Welcome to the little town of Roswell in New Mexico, USA. Every year, thousands of visitors from around the United States and from different parts of the world gather in this small town to witness a very strange celebration that has been taking place every year since 1947.
The UFO Festival is a major event that takes place in Roswell every year in the month of July. Spanning a period of 4 days, the festival aims to highlight the possibility of life on other planets and encourages the same by conducting various competitions, workshops, guest lectures, entertainment shows, family parades and a whole horde of fun activities to take part in.
Origin of the Festival: As the story goes, the small town of Roswell was deep asleep one night on the 8th of July, 1947 when a UFO allegedly crashed into the fields outside the town. The town became an overnight sensation with people flocking to the crash site from all around the world to catch a glimpse of the so called flying saucer and the pilot.
Though the site was immediately cleaned up by the Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF), several controversies and stories arose about the crash and the entire theory is a subject of hot discussion to this day.
After the crash, the people of Roswell decided to commemorate the event and so launched the UFO Festival. What started off as a small town celebration grew more popular each year as tourists from the surrounding towns, nearby regions, other states and soon enough even other countries started taking part in the festivities.
Events: There are several events planned out over the 4 days of the festival and several paranormal experts and lecturers provide interesting workshops, speeches and stories of personal encounters to the visiting guests. Some of the popular guest lecturers who took part in the 2009 festival were renowned Lynn Marzulli, Michael S Heiser and William Alnor.
The fun begins with the various competitions organized by the town for locals and tourists alike. One of the best competitions in the entire list is the Alien Costume Contest. Families dress up in very creative alien costumes and parade in front of a panel of judges who give scores based on the design, creativity, makeup and other features.
Even babies are not left out and are dressed to match the entire family. With so much care taken into designing these costumes, it is no wonder that the costumes look very original making it impossible to spot even a real alien if it decides to join the crowd.
Don’t forget to bring along your pets. Cause there’s a special contest for pets as well. Called the Pet Alien Contest, the event involves owners dressing up their pets in very creative dresses and other apparel to woo the judges. The previous years have seen tortoises covered in tin foils, colored dogs, astronaut monkeys and even dyed ferrets.
The festivities also include a huge parade with floats resembling alien crafts driving down a long street lined with participants and spectators. The floats are designed and decorated extravagantly and the alien masqueraders drive by in these floats, waving to the bystanders.
The event ends with a bang, mostly on the 4th of July with a massive fireworks display and guests start heading home the next day. However, memories of the festival, the fun and the laughter that accompanied it remain in the hearts of the people for many years.
If you are visiting Roswell for the UFO Festival, you may want to stop at the UFO Museum. Open throughout the year, the museum requires a small fee for entrance and transports visitors into the world of extraterrestrials.
Officially called the International UFO Museum and Research Center, the museum maintains detailed records of all extraterrestrial related occurrences that have occurred over the years. These include the crash incident at Roswell, the appearance of crop circles, details of Area 51, sightings and encounters of UFOs, and even details alien abductions.
The onsite gift shop offers various alien related souvenirs for guests including DVD’s, books, trinkets, and even Christmas ornaments designed like alien heads. The museum is also located close to other shops that offer great deals on alien related products. These include the Alien Zone, the Roswell Alien Corner, Planet Roswell and a McDonald outlet built like a spaceship.