Ghouls, goblins and cute little pumpkins strutted their stuff at this year’s annual D’a de los Muertos festival.
Held in Anisq’ Oyo’ Park, the festival featured jump houses, musical entertainment and booths offering a variety of activities all for free. The Isla Vista Recreation and Parks District, Associated Students, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, UCSB and other local organizations sponsored the alcohol-free event. Festivities kicked off at 2:30 p.m. Thursday and culminated with a showing of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” at midnight.
DJ Orbs provided music until about 5 p.m., when the band Kissing Tigers took over the live entertainment followed by a variety of bands including Somos Son and Devilock.
Junior film studies and Spanish major Christian Morales, stationed behind the information kiosk, said this year approximately 160 people volunteered to help with the festival, which is a good turnout in comparison to past years. Morales also said companies such as Rip Curl, Etnies and Hurley donated the prizes that were raffled off.
“The raffle tickets are free and we have all kinds of prizes like backpacks and skateboards,” he said.
The Gamma Zeta Alpha fraternity purchased 100 pumpkins for festival-goers to carve and take home with them.
Senior psychology and Chicano studies major Nick Negrete said the fraternity was able to raise $600 from a Freebird Burritos fundraiser they held on Wednesday.
“We worked behind the counter from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and they gave us 50 percent of their profits. Mark the manager was really great and it was nice to work with him,” he said. “Every Halloween we have a pumpkin carving booth for all the kids in I.V. We bought most of the pumpkins at pumpkin patches that gave us a deal when we explained what we were doing.”
One table, set up by senior law and society major Andrew Lum, I.V. resident Arecelia Alvarez and Cal State Northridge student Nick Kurachi featured Nintendo game systems for kids to play Metroid Prime, a new game for Nintendo’s GameCube system that has not yet been released. Lum said he and his friends set up the table as part of an attempt to win a contest sponsored by Nintendo to promote the new game. The top five winners of the contest get $1,000, a paid party for 200 friends with Jennifer Lopez’s personal DJ spinning and other prizes.
“We went to a bunch of stores asking people to let us borrow their equipment and finally Software Etc. was nice enough to let us borrow their stuff,” Lum said. “We’re letting kids play the game for free and giving out candy and some Nintendo stuff that we got from another event for ourselves.”
The Community Affairs Board hosted a table for trick-or-treaters to design a bag for candy collecting later in the night. Junior English major Paul Riley said along with the materials for the trick-or-treat bags, the CAB passed out disaster preparedness coloring books.
“We made cutouts for [the bags] at the last meeting we had and we’re also passing out candy to start the bags out,” he said. “[The CAB] helps out every year, but this is the first time we’ve actually done this table.”
The Lambda Sigma Gamma sorority hosted its annual haunted forest in the park. Sociology major Nancy Arroyo said last year’s haunted forest drew about 25 kids.
“The IVRPD lent us all the stuff to make the haunted house and we’re actually the ones that jump out and scare the kids,” she said.
This evening from 5 p.m. to midnight the D’a de los Muertos altars will be set up in Anisq’ Oyo’ Park and mariachi performers will take the stage at 7 p.m.