Wild West Hollywood Halloween fun: Tight security, massive crowd

West Hollywood’s 2014 Halloween Carnaval. Photo by Jonathan Moore for the City of West Hollywood

West Hollywood’s answer to the Times Square New Year’s Eve bash ended early Wednesday after hundreds of thousands of elaborately costumed revelers took to the streets for the annual Halloween Carnaval, billed as the world’s largest Halloween party.

In light of the terror attack in New York that killed eight people, sheriff’s deputies stepped up patrols Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, but officials said their plans for keeping revelers safe already took into account previous attacks.

“All of this stuff was taken into consideration,” sheriff’s Sgt. Shawn Cohen said of planning for the Carnaval.

Still, patrols were beefed up in light of what happened Tuesday in New York, where a man in a rented van mowed down people on a Manhattan bike path.

A few arrests were made in West Hollywood Tuesday night and early this morning for crimes related to drunken and disorderly conduct, but authorities said it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary and that most people enjoyed the festivities in safety. The exact number of arrests was not immediately tabulated but deputies at the sheriff’s West Hollywood Station said it was not many.

The party went on along Santa Monica Boulevard between Doheny Drive and La Cienega Boulevard, and as of midnight no violence had been reported.

“I’m amazed each year by the imagination and talent that go into creating elaborate and inventive costumes,” Mayor John Heilman said. “The joy of the crowd is palpable and the celebration is a wonderful testament to the city of West Hollywood’s creativity.”

The Carnaval began in 1987 and has grown annually, evolving into a Southland and national phenomenon.

No backpacks, camera cases, tote bags or similar items were permitted at the event. Weapons and drones were prohibited, as was alcohol.

Carnaval-goers were urged to show off their costumes by posting pictures online with the hashtag  wehohalloween.

West Hollywood’s answer to the Times Square New Year’s Eve bash ended early Wednesday after thousands of elaborately costumed revelers took to the streets for the annual Halloween Carnaval, billed as the world’s largest Halloween party.

In light of the terror attack in New York that killed eight people, sheriff’s deputies stepped up patrols Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, but officials said their plans for keeping revelers safe already took into account previous attacks.

“All of this stuff was taken into consideration,” sheriff’s Sgt. Shawn Cohen said of planning for the Carnaval.

Still, patrols were beefed up in light of what happened Tuesday in New York, where a man in a rented van mowed down people on a Manhattan bike path.

A few arrests were made in West Hollywood Tuesday night and early this morning for crimes related to drunken and disorderly conduct, but authorities said it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary and that most people enjoyed the festivities in safety. The exact number of arrests was not immediately tabulated but deputies at the sheriff’s West Hollywood Station said it was not many.

The party went on along Santa Monica Boulevard between Doheny Drive and La Cienega Boulevard, and as of midnight no violence had been reported.

“I’m amazed each year by the imagination and talent that go into creating elaborate and inventive costumes,” Mayor John Heilman said. “The joy of the crowd is palpable and the celebration is a wonderful testament to the city of West Hollywood’s creativity.”

The Carnaval began in 1987 and has grown annually, evolving into a Southland and national phenomenon.

No backpacks, camera cases, tote bags or similar items were permitted at the event. Weapons and drones were prohibited, as was alcohol.

Carnaval-goers were urged to show off their costumes by posting pictures online with the hashtag  wehohalloween.

—City News Service