A few crumpled up cigarette packets and plastic cups, horse manure, and lots of other trash. That’s all that remained this morning of the melee of partiers that descended upon the streets of Isla Vista for the first official night of Halloween partying. The scene at I.V. Foot Patrol headquarters was relaxed, and the deputies on duty said it was a “relatively quiet one” last night. Arrest and injury tallies are not yet available, but there seemed to be a consensus that last year was crazier.
“It was quieter than anticipated, well organized, and there weren’t any major incidents,” said Eli Iskow, a spokesman for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department. “There were a ton of people [at the medical tent], but the medical staff didn’t get overwhelmed.” He indicated that they may be busier tonight.
Despite the presence of 200 law enforcement officers and rumors that most parties were going to be broken up for noise violations, the debauchery was in full swing last night on Del Playa Drive, the epicenter of the festivities. Music could be heard-albeit faintly, due to the stricter noise regulations-people crowded balconies, and many a front lawn had throngs of people dancing, talking, shouting, and doing whatever it is that people do on any given weekend in Isla Vista. Cars had been cleared from Del Playa Drive by noon on Friday, leaving extra space for revelers, who packed the street.
Consistent with other years, many girls were dressed in the latest in revealing costumes, and themes could be seen as to what the best selling costumes were at the Halloween stores-there were a lot of inmates, priests and cops out there. The most creative costumes were of the homemade variety, with a lot of paint and makeshift accessories involved. One group of guys dressed up as the characters from the Street Fighter video game. They ran up and down the street in a criss-cross pattern, inciting animation amongst the crowd.
Rumor has is-both from the authorities and people planning on attending parties-that tonight will be the peak of festivities. As of noon today, people were beginning to venture out into the grey mist-many still in last night’s costumes-and some have already begun their celebratory functions in anticipation of tonight’s raging party.