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Time to get creative

Christina Stock Photo The Alien People Costume Contest is one of the most popular events during the UFO Festival. This year, it takes place downtown at the Chaves County Courthouse.

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MainStreet Roswell’s Alien Pet and People Costume Contests calling for entries

By Christina Stock

Vision Editor

It takes a village to celebrate one of the most exciting festivals in New Mexico, which commemorates the alleged crash of a UFO near Roswell in 1947. The city, the International UFO Museum and Research Center and MainStreet Roswell, including volunteers and sponsors, have been meeting to make sure that there will be plenty of events to choose from on Fourth of July weekend.

MainStreet Roswell is this year in charge of events at the Chaves County Courthouse, which include the always popular Alien Pet and People Costume Contests. In the past, Elaine Mayfield, who is one of the organizers of Roswell’s Galacticon and a member of the local Rio Pecos Kennel Club, was in charge of organizing both contests.

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“We ran it for several years with Galacticon,” Mayfield said. “It would always pull me away the whole day, when I needed to be at Galacticon. Not foreseeing the changes that were taking place, I talked to MainStreet to take it back, it is extremely popular, highly visible — you just get a lot of people watching it and enjoying it. They did (take it back), but I told them since we moved Galacticon to October, that I would be happy to do that in the evening. We have to do it (the Alien People Contest) Friday night (July 2), because Saturday is the big concert and we don’t want to pull anybody away from that beautiful concert.”

The concert is one of the highlights organized by the city of Roswell, which is in charge of the 25th annual Roswell UFO Festival, including the concert at the Wool Bowl parking lot featuring New Mexico’s own Chevel Shepherd. Shepherd won the 15th season of the singing competition “The Voice.”

Asked about what cosplayers and costume designers may expect at the Alien People Contest on July 2 (9 p.m. at the Chaves County Courthouse), Mayfield said that the contest has now only three categories: Youth, adult and group. “There are four prizes for each category,” she said. “Third place is $25, second place $50, first place $100 and best of show $200. That is funded by the UFO Museum. We certainly appreciate our sponsors.”

Mayfield said that anything goes with some exceptions. “It has to be family-friendly. We can’t have anything too risqué,” she said and chuckled.

“Also, if you did the same costume last time, you can’t win again for the same costume. Do something new and different. We often have an adult and their child in that grouping, which is kind of fun too and exciting,” Mayfield said.

On July 3, at 10 a.m. “alien” pets have their moment in the limelight at the Chaves County Courthouse. There will be plenty of water bowls to keep the contestants hydrated.

“The Alien Pet Costume Contest is co-sponsored by the Rio Pecos Kennel Club and the Cielo Grande Veterinary Center,” Mayfield said. “They have helped fund the prizes. We always have money prizes. The pets have as third place $25, second place $50, first place $100 and best of show $200. They’ve done it several years now. Laney Wilkins from the (Rio Pecos) Kennel Club is in charge of that particular thing and I am doing the emceeing. It has been a lot of fun, very popular. This year, we just made one division: Pets. We tried splitting it up, but it wasn’t very successful like having dogs and ‘other,’ because we always seem to have a lizard or snake or something. We made just one grouping this time.”

According to Mayfield, the best chance to win a prize in either category is to show creativity in making one’s costume and “staying in character” on stage.

To fill out the entry form for either the Alien Pet or People Costume contest, visit MainStreet Roswell’s AlienFest website at ufofestivalroswell.com. Last minute forms to sign up are available up to an hour before the contests begin at the AlienFest information tent on the Chaves County Courthouse lawn.

To see what the city of Roswell is planning, visit ufofestival.com.

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