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[Santa Barbara, CA, April 18th] As spring temperatures rise and COVID case numbers decline, the Isla Vista community will once again have the chance to gather on Pardall Road to enjoy carnival games, Ferris wheel rides, and each other’s company at the Isla Vista Community Relations Committee’s upcoming Pardall Carnival. Plus, as with all IVCRC programming, the whole event is completely free of charge. The festival takes place on Sunday, April 24th, and attractions will be available from 12pm to 4pm.
Pardall Carnival, always the largest of IVCRC’s quarterly events, will be making quite the splash with its return after a two-year hiatus. Pardall, a street usually bustling with cars, will be completely closed off from vehicle traffic to accommodate an influx of pedestrians and the carnival’s biggest attraction—a giant Ferris wheel. Additionally, IVCRC is working with over 20 local organizations and businesses that will be tabling along the street during the event. Upon visiting their booths, attendees will find carnival games, free food, and other goodies. Also at the event will be four carnival game booths (offering free prizes!) and two caricature artists who will create free hand-drawn portraits for attendees. IVCRC will also be giving away food vouchers that can be redeemed at select Isla Vista restaurants as well as commemorative Pardall Carnival T-shirts.
Since the start of the pandemic, many IV residents felt the emotional weight of limited interpersonal contact and shrinking social circles and experienced a subsequent decline in mental health. The community landscape around us was reflective of these changes. At this time last year, Isla Vista, a beach town normally full of heart and soul, was basically lifeless. At long last, the return of the Pardall Carnival will mark the much-anticipated restoration of tangible, in-person community. After months and months of quarantine periods and social distancing, the organization hopes for the upcoming event to be anything but lifeless.
Abraham Del Rio Castillo, External Chair, said “It hasn’t been the easiest past two years, many of us have felt pretty detached from the broader community. Pardall Carnival is an opportunity for Isla Vista’s short-term and long-term residents to celebrate togetherness and have some good old-fashioned fun. A huge objective for the event is creating a family-friendly environment that makes the locals feel just as welcome as college kids.”
Anisha Kandala, Vice Chair, puts it another way: “Students in Isla Vista create a vibrant and lively atmosphere, but many of the long-term residents of Isla Vista are easily overlooked in such a community. IVCRC hosts events like Pardall Carnival to bring this town closer together. Having events geared to all ages and backgrounds fosters a greater sense of community and allows for a deeper understanding and appreciation of the individuals around us.”
The Isla Vista Community Relations Committee is a student-funded Associated Students group at the University of California, Santa Barbara, best known for its fun (and free) community programming. What sets IVCRC apart from other campus organizations is the organization’s commitment to fostering a positive relationship between UCSB and the surrounding community by prioritizing the inclusion of non-student Isla Vista residents in its events and programs.