Meet Your Neighbors Day, an event dividing the Isla Vista community into nine different neighborhoods with activities designated to nine specific I.V. parks, will be hosted by Isla Vista Recreation and Park District (IVRPD) this Saturday at 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The event will bring free snacks and beverages from various I.V. eateries, sporting activities and games from groups like UCSB Adventure Programs and Excursion Club, creative projects, photo tables and many more activities from a myriad of UCSB and I.V. businesses and organizations to each specific park. After participating in activities at neighborhood gathering locations in Children’s, Estero, Greek, Little Acorn, Pelican, People’s, Sea Lookout, Tierra de Fortuna and the Trigo/Pasado Park, at 4 p.m. event attendees from each park will walk with a hand-made flag to Anisq’Oyo’ Park for a community-wide event featuring live bands, DJ, kids’ bounce houses, climbing walls, informational tables and more.

Local businesses and restaurants will offer special discounts on the day of Meet Your Neighbors Day only.
According to IVPRD General Manager Rodney Gould, the event is expected to draw more than 30,000 people, from students in on-campus residence halls to residents from all ends of I.V.

“We’ve included all of the residence halls, Francisco Torres, married student housing, faculty housing on West Campus, graduate student housing, as well as the expanded Isla Vista community,” Gould said. “At each of those parks we are going to have free food, sporting activities, games, creative activities and music.”

I.V. Food Co-op General Manager Melissa Cohen said attendees are going to be able to walk from park to park to enjoy different activities and forms of entertainment, with all food provided by Isla Vista eateries, including the Co-op.

“Each park will have a small, farmer’s market-like area where we are providing fresh local organic cherry tomatoes, pluots and tangerines,” said Cohen. “We are providing a healthy snack for people to munch on as they walk. There will also be brownie bites from I.V. Drip and Farmers’ Favorite Pizza from Woodstock’s Pizza.”

According to first year biology major Patrick McAlpine, he is looking forward to participating in this Saturday’s events and to meeting new friends and neighbors.
“I’m looking forward to meeting new people, expanding my social web, and finding new places to hang out,” McAlpine said.

First year sociology major John Joseph said he is looking forward to the novel experience that Meet Your Neighbors Day will provide him.

“I’m really looking forward to getting to know my community,” Joseph said. “Back home I never had anything like this.”

A version of this story appeared on page 7 of the Thursday,  October 16, 2014 print edition of the Daily Nexus.