Skip to Content

Warnings out well before Isla Vista Halloween gets scared up

After years when it was known as the biggest Halloween party in the west, Isla Vista has been toned town to a local event that still has a fun personality but very few incidents.

It has taken years and thousands of dollars in taxpayer money to clamp down on the area.

The motto “Keep it Local, Keep it Safe” is showing up all over social media and throughout the area as a recurring message.

“It is not as out of control, ” says Lauren Fichtner who works at the Sweet Jane costume and novelty store. She is also a former student.

Those who have seen the change like Fichtner say, “no matter what we want to have fun. We want to have safe fun and we want to have local fun too.”

Jeff Beach is visiting and remembers the transition years. “All my friends that came the first year were pretty disappointed that they couldn’t come the next year. But it was for the best.”

In recent years there’s been a heavy presence of Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s deputies and backup officers from other areas. Arrest totals have gone down significantly and the event is a ghost of its past.

Long timers say most of the problems were not the locals and the statistics supported it. About 80-percent of those who went to jail did not have a local address.

“I think people were coming and causing trouble and I like my friends coming from out of town, I didn’t like anyone elses friends coming from out of town.”

Fichtner said there’s still a lot of enthusiasm at her store. Recently, “We had to stop people from coming in because we were at capacity. ”

To draw about 6000 students off the Isla Vista streets Saturday UC Santa Barbara has a $5 dollar student only Dilerium event in the Thunderdome with an acclaimed L.A. music influencer DJ Mustard.

Some of the Halloween week rules extend out to November 4th.

There’s also a new fence down the middle of El Colegio Road to discourage jaywalking.

Nearby high schools and college campuses have been sent letters informing students Isla Vista is going to be less of a party scene than they might think and all violations will be strictly enforced.

Large spotlights have also gone up in the area during big events to turn the dark streets into a brighter location, and often unappealing.

Cars left in areas marked off limits are towed with the impound fees amounting to hundreds of dollars.

“They found a good balance between keeping it clean and safe and letting people be themselves and have fun,” said Beach who also said the people he say today in Isla Vista looked “happier” than he had seen in the past.

For more information go to:

KEYT 2019

Article Topic Follows: Crime & Courts

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

News Channel 3-12

Email the News Channel 3-12 Team


News Channel 3-12 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content