Annual celebration draws alien enthusiasts

Brianne Ries


The ninth annual UFO Festival, also know as Alien Daze, will begin its celebration today with events
ranging from foil-decorated floats to pet costume contests.

The festival, started by McMenamins Hotel Oregon in 1999, celebrates one of the most credible UFO
sightings to date.

On May 8, 1950, a farmer and his wife saw and photographed what appeared to be an unidentified flying object hovering over their farm in McMinnville.

“It becomes like a conference (for) people who are serious about UFOs along with the silliness of the parade and the pet show,” Jean Caspers, reference and instruction librarian, said.

Friday at 7 p.m. there will be three events catering to college students, local residents, Klingons and coneheads from all over the region.

The  McMinnville Community Center will host author Richard Dolan and filmmaker and director Robert Nichol to discuss everything from UFO sightings to crop circles. Tickets will be sold for $10.

McMenamins will be hosting the band Kirby Swatosh and the Moon Rock Patrol in the cellar bar for audiences 21 and older. The Luminescent Orchestra will perform in Mattie’s Room, which is
open to all ages.

At 7 p.m., there will be a one-mile costume fun run for all ages. More information, and registration forms for the run can be found at

Vendors will begin selling merchandise on Evans Street Saturday at 9 a.m. At 9:30 a.m. Nichol’s film “Star Dreams” will be shown at the McMinnville Community Center followed by a discussion. Tickets will be available at the door for $10.

Third Street will host the UFO parade at 1 p.m. Attendants are encouraged to dress up themselves, their children and their pets.

Following the parade at 2 p.m. there will be an alien pet costume contest at the U.S. Bank Plaza. The contest is not limited to dogs and cats and lists turtles and snakes as potential contenders for the award, according to the McMenamins Web site.

In McMenamins’ at 2 p.m., the Willamette Radio Workshop will be doing a live performance in Mattie’s rooms of “The Thing.”

The Alien Daze Ball will be held at 7 p.m. in Mattie’s Room at McMenamins, for Earthlings 21 and older.  Dress up in your best alien disguise and listen to the music of Big Mama Gayle and Her
Sugar Daddies.


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