Floatopia, Isla Vista’s annual beach bacchanalia, failed to materialize Saturday as authorities blocked off access to the beach below Del Playa Drive and cold, drizzly weather put a damper on outdoor activity.
Other than a handful of Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies and Isla Vista Foot Patrol officers positioned at strategic locations, it was a typical Saturday in Isla Vista — complete with small groups of residents walking around with beer.
The Santa Barbara County Parks Department closed Isla Vista beaches to the public this weekend for the second straight year to prevent Floatopia, which drew more than 10,000 partygoers in 2009 and led to 13 arrests, 78 citations for alcohol-related offenses and dozens of people hospitalized with alcohol poisoning, heat exposure and other injuries. In addition, the beach was littered with trash and debris from the all-day party.
While Floatopia is loosely tied to the start of UCSB’s spring quarter, officials are prepared to be back next weekend, just in case.