Large crowds turned out to Pardall Road Saturday to experience Isla Vista’s eighth annual Pardall Carnival, courtesy of the Associated Students’ Isla Vista Community Relations Committee.
With a turnout of over 400 students and families across Santa Barbara, close to 50 organizations joined in on the fun and festivities offering free food, face-painting, trivia games and prizes for all to enjoy.
Amarica Rafanelli, a second-year student representing KCSB-FM, called the carnival “a real community builder,” adding that the new faces and support for UCSB’s radio station while tabling captured the close sense of community you can find in Isla Vista.
A group of newly arrived freshmen shared the sentiment, calling I.V. “a super happy environment” with “really chill people to interact with.” Among the campus clubs that formed a strip of tables and tents were Life of the Party, UCSB’s CalFresh Campaign, Adopt-a-Block and many more eager-to-engage carnival goers with plenty of treats and giveaways.
With a $25,000 budget set aside for the annual event, IVCRC provided free T-shirts, food and of course the infamous ferris wheel. IVCRC additionally reached out to local restaurants to cater to the event, such as Ike’s Place, Silvergreens and Blaze Pizza, altogether expanding the tasty range of amenities the carnival had to offer.
Spudnuts Donuts drew in crowds with free donut bites, green tea boba and coupons for their next visit, nestled among the herds of passing students.
“The main goal of the event is to start off the year with all of the community united,” said Jennifer Kim, external chair of IVCRC. “It isn’t closed off just to UCSB students; we aim for the families in the community to come out and enjoy the fun as well!”
Organizations outside of USCB took advantage of this opportunity, inviting students to get to know the resources available to them beyond the campus in the Isla Vista community.
Acacia Counseling and Wellness, for example, had a colorful board of post-its near the ferris wheel that carnival goers could add to. Students circled the board to write words of encouragement to share with their fellow peers, putting them on display to pass on to the next person in need of a positive pick-me-up.
Ruby Aranki, a fourth year student and administrative manager of the organization, said the purpose of the activity is not only to “destigmatize the current notion of mental health but also raise awareness of the current outlets available to serve those who suffer with depression or anxiety disorders.” With their upcoming $1 yoga sessions available to all members of the Isla Vista community, Acacia plans to put all proceeds towards a student therapy fund for those unable to afford the cost of counseling.
When asked about her impression of the I.V. community thus far, first-year student Emily Hong noted that she loved how the community is so tight-knit and welcoming and the fun extends “beyond the frathouse.”
“It kind of reminds students that I.V. isn’t all about the party reputation you expect coming into it, and it’s completely avoidable if it’s not your thing,” Hong said. “In my opinion I thought the carnival was a great way to kick off the new year, and with all the food and carnival games there was something fun for everyone to enjoy.”
Kim rested easy at the end of the event she helped organize, noting that although it got hectic behind the scenes, the shortfalls meant nothing compared to the success of the event as a whole.
“Seeing how it all came together the day of and all the happy faces of people coming to the stands, it really made the hard work pay off,” Kim said.
See more at In Photos: Pardall Carnival 2016