voted to cancel the city’s signature WeHo Halloween Carnaval for the third year in a row. However, that cancellation did not deter many from sticking to the tradition of hitting WeHo on Halloween 2022 night. Halloween in WeHo went back to its roots as more of a community gathering with costumes parading up and down Santa Monica Boulevard reminiscent of the early years of WeHo Halloween when it was more carnival, and less “carnaval.”
Photos by Mike Pingel for WEHO TIMES (click to enlarge)
Branding is everything, so it’s not fair to compare last night’s turnout to the traditional WeHo Halloween Carnaval, which at some point has attracted upwards of 500,000. The event this year was more of an invitation to hit the bars, restaurants and hotels on Halloween weekend. The turnout out was of course noticeably less than previous years on Hallows Even. By 10pm a guy with a bull horn stood outside Fiesta Cantina and announced that there was no line and no cover to get inside, hoping to snatch some party goers standing at a long line at Micky’s with a $10 bill on hand to get inside.
Local media called the crowds dismal and low attendance a nightmare. While it’s true that the gaps in the crowd were jarring during the early part of the evening, it was noticeably way more crowded later in the night. People were still arriving by to the Rainbow District by 1 a.m.
West Hollywood welcomed hordes of people in costumes over the weekend. There was also plenty of traffic jams on the rainbow district leading up to the big night on October 31st. Problem areas with the most overcrowding were around the businesses with OutZones that congested the sidewalk and forced people to walk on the street next to the slow-moving traffic.
The city delivered in taking some measures to keep the community safe. A traffic divider was placed by the OutZones to create a walkway on the street to keep pedestrians safe from moving traffic. There was also a noticeable increase in public safety personnel on Monday night. West Hollywood Sheriffs were seen patrolling the street and members from the Block by Block Security Ambassador Program were at every corner as well as City Code Enforcement and other department staff involved in safeguarding the public. West Hollywood City Manager David Willson, Director of Community Safety Danny Rivas and West Hollywood Station Sheriff Captain Bill Moulder were out for the evening assessing the scene unfolding on the street.
The City of West Hollywood cancelled its Annual WeHo Halloween 2022 Carnaval event this year “in accordance with protecting health and safety during the City’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic…” The event for 2023 is currently “not recommended” until further notice.