IVCSD holds Halloween Community Festival

The Isla Vista Community Services District held its first Halloween Community Festival on Saturday Oct. 28 at 976 Embarcadero Del Mar.

The festival featured live music, vendors and performances like aerial dancing. Both students and long-term Isla Vista residents came out to celebrate the holiday.

IVCSD’s community spaces program manager Myah Mashhadialireza organized the festival. She drew inspiration from her experience at Portland Pride, a Portland-based annual pride parade that features a mix of resources, organizations and events over a weekend in July. 

Over 50 organizations affiliated with UCSB and Isla Vista were in attendance for the festival, Mashhadialireza said. 

Mashhadialireza said the event was meant to bring all Isla Vista residents together, not just students. Above all, she emphasized that the event was intended to fulfill the IVCSD mission of “stay safe, stay local.” 

The Halloween Community Festival was also designed to be an oasis from the heavily policed weekend, Mashhadialireza said. IVCSD set up a restorative justice table where community members could discuss policing issues in a non-threatening environment.

Halloween in I.V. has seen increased police presence and restrictions during the annual weekend since 2011. Since the implementation of the Halloween festival noise ordinance, local government bodies and organizations host alternative events and activities for students and I.V. residents throughout the weekend. 

IVRPD holds annual Haunted Halloween Pumpkin Patch

Shiuan Cheng / Daily Nexus

The Isla Vista Recreation and Park District held its third annual Haunted Halloween Pumpkin Patch on Oct. 30 and 31 in AnisqOyo Park.

The event took place from 7-11 p.m. both nights and featured collaborations with organizations including Lucidity LLC, The Environment Makers and UCSB Fashion Club.

The pumpkin patch has had over 10,000 attendees in past years and attracted students and families alike with its character performances, decorations and carnival games, according to an Isla Vista Recreation and Park District (IVRPD) press release. 

“The Halloween Pumpkin Patch is an immersive theatrical experience featuring live performance actors, interactive storytelling, and decorative landscapes of light, sound, and color that dazzle and delight participants as they embark on their quest through mystical realms to retrieve their pumpkin souvenir,” the press release read. 

Shiuan Cheng / Daily Nexus

Five zones were set up around AnisqOyo Park with activities like the Queen’s Bumpkin Patch, Gates of Haay’all, Haay’all Theater, Oracle Underworld, Poster Row & Walk About Woods, also known as Cool Corner. Each zone also contained activities such as face painting, a photo booth, life-sized jenga and a black light lounge.

A scavenger hunt was also designed as a game for attendees to interact with the live-action characters and explore all five zones in order to earn a pumpkin from the Queen’s Bumpkin Patch.

“Guests must gather clues and symbolic tokens from the intriguing cast of characters they meet along the way to present to the Pumpkin King in hopes of healing him and taking home a beloved Pumpkin Bumpkin from the Queen’s Pumpkin Patch,” the press release read.

The total budget of the event was $120,640 of Measure O funding — a special tax approved by voters for IVRPD projects and renovations — with $29,306 being allocated to projection art lighting, $28,944 to Guardian Security Team, $4,175 to advertisements, $792 to refreshments, $1,500 to the costume contest prize and $10,050 to the pumpkin patch.

Other attractions included a silent disco in the Haay’all Theater on Monday night and a costume contest that ended with “a $1,000 cash grand prize for adult contestants and 4 youth tickets to the Santa Barbara Zoo,” according to the press release.

A version of this article appeared on p. 1 of the Nov. 2 2023, print edition of the Daily Nexus.


Anushka Ghosh Dastidar
Anushka Ghosh Dastidar (she/her) is the Lead News Editor for the 2024-25 school year. Previously, Ghosh Dastidar was the Community Outreach News Editor for the 2023-24 school year and the Assistant News Editor for the 2022-2023 school year. She can be reached at anushkagd@dailynexus.com or news@dailynexus.com.