Halloween Parade, Los Angeles
Carnaval in West Hollywood: Unreal. I moved here from NYC, six years ago, and the only event in Los Angeles that ever approaches "World" status, in my estimation, is the Carnaval.
It runs along Santa Monica Blvd from La Cienega to Robertson, where the street is closed to vehicles and the creatures of the night take over. The street crowd is so thick, you can hardly move.
Running flat through the gayest neighborhood in Southern California, you'll cheer and applaud the elaborate costumes and extravagant drag queens. And, as the day turns to night, you'll pony up and get in the long lines for the bars and clubs.
If you're in Los Angeles during Halloween, you MUST attend. And, if you are unsure of how to reach the parade, contact me here and I'll give you the local's skinny on how to do it.
If the West Hollywood parade of crazy people is too crazy (or crowded!), go driving around Los Angeles. People really get into the spooky mood and decorate their houses. There are even some streets that are closed off to traffic at night-time so that spectators can walk around and admire the houses. (Best way to find out about the particulars is in the paper or on the internet.)
Amusement parks also get into Halloween-mood: Knotts Scary Farm, Disneyland, Magic Mountain - all of them are spookily decorated and have special shows and late-night events to spook and scare you.
October 31st is Halloween. Unless you are invited to some super-spectacular private party, the Gay Halloween Parade in West Hollywood is the best place to be. It all happens on Santa Monica Blvd. (yes, it's pedestrians only) between La Cienega and Doheny from 6pm to midnight or later: Music, food- and drink stalls, live bands, costume contests, and all sorts of crazy people to watch.
Note of caution: PARKING is a nightmare! You'll probably have to walk quite a bit before you reach Santa Monica Blvd.; even if you take a bus or taxi - you are better off walking since traffic around the area comes to a complete standstill.