Traditional Halloween celebrations across LA canceled, moving virtual amid COVID-19 concerns

Two of the most popular Halloween traditional celebrations in Los Angeles are canceled this year due to COVID-19.

West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval is one of the largest gatherings across the country, normally taking place annually on October 31 since 1987. However, the event is canceled this year due to the pandemic.

"We know in the city of West Hollywood, we love to celebrate Halloween, but COVID is just not making that possible this year. We have to prioritize people's health and safety and that's what comes first," said Lindsey Horvath, the West Hollywood Mayor.

Horvath said Carnaval is normally a big expense for the city.

"We produce the event. We pay for the additional public safety costs so that's a lot of money that the city typically spends and we don't ever recover that amount of money when it comes to city revenues," said Horvath.

However, the event draws thousands of people and brings money to local businesses that are struggling financially from the pandemic.

"The City of West Hollywood is like every other city experiencing a financial impact from COVID and there's no end in sight. It's been incredibly difficult. The city has seen somewhere between 10 and 15 percent reduction in revenue," said Horvath.

Dia De Los Muertos at Hollywood Forever is an event that has been running for 21 years, and draws tens of thousands of people to the event.

"It's a tradition. It started growing to this magnificent event that it is today that we have about 40,000 people visiting each year. It's a beautiful event to celebrate with your family or loved ones," said Guillermo Morales Vitalo, who is a part of the marketing team for the event.

Vitalo said they did not want to cancel the event entirely this year so it's moving to a virtual format.

"The idea is to bring the celebration to everybody's homes and it's going to be free. It's going to be broadcasted via live stream starting at noon as it usually is," he said.

The event's free live stream will be hosted by Fernanda Kelly and feature performances by Los Lobos, Buyepongo and Tropa Magica.

"You'll get to see performances, altars, foods, lots of tradition," said Vitalo.

He also said there will be more opportunities to educate people about the Mexican tradition of Dia De Los Muertos.

"I think that the whole silver lining of this COVID is that we finally have a chance to do a little bit of education, explaining why we create altars, what are the components of the altar, and why we serenade our loved ones," he said.

The live stream video will start at noon and run until midnight. You can click here for more information.

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