LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – One of the biggest Halloween parties in the world will not be taking place this year because of the coronavirus, and West Hollywood city leaders are begging people to stay home.
In a normal year, the Halloween Carnaval draws tens of thousands of revelers in elaborate costumes to the streets of West Hollywood. But the city is asking partygoers to stay away this Saturday.
Back in May, the West Hollywood City Council canceled all major events in the city through the end of the year, including its two biggest: the Carnaval and the L.A. Pride Festival.
On Thursday, the city issued a warning that it could implement a curfew if large crowds form on Saturday.
“The city of West Hollywood will not hesitate to issue a curfew if overcrowding develops on Halloween…in order to protect pubic health and avoid the potential for a COVID-19 superspreader event,” it said in a news release.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies will be patrolling to ensure those who does come out to West Hollywood are wearing face coverings.
“The city code compliance will be out and about and we will have deputies with them doing checks of the businesses,” Lt. William Moulder said. “And the concerns would be a large number of people gathering in front of restaurants that are not socially distant and then they might not have masks on, those are things we’re looking to enforce.”
And city of West Hollywood residents tend to agree with the cancellation.
“Carnaval is dangerous normally, I mean, without the pandemic,” Kevin Cabiya, who lives in the city said. “People have been hurt, physically, people get out-of-control drunk, and people are on top of each other. I mean, I’ve been stepped on. Anyone who’s been to Carnaval in drag will know.”
LASD said if a large group of people began congregating in West Hollywood, an emergency curfew could be ordered.
Back in July, West Hollywood announced it would give out citations for people not wearing masks. A first-time violation comes with a $250 fine, with a $1,000 fine for a second offense.
Nearby Beverly Hills has banned trick-or-treating entirely. Los Angeles County as a whole initially said trick-or-treating would not be permitted, but later pulled back and issued guidelines stating that trick-or-treating was simply “not recommended.”