Home to the largest Halloween carnival in the world, West Hollywood’s notorious festival draws in crowds of over half a million people each year and counting.
This event has been taking place since 1987, just 3 years after West Hollywood was officially incorporated as its own city. It remains the city’s largest and most inclusive LGBTQ event.
A pioneer of LGBTQ rights, West Hollywood (WeHo as known locally) delivers one of the most diverse events of the year. Located on a part of the historic Route 66, people come together and take to the streets to express themselves and mingle with their peers.
It is culturally significant because of the underlying message that the city takes on as its unspoken motto – Be unapologetically you. A safe haven and front-runner for the LGBTQ community, WeHo never fails to deliver a stellar event.
A Clip From A WeHo Halloween Parade, 2014. Video Credit: Michael Jiroch
At a time before WeHo could stand on its own two feet, it was a notorious escape for minorities, especially those in the LGBTQ community during the early 80’s. It was at the same time that an influx of Russian Jewish emigres also followed suit. These people flocked to the then unincorporated portion of Los Angeles to flee from LAPD violence and injustice.
By 1984, a vote came around to allow WeHo an official city status. Since then, the population has grown to be even more diverse, still housing a majority of Los Angeles’ LGBTQ crowd.
Whether you are in the community or simply a visitor, the WeHo Halloween carnival is a safe space for all. The city remains one of the most progressive in the greater Los Angeles area, staying true to its role as a safe haven for those who are considered minorities in the LGBTQ community.