Hello everyone and welcome to this year’s Question Authority Halloween Extravaganza Injury and Arrest Prevention Safety Informational Resource Guide, more commonly known as the “QAHEIAPSIRG.” Generally, I try to follow the normal QA format, but this year there have been so many questions about Halloween that I couldn’t possibly address all of them. So, instead, I am going to give you a general how-to guide for avoiding just about all types of trouble this Halloween. And I will try to do this with out going off on odd tangents involving leprechauns riding glowing unicorns while battling evil Nazis trying to take over Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Nope, not going to do that…

Part I: Things to Know Before Going to Isla Vista Halloween

A. There will be a lot of people. I’m not just talking Disneyland crowded (you know, when you have to wait an hour just to ride Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride). Imagine combining Disneyland, Magic Mountain and the six people at Knott’s Berry Farm and having them show up in front of your house with nothing to do but wander around. Trying to get through those crowds can be difficult to say the least.

B. We realize that without the mighty sword of Goochi-Goochi-Goo, your gladiator costume looks less 300 and more Tuesday afternoon Chippendales B-team, but anything that can potentially be used as a weapon or looks like a weapon will be seized before you get to Del Playa. You can pick up your feather-sword later, but you can’t have it on the streets that weekend.

C. What limited parking that normally is in Isla Vista is gone! Tow trucks will be circling Goleta and Isla Vista like sharks at a tuna convention, towing any car parked in the expanded tow away areas around Goleta.

D. Cops are going to be EVERYWHERE! Santa Barbara Sheriff’s and UCPD are bringing in approximately two and a half crap-loads of deputies and officers each night. Anyone who is overtly intoxicated, has an open alcohol container in public or doesn’t make it to the Porta Potty and pees on the local cat will probably be cited or arrested by the cops. Last year hundreds were arrested and cited. With more cops here, expect even more this year.

E. No music can be played so loudly that it’s heard outside of the house. That would be a violation of the Santa Barbara County Festival Ordinance in effect over Halloween. It says that music can’t be played with over 500 people in attendance. I checked and confirmed there will be more than 500 people in I.V. this Halloween and most of them will be in front of your house!

Part II: Pumpkin Squashed Rumors

A. No. Isla Vista is not shut down during the Halloween weekend. Del Playa and Sabado Tarde are blocked off by cops and barricades to keep out vehicles.

B. Is COPS going to be filming in I.V.? Ahhh, no. For some reason people ask me this every year. Frankly, I didn’t even realize COPS was still on the air. So, no. No COPS. However, I have no idea if Chris Hansen and Dateline will be around.

C. It is not illegal to walk around with no identification. You are not required to have an ID on you. However, if you are stopped for a violation and have no ID, instead of a ticket you may get booked in jail until they can positively identify you. So it’s one of those, “you don’t have to, but it’s a pretty good idea to” type of things. And yes, I understand some costumes just don’t have pockets. Or much of anything for that matter…

D. No. Petting the pretty horses IS NOT a good idea. Each year there is someone who thinks going up and touching the police horses is going to be funny. Unless you mean it’s funny the way you look in handcuffs, don’t do it! If you talk to the deputies and they give you explicit permission, then no problem. But other than that, no touchy!

There are at least another dozen topics I wish I could address, but the Daily Nexus is already being generous with the space so I need to cut myself off. So please have a safe Halloween. If you have questions about what is happening this year, there will be an Isla Vista Town Hall Meeting tonight about Halloween hosted by the Associated Students. They have gone above and beyond this year working for you and they are providing a chance for you to ask questions of all the leaders involved with the Halloween operations. Oh, and me too! Those suckers…I mean, wonderful people invited me to sit up there. I promise I’ll be good and stay on topic. No tangents. No magically delicious tangents with pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars …

Mark Signa wants you to be smart this Halloween so you don’t end up seeing leprechauns, glowing unicorns or the inside of a jail cell.

Views expressed on the Opinion page do not necessarily reflect those of the Daily Nexus or UCSB. Opinions are submitted primarily by students.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, October 21, 2013 print edition of the Daily Nexus