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Alien Appeal: Roswell UFO Festival features lectures, family-friendly activities

An extraterrestrial craft allegedly crashed in Roswell 70 years ago, and people from around the world continue to commemorate alien culture during the city’s annual UFO Festival.

The festival, in its 22nd year, will feature tons of family-friendly activities, including a costume contest, alien hat making, live music, an alien pet costume contest and giant water slides. A number of ufologists, UFO enthusiasts and authors will speak on a number of topics, including the Roswell Incident. An unidentified flying object crashed on a ranch near Roswell in July 1947, which initiated numerous conspiracy theories of what the object was. Speculations have included an alien spacecraft to a weather balloon.

“People from all over the world come,” organizer Juliana Halvorson said of the festival. “… They have huge amounts of populations from the (United Kingdom). Australia, I guess they get a lot. We get a lot of interest from Japan. What’s neat about this festival is when you go down the street is you see these people and you can talk to them and they’re from all over the world. You get people who really get into the seriousness of this. They really get into UFOs and this is important to them. They go to the serious speakers and they want to learn more and find out more and then you get people who just want a quirky, fun experience, and this reaches everybody.”

In addition to the festival happening in downtown Roswell there will be three other events happening at other locations.

“One of those is the Roswell Incident, and they bring in speakers and lecturers on ufology, and then we have the Roswell Galacticon,” Halvorson said. “It’s like a Comic Con, and they’re having a lot of steampunk events going on. … They’re bringing in Miko Hughes, and he was an actor in the ‘Roswell’ TV series, and they’re going to have really neat sessions going on. There’s a film festival associated with them, too, and that will be going on at that same time. We also have the challenges to E.T. Conference at the Roswell Mall, which is the same place as the Galacticon. It’s going to include events from all of the events, and they will be able to see everything that is going on around town. There’s a lot to do.”

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