Things are going to get crazy in I.V. this Halloween weekend, which is exactly why Melissa Cohen and crew at the Isla Vista Food Co-Op – the only food co-op in the county – decided to throw a country fair block party on Saturday, October 25, replete with bobbing for apples, a vegan bake-off, bluegrass music, pie eating, and goat poop bingo.

Cohen explained that this plan was hatched as the Co-Op was planning to hold its annual meeting this October, which is National Co-Op Month. The annual meeting updates co-op members on the finances and other developments within the organization. “It is historically not very well attended,” Cohen said, “and we thought we haven’t thrown a really good party in a while, so let’s throw a country fair! We want people to know that in a time of recession the co-op is doing well:and we’re hoping to showcase Isla Vista beyond what Halloween Weekend does.”

At high noon the annual meeting was held and after that Isla Vista was on display to show off its skills. Cat Wellington, a contestant in the vegan bakeoff, spent the morning handing out samples of her all vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, chocolate cookies cut in the shape of small flowers. She has her own business, Sweetie Cakes Co. and sells her mixes at the co-op alongside many other local baked goods and produce.

Goat Poop Bingo was run by Tiffany Cooper, the executive director of Goleta’s Fairview Gardens, who was simply relieved to make it to the fair with both her goats, Rose and Lucy. Rose had been missing for two days, Cooper explained. “We found her on Friday tied to a trashcan in the corner of the property,” said Cooper, who doesn’t believe Rose’s return to be the act of a good Samaritan. “I had posts on Craigslist, I was on the radio, I filed a police report: This is called abduction”. Cooper proclaims Rose to have been in perfect condition when returned. “I just want to know where she was for two days,” she said. “Was she drinking in I.V. all weekend?”

“You know who knows,” Cooper said with a raised eyebrow, “Rose knows.” But her forty-eight hour disappearance will remain a mystery as Rose declined speaking to the press.

Ultimately, good times were had by all and the co-op’s blog is calling this “the best event in the history of the co-op.” And seeing that the co-op first opened its doors in ’72, that’s saying something.

You can be quite certain that these fall festivities will be repeated again next year, but in the meantime, co-op management reminds the public to check out their store this fall and winter.


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