Home News Local News 2018 UFO Festival dates announced

2018 UFO Festival dates announced

Christina Stock Photo One of the most popular events during the Roswell UFO Festival is the alien pet contest at the Chaves County Courthouse.

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MainStreet Roswell has announced that the 2018 Roswell UFO Festival will be held July 6-8. This year marks the 23rd installment of the festival and 71st anniversary of the Roswell incident. Roswell welcomes UFO enthusiasts and skeptics alike to join in the celebration of the much-debated 1947 incident that many believe involved a UFO crashing on a ranch near Roswell.

The largest UFO Festival in the world hosted 38,000 visitors from 43 states and 16 countries in 2017. The festival gave attendees a chance to explore questions such as: Did aliens crash in Roswell? Do UFOs exist? How was Roswell instrumental in developing modern-day space exploration?

The event was highlighted by coverage from 27 media groups, including the Travel Channel’s “Expeditions Unknown,” Food Network’s “Carnival Eats” and National Geographic to name a few. The worldwide attention for Roswell’s UFO incident and the festival continues to grow each year.

“This year we are highlighting space exploration,” event organizer Juliana Halvorson said. “New Mexico and Roswell have been instrumental in developing modern-day space exploration. Robert H. Goddard tested his rockets near Roswell and the Roswell Museum and Art Center has preserved his legacy with a re-creation of his workshop. The International UFO Museum and Research Center is located here as well.

“New Mexico is home to SpacePort America, the New Mexico Museum of Space History and White Sands Missile Range. We would like people to realize how important our state is to developing space history.”

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This year’s three-day festival will also include popular events that are always huge draws for the public, including the Cielo Grande Veterinary Center/Rio Pecos Kennel Club Alien Pet Contest, the Alex Persons Alien Costume Contest, the Xcel Energy UFO Electric Light Parade and Pioneer Bank Alien Hat Making/Family Craft Area. This year’s entertainment includes musicians Curtis Grimes and the Drake Hayes Band. Adding to the music, the Brothers of Alien Rock will be appearing. A free movie will also be showing on Friday night.

Street entertainment will include the Star Wars 501st Dewback Ridge Garrison, crowd favorite street entertainer Obediah — and an occasional visit by aliens. Visitors are also encouraged to dress as aliens for the festival. The Runyan Ranch Petting Zoo will be a new feature this year.

Other entertainment includes the Goddard Planetarium, which will be hosting laser light shows; Way Way Off Broadway will be holding dramatic readings of “War of the Worlds” and a UFO/USO show; and The Roswell Community Little Theatre will be holding the FooDeeney family play.

Downtown will be filled with local merchants, street vendors and amazing food. Vendors are encouraged to download the vendor form at ufofestivalroswell.com, although all food spaces are taken. Local merchants will be participating in the UFO Passport program. Visitors can pick up a passport at the information booth and visit the various venues to get official stamps. Once a visitor has acquired the allotted amount, the passport can be brought back to the information booth to obtain free festival memorabilia.

The Roswell Galacticon will also be hosting its event at the Roswell Mall July 5-7. This event features vendor booths, comic-book collectibles, artists, cosplay, gaming, workshops and panels. It also includes the Sci-Fi Film Fest and Steampunk Ball. Cosplay participants are encouraged to enter the Alien Costume Contest on July 7.

“Stanton Friedman, who was instrumental in highlighting the Roswell Incident, will be retiring this year,” notes Karen Jaramillo, Deputy Director of the International UFO Museum and Research Center. “We will be dedicating Friday, July 6 as Stanton Friedman Day. Mr. Friedman will also be the Grand Marshal of the Xcel Energy UFO Electric Light Parade.”

The principal sponsor of the UFO Festival is the City of Roswell, which provides funding for the event through lodgers tax revenues. MainStreet Roswell is a local non-profit organization dedicated to developing and enhancing a strong local economy and is the event organizer for the 71st annual UFO Festival. For more information, call MainStreet Roswell at 575-914-8018.


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