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Isla Vista Halloween will feature more community events for families and kids

ISLA VISTA, Calif. - The Isla Vista Halloween weekend of the 1980's and 90's is not going to be the I.V. weekend of 2021.

That's the word from community leaders who have a more family friendly line up in mind instead of the former chaotic Halloween scenes that led to arrests and a tarnished reputation.

Isla Vista Community Services District Director Ethan Bertrand said, "some might call it a ghost town  during Halloween."

He says they've focused on local events, and safer events.

 Messages have also been sent out to other colleges over the years, basically telling students there to stay away, and that strict rules are in place. That often makes it unappealing.


"We're really in a different place now  where we can have fun events have fun activities and give Isla Vista residents something to do and something we can be proud of," said Bertrand.


Del Playa drive is usually a hot spot for people, costumes and parties  that's why a thousands of informational flyers with the Halloween rules along with many other forms of information were put on the doorknobs.

One resident Aja Blair said, "Halloween is not really huge celebration for me to begin with so I'm totally fine with just doing that  like watching scary movies and stuff."

She has a costume and looks forward to the weekend but not big crowds or any added law enforcement by her house.

Thousands of students will also be heading to UC Santa Barbara nearby for a free outside concert paid by the Associated Students. The artist has yet to be named. The University says it will not be inside the Thunderdome.

"By having a combination of I.V. events and UC events we are in a good place, " said Bertrand.


 At the Sweet Jane  costume and novelty store at the top of the business loop, the return of customers has been solid with an array of pre-made and do-it-yourself costume combos. Last year, even with COVID conditions, Halloween was a strong sales event.

Stella Termin has owned Sweet Jane for 15 years. "When I first opened the store there was a lot of  reggae and rasta oriented  costumes, that way and now  those things have faded . "   She says some of her items have sold out already with the early buyers. The store is still stocked from floor to ceiling and has numerous choices for those crafting a costume.


 Even in a scaled down form, Isla Vista will still be a colorful place for costumed characters.

Meg Cuthbertson is a resident and student from Chicago. She is ready for the weekend but doesn't expect it to be a blow out. "I bought a costume, I might have spent a little too much   I.V. is pretty shut down during Halloween. We might just have a small little get togethers whatever we will see what happens, nothing crazy though."


There will also be safety stations,  hydration areas and free escorts home.
Bertrand said, "we're really focusing on communicating with law enforcement  about how community members can keep the community safe and that's by putting on events like we are going in a fun controlled environment."

Events set for this weekend include a Halloween Costume Contest ($1000.) prize, Pumpkin Carving Contest, Haunt the Loop (trick or treat experience) and the haunted Pumpkin Patch (Estero Park).

For more information on the Isla Vista events go to: IVCSD

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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT NewsChannel 3. To learn more about John, click here.

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