Reprinted with permission of the News-Register. By Starla Pointer, May 16, 2019.
A group of interplanetary tourists landed in McMinnville this week, just in time for the UFO Fest and Saturdays’ grand parade.
The otherworldly visitors — who masquerade as Linfield College students most of the time — said they were attracted to McMinnville because of its changeable weather. They don’t experience seasons on their planet, they claimed.
Still carrying their alien suitcases, which look much like earthly luggage, they plan to join in the parade. The event will start at 3:30 p.m., moving west on Fourth Street from Galloway, then south on Cowls and back east on Third Street to Irvine.
They will be walking with several other Linfield entries, which will include a dance group, a float and the college’s new marching band.
Elise Martin, a 2016 McMinnville High School graduate, is among the Linfield aliens who’ll be in the parade.
“I’m excited,” she said. “It’s super awesome to be in the UFO parade with my college friends.”
The daughter of Kaylee and Zach Martin, Elise has enjoyed the UFO Fest since she was a girl. Her family always spent Saturday afternoon downtown watching the parade and participating in other festival activities, she said.
And when she was dancing with the Van de Veere Dancers, Martin and her fellow students usually performed during UFO Fest Friday activities. She also walked in the parade once with Mac High drama students.
Now a junior at Linfield, Martin is majoring in theater. So it was natural for her to volunteer when Derrick Lane, visiting assistant professor of theater, asked members of his design class and other theater students to join the UFO Fest fun.
Costume designers Alethia Moore and Laurel Peterson created the look of the group, using costumes from some previous plays and other articles of clothing.
Peterson said she was going for “eclectic theatrical-looking aliens” since, in her opinion, they had traveled from a “planet of theater.”
“This is their first time on earth,” she said of the theme of the group, “just landed.”
Lane, who took over after longtime Linfield professor Ty Marshal retired last year, said he empathizes with the aliens. He’s in his first year at Linfield, so this will be his first chance to attend the UFO Fest.
“I’m excited. I’ve always wanted to go,” he said.