On Halloween night, Del Playa Drive hosted hordes of zombies, go-go dancers, Nacho Libres and other iconic figures, as well as a sizeable number of law enforcement officers to keep them all playing nice.
Wednesday night was fairly calm compared with past Halloweens and the preceding weekend, according to Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Dept. Sgt. Erik Raney. He said noise and crowds were under control, owing to the lack of out-of-towners.
Crime rates were comparatively low, Raney said, and only about 15 people were arrested in total, compared to the 213 arrests made over the weekend.
Raney said Wednesday night should serve as a model for future Halloween celebrations.
“It was a nice mellow local evening, and it was as Halloween should be,” Raney said. “I think the Isla Vista locals should look at last night and remember it next year. They should remember that keeping the holiday local is their responsibility, and discourage out-of-town friends from coming.”
Second-year economics and mathematics major Bryanna Ojeda, who lives on DP, said she was glad that the Halloween revelers were mostly locals on Wednesday night. She said although she was excited last weekend to experience her first Halloween weekend living in I.V., she found herself overwhelmed by the flood of strangers hanging around her complex and, at times, even in her house. _
“It was a relief that [out-of-towners] didn’t come back,” Ojeda said. “Our house had two windows broken last weekend by random strangers and that would have been hard to deal with all over again. Still, I was really surprised how many people did end up going out last night. It was a school night.”
Other students said they witnessed extensive police presence in I.V. on Halloween. Third-year biopsychology major Rebecca Adam said that although her actions were entirely legal on Wednesday night, foot patrol officers stopped her outside of her house.
Adam said one officer approached her and inquired what her costume was, and she informed him that she was dressed as a penis.
“I was afraid he was going to make me change,” she said. “Luckily, I think he just thought it was funny. He said he couldn’t tell what I was.”
Fourth-year Chinese major Tina Fishera said she thought the police barricades and floodlights felt somewhat unnecessary, and referred to the enforcement of the Festival Ordinance that prohibited the playing of music after 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
“I don’t think the whole police setup needed to be there,” Fishera said. “It just felt like any other weekend night in Isla Vista, but with costumes and less music.”
Even without the music, Isla Vistans came out in full force – and inventive attire – to celebrate the holiday locally. Fishera said she was exhausted from all of the Halloween festivities that occurred over the weekend and Wednesday night.
“I can’t even believe I’m alive right now,” she said.