International UFO Museum and Research Center deputy director Karen Jaramillo announced on Wednesday that the 2020 UFOlogist Invasion — a major part of the UFO Festival in July — would be canceled.
“The uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic brings concern for near-future events. The safety and well-being of our employees, speakers, visitors and community remain a top priority. Although it was a difficult decision, it was the responsible one. We hope to see you all at the 2021 UFOlogist Invasion,” Jaramillo wrote in a press release issued Wednesday.
Planning for the UFO Festival has involved taking into account circumstances related to restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19. For now, the organizers of the UFO Festival are hoping for the best.
MainStreet Roswell spokesperson Juliana Halvorson said in a phone interview Wednesday afternoon, after learning of the UFO Museum’s cancellation of its speakers, “We understand their decision. At this point we are still going forward with it.”
Halvorson said that the future of the event is based on the decisions of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and that the main concern is keeping everyone safe and healthy.
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Reaction to the news from Galacticon organizer Elaine Mayfield was similar.
“We totally understand the reasoning considering the factors involved,” Mayfield said. “We are also on a holding pattern and waiting to see how things proceed. Obviously, we want to do the right thing. We haven’t made any firm decision yet.
“We’ve just got the news that the UFO Museum is not going to have speakers. We are absolutely concerned and absolutely invested, following what is going on and are going to make the decision when it seems time to do so. I know the San Diego Comic-Con has canceled. The major comic-cons have canceled, so we are just waiting.
“Obviously, the health and safety of all persons is the main concern.”
City of Roswell Public Affairs Director Juanita Jennings said Wednesday, “We remain a valued partner with them (IUFOMRC) and understand their decision.”
Lujan Grisham last week announced a new public health order easing restrictions on some businesses as part of a phased reopening plan. The order was set to remain in effect through May 15. Mass gatherings were still prohibited and instructions to stay at home other than for essential outings remained in place.
Earlier this week, she indicated during a news conference that current “stay-at-home” orders could be extended past May 15 unless statewide COVID-19 infection rates improve.
Christina Stock may be contacted at 622-7710, ext. 309 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.