Pardall Carnival in Isla Vista: A Day of Fun, Food, and Community

Pardall Carnival Ferris Wheel

Houston Sasselli

News Editor 

On April 28, Isla Vista’s (I.V.) Pardall Road was closed off for the annual Pardall Carnival, drawing crowds eager for a day of festivities, freebies, and carnival thrills. Organized by the Isla Vista Community Relations Committee (IVCRC), the event transformed the main street into a bustling hub of activity from noon until 5 p.m.

One of the standout attractions of the carnival was the towering Ferris wheel, offering panoramic views of Pardall Road as well as a perfect backdrop for countless photos of cherishable memories. The presence of a mechanical bull added an extra layer of excitement to the carnival atmosphere and adrenaline rush.

Though the Santa Barbara Fair & Expo was happening at the same time at the Earl Warren Showgrounds, I.V. residents and students were treated to a carnival experience right at their doorstep, free of charge. Beyond entertainment, the event aimed to foster community spirit and encourage engagement with UC Santa Barbara’s (UCSB) Associated Students.

A major highlight for many attendees was the array of free food provided by local eateries including Hummus Republic, Zócalo, Sam’s to Go, and Kozy Coffee. To acquire a food voucher, students were required to engage with six organizations stationed at the event, collecting stamps along the way as proof. The demand for these vouchers was evident, with lines extending from the Pardall Center to neighboring businesses within just half an hour of the carnival’s commencement.

The Bottom Line (TBL) had the opportunity to speak with Arlene Garcia, a carnival attendee, who shared her experience. Garcia’s favorite part of the carnival was indulging in the free cotton candy. She remarked, “I went with a close friend, and we both share a love for treats. Being able to share something like cotton candy made the experience even more enjoyable.”

Due to many organizations tabling at such a big event, many students were made aware of the wide variety of clubs and organizations on and off campus. Garcia herself recalled discovering a new organization during the event: the Isla Vista Artist Cooperative, which aims to showcase local artists’ work and provide them with a platform. Garcia noted, “Overall, the carnival met my expectations. I enjoyed free cotton candy, explored the different tables, and played carnival games. The vibe was great, with everyone laughing and having a good time.”

Another attendee, Emilio Torres, shared his insights with TBL on the carnival experience. Torres expressed his enjoyment of exploring the various stands and carnival games despite arriving late to the event. He particularly appreciated the interactive nature of the stands and games, which added to the fun-filled atmosphere.

While Torres didn’t discover any new organizations, he highlighted the trading table as a standout feature. “You could trade anything you have with them for something of equal value. It was a cool concept,” he remarked.

In terms of improvements, both Garcia and Torres expressed a desire for more carnival games and interactive elements. Torres commented, “Having more games would have been really fun. It would have been great to have more interactive elements to spend more time in the carnival.”

As the day progressed, the carnival continued to captivate attendees with its diverse attractions, lively music performances, and sense of community camaraderie. With laughter, music, and the aroma of delicious treats filling the air, the Pardall Carnival once again affirmed its status as a highlight of I.V.’s social calendar, bringing together residents and students for a day of shared enjoyment and community bonding.


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