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Sunday, December 16 , 2018, 7:25 pm | Fair 56º


Isla Vista Halloween Street Party Quietly Gives Up the Ghost with Few On Hand to See It

After rainy Friday night, Saturday's crowds are almost nonexistent on Del Playa Drive; authorities trim staffing as night fizzles

What if they held a Halloween celebration in Isla Vista and nobody came?

That’s a question many people likely were asking Saturday night, as the annual costumed street party in the community adjacent to UC Santa Barbara turned out to be pretty much of a dud.

Concerns about massive crowds and rowdy, even violent, behavior proved to be unfounded.

“It was like a Tuesday,” Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Kelly Hoover said in describing the docile scene Saturday night.

“We’ve been talking with people who are here, and are finding that most everyone is either from UCSB or SBCC,” she added.

At 11 p.m., only a few hundred people were on Del Playa Drive, normally the epicenter of Isla Vista’s Halloween celebration.

Deputies had arrested just three people, all on misdemeanor charges, and issued only a handful of citations, Hoover said.

She credited Friday night’s rainstorm — along with a strong campaign of discouraging outsiders from traveling to Isla Vista — for the minimal turnout.

These two busy bees were among the few revelers to take to the streets in Isla Vista on Saturday night for the annual Halloween street party. (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk photo)

“We consider this weekend a huge success,” Hoover said. “Weather we know did play a role, but we also are grateful for all the groups that came together to get the word out that Isla Vista is not the place to come and cause trouble.”

County Fire Department crews “didn’t run a single call” on Del Playa or other nearby streets that normally are impassable due to the Halloween crowds, according to department spokesman Mike Eliason.

“It’s amazing,”​ Eliason told Noozhawk. “We were expecting a bit of a rebound (after Friday night’s rainout), but it just didn’t happen.”

He also described the scene as like a Tuesday night.

Both law enforcement and other emergency responders were releasing staff as the evening progressed.

“We consider this weekend a huge success,” Hoover said.

The turnout was a stark contrast to Isla Vista’s last big gathering, April’s alcohol-fueled Deltopia, which ended in rioting. Dozens of people were injured, including six police officers, and numerous arrests were made before authorities were able to quell the unrest.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton 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.

Only a few hundred costumed people ventured onto the streets of Isla Vista on Saturday night, just a fraction of the 30,000 revelers authorities were expecting. (Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)

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