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Isla Vista’s Halloween Party Atmosphere Stays on Quiet Side

Efforts to quell raucous behavior in community adjacent to UC Santa Barbara appear to have paid off

Mounted deputies from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department patrol a relatively deserted Del Playa Drive in Isla Vista on Saturday night. Officials said the historically raucous Halloween celebration was subdued this year.
Mounted deputies from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department patrol a relatively deserted Del Playa Drive in Isla Vista on Saturday night. Officials said the historically raucous Halloween celebration was subdued this year. (Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)

The streets of Isla Vista remained quiet and calm Saturday night for Halloween, continuing a trend that started the night before.

First-responders reported small crowds and a low-key scene as celebrating began early Saturday night.

As of shortly before midnight, Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies and UC Santa Barbara police officers had made 12 misdemeanor arrests and issued three citations, numbers far below previous years, according to sheriff’s spokeswoman Kelly Hoover.

Two people were transported to local hospitals for medical problems, she said.

Authorities remained cautiously optimistic the trend would continue into early Sunday.

“It’s still early,” Hoover said earlier Saturday evening. “I always hate to say anything prematurely, but it’s a huge success. It just shows the great collaboration.”

UCSB’s Associated Students program board presented two concerts on Friday and Saturday in the hopes that fewer revelers would take part in unsanctioned house and street parties.

Rap legend Snoop Dogg performed Saturday night and Fitz & the Tantrums took the stage Friday night at the Thunderdome, UCSB’s multipurpose indoor arena that seats some 5,600 people.

Students line up Saturday night for entrance into the Snoop Dog concert at UCSB’s Thunderdome. Click to view larger
Students line up Saturday night for entrance into the Snoop Dog concert at UCSB’s Thunderdome. (Ryan Cullom photo)

The fact that Halloween fell on Saturday night plus the weekend’s warm weather had authorities braced for a large turnout of partiers.

However, on Friday night, small parties were held in the area. Others held scavenger hunts, posing for photos with sheriff’s deputies to fulfill one requirement.

“It was just very light-hearted,” Hoover said. “Everyone was very respectful. You could tell everybody knew the rules.”

It also appeared that fewer out-of-towners showed for the weekend of revelry.

County Fire Department spokesman Mike Eliason noted “a very quiet Del Playa (Drive)” both nights.

“It was almost surreal when you think about what Halloween used to be,” Hoover added.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully 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.

Sheriff’s deputies staffing a checkpoint Saturday night in Isla Vista were much less busy than in previous year during the annual Halloween celebration. Click to view larger
Sheriff’s deputies staffing a checkpoint Saturday night in Isla Vista were much less busy than in previous year during the annual Halloween celebration. (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk photo)
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