Friday, October 19 , 2018, 11:34 am | Fair 76º

 
 
 
 

Efforts Underway to Keep a Lid on Halloween Weekend in Isla Vista

Out-of-towners discouraged from attending; Saturday night concert planned for UCSB students only

Parking on residential streets in western Goleta will be restricted this coming weekend as part of the effort to keep a lid on the Isla Vista Halloween celebration. Click to view larger
Parking on residential streets in western Goleta will be restricted this coming weekend as part of the effort to keep a lid on the Isla Vista Halloween celebration. (Tom Bolton / Noozhawk photo)

With Halloween just a week away, local law enforcement and community volunteers are getting into the holiday spirit by preparing for the ghoulish weekend festivities in Isla Vista.

Police presence, roadblocks, a county noise ordinance, medical personnel to respond to first-aid needs, and parking restrictions in Goleta are among the plans to keep costumed revelers in Isla Vista safe during Halloween weekend.

Halloween falls on a Monday this year and with festivities informally scheduled to return Saturday, law enforcement is staffing up during the weekend in the community adjacent to UC Santa Barbara.

UCSB Police Department, Santa Barbara County Probation and Sheriff's Departments and ​UCIV, a volunteer program that keeps an eye out for resident’s safety, will be assisting the Isla Vista Foot Patrol over the weekend. 

“It’s a lower amount (of Isla Vista patrol officers) than usual, and the number has gone down from previous years,” said Lt. Ruben Cintron of the Isla Vista Foot Patrol. “We also don’t have the outside agencies contributing.”

About 130 officers from the Foot Patrol will be monitoring the areas on a bicycle and on foot, Cintron said.

The Sheriff’s Department has no plans to bring the mounted deputies into Isla Vista, Cintron said.

Customed revelers hit the street of Isla Vista last year for the community’s annual Halloween celebration. Officials are hoping for a repeat of the 2015 event, which was relatively calm and resulted in few arrests. Click to view larger
Customed revelers hit the street of Isla Vista last year for the community’s annual Halloween celebration. Officials are hoping for a repeat of the 2015 event, which was relatively calm and resulted in few arrests. (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk file photo)

However, this could change depending on the number of people on the streets, he said.

“It’s been kept local,” Cintron said. “A goal is to provide a safe environment and a good time.”

The size of the crowds for this year has not yet been determined, according to Cintron.

California Alcohol Beverage and Control Agency will be monitoring establishments that sell alcohol for license violations, and the California Highway Patrol will be checking the area for intoxicated drivers.

Sheriff’s deputies made about 28 misdemeanor arrests over the two-day Halloween weekend last year, as opposed to 40 jail bookings in 2014 and 200 in 2013 (which was counted as a three-day event), according to the department.

“Arrests are usually all alcohol-related,” Cintron said.

Additional measures on the part of the university include parking restrictions on campus and in Isla Vista and Goleta neighborhoods around UCSB.

Stricter parking regulations will be implemented in Goleta as well, from Hollister Avenue to the southern city limit (Whittier Drive), from Cannon Green Drive to Storke Road.

A temporary resident-only permit parking program will begin in this area between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Vehicles without permits will be cited and towed at the owner’s expense.

Households in the neighborhoods will be issued two free permits for residents to park on the street during the three-day weekend, according to the city. 

A festival ordinance is among the safety measures taken by the county. 

No loud or amplified music that can be heard outside a residence will be allowed, or citations and fines will be issued from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. starting Oct. 26 to Nov.1.

Halloween weekend in the unincorporated community is known for its alcohol-infused festivities that have drawn tens of thousands of celebrators in the past. 

Historically, a large number of out-of-town visitors have flooded Isla Vista.

Last year, Del Playa Drive and the streets of I.V. remained relatively deserted compared to previous celebrations. 

The crowd was estimated to be around 500 people compared to several thousand in 2014 and crowds up to 15,000 in 2013, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.

The university continues to discourage out-of-town visitors, said Andrea Estrada UCSB’s director of news and media relations.

All university-owned residence halls will be closed to overnight guests beginning Oct. 27.

The Associated Students program board will also host a concert one night for students only to give them an alternative to Isla Vista parties.

“As has been the case for the last couple of years, UCSB students are taking a more active role in keeping Halloween safe and local by creating a number of events for the weekend that will be open to UCSB students only,” Estrada said.

A robust marketing effort focused primarily on social media as well as on Pandora Internet Radio has been actively discouraging out-of-towners and locals alike from coming to I.V. for Halloween, or inviting friends to come, Estrada said.

The anti-partying ads remind would-be party-goers of the consequences and penalties of partying, she said.

“On the local side specifically (the ads are) promoting safety and encouraging community pride,” Estrada said.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

UCSB students line up last year for a concert on campus, part of an effort to keep the annual Isla Vista Halloween celebration under control. A similar event is planned for this Saturday. Click to view larger
UCSB students line up last year for a concert on campus, part of an effort to keep the annual Isla Vista Halloween celebration under control. A similar event is planned for this Saturday. (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk file photo)

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