Hula-hooping, tie-dye wearing revelers rocked Isla Vista’s fifth annual Chilla Vista festival yesterday.
Helmed by the Isla Vista Community Relations Committee, the event hosted hundreds of locals in Anisq’ Oyo’ and People’s Park for the largest Isla Vista festival of the year. Focusing on sustainability, the event featured 10 bands on two solar and biodiesel-powered stages, as well as various cultural performances, local art and interactive workshops and booths on sustainable practices, the mind and the body.
Chilla Vista President Jon Kalan, a fourth-year global studies major, described the event as the perfect meeting of Isla Vista culture, supporting local art, music and organizations.
“In a nutshell, Chilla Vista reflects on the positive attributes of Isla Vista,” Kalan said. “With all the hype that comes along with Halloween and Floatopia, we strive to give back to the local community, to the environment and related issues, support student groups and the art and culture of Isla Vista.”
Lasting from 12 p.m. until 8 p.m., attendees participated in a myriad of outdoor activities, including tree planting, a free Isla Vista book exchange, yoga and Qigong classes, hula-hooping and hula hoop making and belly dancing. Festival-goers also had the opportunity to sample local, organic food and peruse wares from various businesses.
Tammy Fisher, a second-year global studies major and Chilla Vista crew member, said this year’s festival emphasized local art and artists in particular.
“There are so many people painting right now and at all different levels, from face to mural painting,” Fisher said “What stands out about this year is that Jon got a lot of people excited about specific areas of the festival.”
Fisher, who was in charge of planning the art activities and nonprofit booths, said the event’s attention to the local art community helped make the event so successful.
In addition to the local nonprofits, many of Isla Vista’s businesses were on hand at the festival, boasting their newest products for the local community. Thomas Grandsaert, a fourth-year mechanical engineering major, had his Isla Vista T-shirt company, I.V. Garb, tabling at the event. Grandsaert said I.V. Garb had received a fruitful response from the community during its tenure and that he was pleased to be tabling at Chilla Vista.
“Chilla Vista is a great event because from the moment you get here, you can feel that it’s a celebration of I.V. art and of local businesses,” Grandsaert said. “There are also a lot of beautiful women, and I love hippie girls.”
Chilla Vista Vice Chairperson Liz Buda said event planners strive every year to improve the quality of the Chilla Vista experience.
“We took a new direction this year,” Buda said. “We included a flower mandala in the park and also had make-up airbrushing. Also, we had more food than ever this year, and we made a big effort to support our local businesses and farmers.”