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Crowds arrive for West Hollywood's Halloween celebration

October 31, 2009 |  7:48 pm

Rowdy groups of costumed young people and curious older couples packed the streets of West Hollywood as tonight’s festivities began.

About 7 p.m., droves of people began inching their way into the congested side streets off the celebration’s main path -- Santa Monica Boulevard, between Doheny Drive and La Cienega Boulevard.

Julian Higgins, 23, and his girlfriend, Wei-Ning Iu, 26, of Hollywood, strolled along Sunset Boulevard dressed in Hogwarts outfits, a nod to the magic school in the "Harry Potter" novels. Asked whether he was a fan of the series, Higgins -- looking less than excited – said, "Not really. She got her costume and I had to find something to go with it."

The couple said they were happy to arrive before the expected masses snatched up the closer parking spots.

Some Halloween revelers opted for more subtle costumes, taking playful jabs at current events or abstract ideas. One wore a costume he called the “Scary Public Option,” a reference to the raging healthcare reform debate. Another sported a President Obama mask.

Erica Elson, 23, a screenwriter from Hollywood, wore what appeared to be regular street clothes, but a cardboard cube dangled from her wrist on a piece of yarn.

"Writer's block," she said meekly.

Jose Albarran, 23, of Winnetka dressed as a muscular Batman. Holding hands with his boyfriend, who came as the Joker, he seemed overjoyed to join the night’s festivities.

Growing up as a Jehovah’s Witness, Albarran said he hadn't been allowed to dress up for Halloween. "We were at In-N-Out and I thought everyone was looking at me," he said.

"I told him, 'It’s Halloween. Everyone’s dressed up,' " said Hector Corral, 22.

-- Robert Faturechi in West Hollywood

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