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City assumes management of future UFO Festivals

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The City of Roswell and MainStreet Roswell announced in a press release that organization and management of the UFO Festival will be assumed by the city as MainStreet steps away to focus on other efforts to improve the downtown district.

Following the cancelation of this year’s UFO Festival, MainStreet advised the city of its desire to no longer be the entity in charge of organizing the festival, according to the press release issued Friday afternoon by the city and MainStreet.

MainStreet had managed the festival under an arrangement that was part of a formal memorandum of understanding between the city and MainStreet. The MOU outlined the city’s financial-support responsibilities to MainStreet and MainStreet’s responsibilities in promoting the city’s downtown area through various efforts and events.

A revised MOU, including removal of the UFO Festival from among MainStreet’s responsibilities, is now in place and will continue the partnership working to better the city and its downtown district.

“Our sincerest appreciation to MainStreet and its board members who have managed the UFO Festival over the years,” City Manager Joe Neeb said. “The city understands and is very supportive of MainStreet’s desire to focus directly on their primary mission of keeping the Roswell downtown and its businesses strong.

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“The city is ready and willing to take the lead in the continuation and future of the UFO Festival.”

The UFO Festival is one of the city’s signature events and draws a large number of visitors.

MainStreet’s board members, according to the press release, have decided that amid the negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization should now concentrate its efforts on improving the downtown district.

“MainStreet Roswell is committed to the prosperity and success of our downtown merchants,” says MainStreet Roswell President Juliana Halvorson. “By focusing solely on promoting our district, we will be able to encourage more local shopping, which means more revenue for Roswell. We will continue our support of the UFO Festival, but are passing the planning of the event on to the city. This decision will enable us to put our emphasis on our downtown corridor and merchants.”

This year’s UFO Festival had to be canceled because of the impacts of the pandemic.

The press release states the City of Roswell “eagerly anticipates the return of the festival and is dedicated to ensuring the event makes a comeback in full force.”