Mardi Gras Festival Was Another Day of the Dead for WeHo Boystown

mardi grasIf it was Mardi Gras you were looking for, perhaps you should have gone to New Orleans. The event planned for the block of Larrabee Street north of Santa Monica Boulevard last Tuesday night in the heart of Boystown was to have benefitted the Van Ness Recovery House, an alcohol and drug recovery house.  And it was to have benefitted the gay bars who signed on as co-sponsors which included Revolver, Eleven and Micky’s.

While City Councilmembers John D’Amico and John Duran got the city to waive fees of $2,265, which includes a public safety fee of $1,800, they couldn’t get the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control on board. Without an alcohol permit, the event was quietly cancelled.

John Carr, a spokesman for the ABC Department, said his organization had been willing to work with the organizers to find a way to meet ABC requirements for an event involving public consumption of alcohol, but that they declined. No one was able to explain what about the Mardi Gras proposal caused the ABC rejection.

The good news for Van Ness Recovery House is that the bars, which had promised a part of their proceeds from their Mardi Gras business to Van Ness, delivered on that promise.

“We’re still getting money from the clubs,” said Kathy Watt, the Van Ness director. “They were very good and upstanding, and they made it right.”

That block of Larrabee has proven to be hit or miss for events co-sponsored by the city to benefit local bars. Go Go Appreciation Day, by all accounts, has been a success. But the 2012 Mayan Day of the Dead festival was pretty much that (i.e. dead) with only about 50 partiers showing up to celebrate the end of life.

  1. Mardi Gras has never been a Weho event. It does seem ironic to be trying to have an alcohol based event to raise money for a recovery house, that is just plain odd. I hope they do not try to make Mardi Gras a big deal, since we are known for Halloween, and I think that is just fine. Leave Mardi Gras to New Orleans and Sydney. All the bars did things for Mardi Gras anyway, so I think it was covered.

  2. Let me get this straight, the benefit for the recovery house was cancelled because they couldn’t get any booze.


  3. l.g.gust, perhaps you need to just stay in Sherman Oaks, and leave living in West Hollywood to people who actually like to have a good time.

    It’s unfortunate the the ABC is again terrorizing this City. Hopefully next year the event will be back. Mardi Gras seems like a perfect time to host an annual community event, which maybe one day can grow in prominence that Halloween has.

  4. The fact is The ABC had said they were approving the permit up until the last hour, literally less than 24 hours before.. The application had been submitted in plenty of time.. Over 2 weeks before the event.. At 4 pm Monday they flatly denied the permit with no explanation given. When Councilmember Duran attempted to help, their(ABC) compromise was so impossible to meet @ the last minute we had to cancel. Had we had known of their completely arbitrary rules ahead of times we might have been able to comply.

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