ISLA VISTA, Calif.-Isla Vista has an elaborate lineup of Halloween activities as the community looks to avoid the wild street parties of years past.

The festivities kicked off with the Isla Vista Community Center Spooky Spectacular event for kids from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday. This included games, hayrides, face painting, and a costume contest.

Starting Saturday evening The Isla Vista Parks and Recreation Department is bringing back their annual haunted pumpkin patch.

It’s a celebration of not only Halloween, but also the push to preserve green spaces in this college town.

Kimberly Kiefer explains how activists in the 1970s helped save Isla Vista from being taken over by developers.

“There was a group of advocates that wanted to make make sure that these, you know, parks would be here forever,” said Kiefer.

Nearly 5 decades later, Kiefer says Isla Vista is thriving, with over 55 acres and 25 parks… all within one square mile.

This year’s Halloween celebration will weave Isla Vista’s rich history into a fictional story line that visitors of all ages can enjoy.

“We created a whole cast of characters in a storyline. And then in the storyline last year, the Pumpkin Queen sold the soul to Louis DeVille to avoid his own rot and decay,” said Lucidity Marketing Director Jonah Haas.

The plot focuses on Louis DeVille who wants to turn Isla Vista’s open spaces into casinos and strip malls, a very real fear for residents in the 70s.

Visitors will learn more about environmental preservation through these immersive stories.

“People can come and they get a passport and they go on a whole adventure and they meet a bunch of characters. They get their passports stamped. If they have a full passport, they go to the pumpkin patch and they can take a pumpkin home with them,” said Haas.

People will also get to enjoy film screenings, carnival games, 2 silent disco nights, a ferris wheel, Día de los Muertos altars, and a costume contest.

On Saturday, world dance for humanity will drop by for a “thriller”-themed flash mob at the pumpkin patch

Isla Vista parks and recreation department is turning 50 years old on halloween night, making this year’s haunted pumpkin patch extra special.

The celebration is family friendly and will take place Saturday through Monday from 7-11 pm at Anisq’oyo’ Park.

By Mina Wahab/KEYT

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