Remnants of crazy Halloweens from past years still haunt I.V. – the noise curfew tonight and through Friday is 6 p.m. – but an estimated 15,000 people took to the streets over the weekend, and more are expected tonight.
Police arrested 123 people, 113 of whom for being drunk in public, on Friday and Saturday night, compared to the 225 arrested last year over a three-day period. I.V. Foot Patrol Lt. Russ Birchim called the weekend busy, but not crazy.
“It seemed to be safe. There were no major incidents at all – no sexual assaults, no major fights. It was a pretty calm crowd, except for the binge drinkers. We had to take four people to the hospital,” he said. “[Tonight] there may be more people on the streets, with kids in costumes having a good time parading up and down the street.”
However, junior sociology major Michelle Martin said the crowds were the largest she’s ever seen.
“It was insanity. The Isla Vista Foot Patrol said they expected that it had died down, but it hasn’t. It was pretty bad,” she said. “I’m going out on Halloween – how could you not?”
Junior psychology major Denise Ratniewski said she expects Del Playa Drive to be as busy as ever tonight.
“Last year I went out – last year was crazy. I just remember seeing a bunch of condoms,” she said. “I think it’s going to be just as crazy this year. I’m a little scared for the freshmen who don’t know what to expect.”
There will be about 60 officers on patrol tonight, but Birchim said the festival ordinance- which prohibits any amplified music that can be heard from 100 feet away – will help curb the number of arrests.
“Historically, there are more people out on Halloween, but not as many law enforcement problems, because after 6 p.m. there is a noise curfew,” he said. “We were overwhelmed with calls about loud music last weekend and couldn’t respond to all of them. If the person who calls is willing to sign a complaint, a citizen’s arrest is listed in the citation. A lot of students out there said it was too noisy last weekend.”
Chancellor Henry Yang, his wife Dilling and other UCSB administrators, as well as Sheriff’s Dept. Commander Deborah Linden, will be walking around Del Playa tonight.
“My wife, Dilling, and I have been walking on Del Playa every Halloween since we’ve been at UCSB. We always look forward to it,” Yang said. “By joining our students on Halloween, we have a chance to get to know them a bit more and to see where they live.”
Junior history major Mike Gilbert, who is dressing up like a ladybug, said he is excited for the night’s festivities.
“This Halloween is going to be the cat’s pajamas,” he said.