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West Hollywood is the first city, worldwide, to elect a gay mayor and a gay city council. It is the home of the annual Christopher Street West Pride Celebration, with over 34 years, held in June of each year attracting hundreds of thousands. WeHo is a very diverse city that is on the cutting edge as to politics and citizen involvement.

West Hollywood's roots go back to the 19th century as Rancho La Brea and sprouted Moses Sherman's Los Angeles Pacific Railway terminal (the original Red Line) and the un-incorporated township of Sherman. By the early 20's, it was far too hot a spot to be "Sherman>" The little rebel cast aside its given name and began to call itself "West Hollywood." By the time of its incorporation, it had become the entertainment, music, film, art, design and cuisine capital of the new West. Today, the population of West Hollywood grows from 36,000 full time residents to 78,000 on weekends as neighbors from nearby communities take advantage of shopping, dining and entertainment.


Myths about West Hollywood
The legendary Sunset Strip is in Hollywood - - - Not true - it's West Hollywood with such notable residents and business owners as Robert De Niro, Faye Dunaway, Johnny Depp, Dan Ackyroid and Steve Martin. All the Oscar parties are held in Hollywood - - - Not true - Vanity Fair, Elton John, and most of the Oscar parties are held in West Hollywood. The best restaurants in LA are in West Los Angeles - - - Not true - with over 150 restaurants including Morton's, Le Dome, Lucquest, 5', Balboa, Katana and Dorscia, West Hollywood suites everyone's palate.

Sunset Strip was a dusty winding road flanked with poinsettia nurseries and scattered buidlings. During the 20's and 30's because of the various nightclubs and movie studios, a number of apartment houses were built to meet the needs of the free spending movie industry. Many of these buildings have been designated historic landmarks. Due to the influence of early developers, the Boulevard developed into a sophisticated urban shopping and entertainment district. During the 30's, the unincorporated area of the Boulevard became the "playground of the stars."
Perched at the edge of the hills, the Strip has spectacular views of the Los Angeles basin overlooking the Wilshire Corridor and beyond to Baldwin Hills and the Pacific Ocean. The Strip has a number of curves in it which provide constantly changing views of the hills, the street, and the buildings situated along it. The Sunset Strip has been in a near-constant state of change. As an active and vibrant entertainment and retail environment, it has a hight turnover of businesses as tastes and fashions.


Celebrations abound in WeHo, where diversity, style and an overall good time reign supreme 365 days a year. There's never a dull moment in the 1.9 square mile "Creative City." The nightlife, restaurant, art, fashion and gay & lesbian diversions will convince any visitor whether for business or leisure.

The first Christopher Street West Festival and Parade marked the beginning of what is now one of the largest lesbian and gay pride festivals and parades in the world. CSW, which began in 1970 was a Los Angeles' first pride parade and was formed to celebrate the Stonewall Rebellion in New York's Christopher Street in June 1969. Today, the parade has grown to about 350,000 people. The two-day celebration is accompanied by the festival which continues to attract over 40,000 people. The parade runs on the famous Santa Monica Boulevard. CSW is one of the largest, most diverse and entertaining events in Southern California honoring and celebrating the LGBT community.

Another WeHo celebration is the West Hollywood Halloween Costume Carnaval October 31st with outlandish, fabulous, amazing costumes celebrating in the world's largest Halloween celebration. West Hollywood is home to an amazaing collection of glamorous ghouls, drag couture, first-rate entertainment and over 400,000 people jamming Santa Monica Blvd on October 31st. People of all faces and from all places gather in West Hollywood to celebrate this extremely fun night in which diversity is always the highlight. The Carnaval began as a primarily Gay event and has now grown to include families, straight and gay & lesbian individuals.

A very special thanks to the West Hollywood Convention & Visitors Bureau for the photos and editorial basis for this page.


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