The UFO and Alien Festival in Roswell, NM

Check out the 2008 UFO Festival in Roswell, NM

The Drive From Lubbock

I went from Lubbock to NM, about 12 miles over the state line.
I went from Lubbock to NM, about 12 miles over the state line.
These trains drive towards you at night.  Disconcerting to have lights coming at you on the left!
These trains drive towards you at night. Disconcerting to have lights coming at you on the left!
Here is the landscape during my drive.
Here is the landscape during my drive.

Going to New Mexico

When I told friends on the east coast I was moving to New Mexico, they all wanted to know why I would want to move out of the country. I tried to explain that New Mexico was part of the United States. I discovered that people on the east coast had a geographical learning block, there is nothing past the Mississippi River except Los Vegas and California. Some knew of Taos and Vail, but the exact location of these fabled ski areas was not to be disclosed.

I was told I was moving to the desert. I packed accordingly and moved myself, my daughter and my cat to New Mexico. We flew out with the majority of our clothing and furnishings scheduled to arrive after we found a home. We arrived in Lubbock, TX in January. The cat's flight was an hour late. Once he arrived we went to rent a car to continue our adventure.

"I don't think we can rent you a car tonight", the guy behind the counter said. "It's snowing pretty good out there." After 12 hours of airports, this was not what I wanted to hear. I had reservations in another town 100 miles away. (Wait, did he say snow?! It doesn't snow in the desert, does it?  Note to self:  deal with that later.)

"Look", I said, "I can drive in the snow, I have driven plenty of times in the snow." "I don't know", he said, "It can get pretty icy on the overpasses." "So, if it gets too bad, I'll just stay at some motel', I told him. This brought a look of consternation to the man's face. He called over the other guy behind the counter. They had a quiet discussion and turned back to me. "There aren't any motels between here and there", he said.

This was when I knew I had arrived in the Twilight Zone. Coming from New Jersey, I could not imagine 100 miles of highway and no place to stay! "What do you mean, no place between here and there...surely there must be something", I said. They looked at each other nervously and looked back at me shaking their heads no. "No, nothing, there was one place, but it's closed now", the one said, a little hesitantly. I could see they were wondering who was this crazy lady, with the little girl and the cat in a box going meow, meow, meow. How long before she snapped...

"Look, just rent me the car!" I snapped at them, fed up and tired, and wondering how these idiots ever got a job. Surely there was some place to stay. I probably scared them, but I got the car and set out.

Four hours and 100 miles later, I was wondering what I had gotten myself into. The guys at the airport had been right, there was nothing between there and here but one McDonald's. Never had I experienced so much dark, dark empty space. Where were the street lights, where were the towns...and why was it snowing!

New Mexico

I later found out that I was on the llano estacado, or high plains, of New Mexico. Winter was in full swing and the wind never stopped blowing. There's a joke in eastern NM that goes like this:

Q--Do you know why the wind always blows in NM?

A--Because Texas sucks.

Finally, spring arrived and summer soon followed. I went to rodeos, parades and fairs, but the best was the UFO Festival in Roswell, NM! The UFO Festival is held each year in Roswell, NM the first week of July to commemorate the alien crash landing of 1947.

A scene from the UFO Museum
A scene from the UFO Museum
Having fun and hanging with the aliens at the festival
Having fun and hanging with the aliens at the festival
Roswell is SO much fun...Please take me to your leader!
Roswell is SO much fun...Please take me to your leader!
McDonald's is a flying saucer!
McDonald's is a flying saucer!

First Stop the UFO Museum

First stop has to be the Roswell UFO Museum! The museum opened to visitors in the fall of 1992 and became an immediate favorite for UFO believers, non-believer and the just plain curious. They are currently in their 4th location and continue to grow.

The museum covers many famous UFO related occurrences, crop circles, Area 51, UFO sightings, alien abductions and, of course, the incident that occurred in Roswell in 1947. The official name of the museum is the "International UFO Museum and Research Center".

Admission is $5 for adults, $2 for ages 5-15, and free for those age 4 and under. Military and Seniors 65 and older pay $3. This is a real deal!

The museum has a nice gift shop with tons of alien and UFO related items. It also has a nice selection of books and DVD's. The shop has everything from Christmas ornaments to gourmet items. You'll never be able to pass up the cookie cutters of an alien body, a spaceship and an alien head! The kids will love the Toxic Waste candy.

Don't like the selection at the gift shop? Just stroll down Main Street amongst the aliens to see one of Roswell's other great shops. Alien Zone, Planet Roswell and Roswell Alien Corner are a few of the favorites. The kids will want to go to the spaceship shaped McDonald's with their out of this world playplace. They will get to see Ronald in a spacesuit!

The Parade
The Parade
Two aliens waiting for their flight.
Two aliens waiting for their flight.
The street lamps are alien faces.
The street lamps are alien faces.
Even WalMart joins the fun.
Even WalMart joins the fun.

UFO Festival's Main Events

The Roswell UFO Festival for 2009 is scheduled for July 2nd through July 5th. My favorite part is the Alien Costume Contest. It is incredible how much planning must go into these costumes! People dress up their entire families, including the babies.

Pets are not forgotten either. The Pet Alien Contest is hilarious! I do not know how they get these animals to stay in costume. There are dyed dogs, tin-foiled tortoises, even ferrets get into this mix!

The Parade down Main Street always draws a large crowd of people mixed with various creatures from outer space. Cheers and laughter erupt as the space ships float down the road. This event is celebrated by all creatures in the universe as a time to mingle and coexist peacefully!

Of course there is a fireworks display on July 4th. It is quite spectacular, but not as spectacular as the people you meet!

The best part is the camaraderie, the fun, the laughter. You'll have to see it to believe how well humans and aliens get along! Shame on all those stories of evil abductions, these sweet creatures would never. (OK, well maybe that one over there...) This is three days of fun and out of this world sights!

If you would like information about the UFO crash of 1947 watch the videos. Fact or Fiction, You Decide...Not Necessary to Participate in the Fun!

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4--Parts of the UFO Festival during the last 40 seconds!

Part 5

A Note:

I lived in NM for about 12 years. I was about 2 hours from Roswell, and worked there per diem for about 2 years. No-one in NM actually talks about this. However, it is interesting what you learn when you bring it up!

Most people I asked about it believed in it. It is for them that I include the videos. New Mexico is full of empty spaces. With a population density of about 15 people per square mile and 121, 665 square miles of space, you can see that there is a ton of wide open country! (I think about 10 of my current state of MD can fit in it!)

There is much wilderness and much, much emptiness! Who can say! If you live on the east coast, as I did most of my life, it is hard to imagine the emptiness. Imagine driving through Delaware without seeing another car...that may come close.

I don't believe or disbelieve...I believe in God...if he wants other people, who am I to complain.

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Comments 36 comments

Proud Mom profile image

Proud Mom 7 years ago from USA

Oh, you had to go there, didn't you???!!??!!  :-))

No, really. Great hub!!

k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Mom, Yeah, Guess I did...It's a wonderful time at the festival! Glad you liked it!!!

All the best k@ri!

Mike Fuller profile image

Mike Fuller 7 years ago from Indiana

that's great, I'm glad you finally got the car sometimes you just gotta snap! the museum looks cool I have been in a Mcdonalds shaped like a happy meal but never a flying saucer Great hub!

Elena. profile image

Elena. 7 years ago from Madrid

Hi k@ri!  You had me rolling on the floor with the intro!  And I chuckled my way through pretty much of it :-)  See, I was in NM last spring, and I think you describe it pretty well, the empty spaces, the feeling of solitude while you drive around there.  I never made it to Roswell, but at least I can say I know where Taos is!  Laugh!

k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Mike, Thanks! I was glad I got the car, also. I couldn't believe they weren't going to rent to me, but after the 4 hours, I guess i understood. Where is the McD's shaped like a happy meal...never saw one like that!

Elena, Thanks! So, you are one of the enlightened ones. Glad you got a laugh! It was like living in the twilight zone, the first few years. Everything was very different. I did grow to love NM, eventually!

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

The parts of New Mexico that I have seen has not included Roswell. Thanks for this interesting hub! BTW, why would a Creator populate only one planet in all the galaxies out there? I remain open minded!

Proud Mom profile image

Proud Mom 7 years ago from USA

"The Roswell Incident" by Charles Berlitz and William Moore was my favorite book on this subject.

You crack me up, k@ri!!!!

mamakaren 7 years ago

fASCINATING! Why didn't I ever get to Roswell in all my visits to NM?

k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Peggy, Eastern NM is quite a place! You should go to Roswell! BTW the Creator can do what he wants to in my book!

Proud Mom, I'm not willing to go one way or the other on the Roswell incident. That is why I only include the info at the end.

Mamakaren, You never asked!

Proud Mom profile image

Proud Mom 7 years ago from USA

k@ri-- I'm right there with you. But it does provide for some good entertainment, doesn't it?

Gail S profile image

Gail S 7 years ago

That first drive from Lubbock must have been an adventure! I always wondered what the Roswell story was...

k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Proud Mom, It sure is good entertainment!

Gail, Now you know! Truth or Lies? New Mexico is really different...I would go down one road, between Fort Sumner and Santa Rosa, it was 45 minutes of nothing! I swear sometimes it would take me 30 minutes, sometimes an hour and a half. Very weird road!

daveearley profile image

daveearley 7 years ago from Chicago, IL

It's nice to know that if I ever get stuck out in the desert somewhere, there may not be anything for miles, but at least a McDonalds's will be out there somewhere. LOL

k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

dave, those golden arches are everywhere! Out in NM they will often put the arches up high so they can be seen for miles!

Netters profile image

Netters 7 years ago from Land of Enchantment - NM

You hit it right on the head. When I told my family in Jersey i was moving to New Mexico they asked me the same thing. They still think I live in Mexico. There is a whole lot of nothing out here. Our drive from Alamogordo to Albuquerque is 4 hours long, and very boring. I will get to the festival one of these years.

k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Netters, Good to hear from you! I was 4 hours east of Albuquerque...short drive by NM standards! Thanks for reading!

frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 7 years ago from Central United States of America

Your hub is informative and delightful! I wish I could be there in July. I lived in Albuquerque and remember the news hype about the Roswell and Magdelena UFO crashes - barely! Will be back to enjoy more of your writing. And just joined your hub too! Thanks!

k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

frogyfish, The festival is alot of fun! I won't be making it this year either. I'm glad you liked it! Thanks for becoming a fan!

Guy Malone 7 years ago

Hi Kari! I really like the pics on this page. Would it be okay if I added some of them to my site? guymalone "at"

k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Guy, You can add them to your site. Many of them are from, so you cannot sell them. I checked your site out...NICE! You should really come here to hubpages and write!

Laughing Mom profile image

Laughing Mom 7 years ago

Kari--my sister-in-law still lives there and usually goes on vacation during the festival. Hubby and the kids are going this year and staying with her. I'm staying home in protest. :-)

k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

LOL, Laughing Mom! Protest of what? Alien Abuse? or Sister in Law?

trooper22 profile image

trooper22 7 years ago from Chicago

I have seen and heard a great deal of debate regarding this incident, honestly there is compeling ecidence on both sides of the fence and I am not sure what to believe.  The one thing I do know is this.  If we are alone....well, I think Carl Sagan answered this far better than I can with his characters in the screen play for the movie "Contact."

ELLIE: "Do you think there're people on other planets?" 

TED: "Well let's see... the Universe is a pretty big place... And the one thing I know about nature is it hates to waste anything.  So I guess  I'd say if it is just us, an awful lot of space is going to waste."

k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

LOL trooper! Wonderful statement! I don't know, but it sounds logical. Thanks for that! I wonder always, and have no answer.

Laughing Mom profile image

Laughing Mom 7 years ago

Ha Ha! Probably a little bit of both! Mostly the in-laws.

k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Laughing Mom, LOL! :D

lxxy profile image

lxxy 7 years ago from Beneath, Between, Beyond

"...New Mexico was part of the United States..."


I've teleported to a few UFO cons. Interesting, open minded people. People who are not afraid to be themselves.

Good times.

k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

lxxy, Yes, New Mexico is a part of the US...funny thing is, now that I am back east, people ask me how long I lived in Mexico. LOL!

They are a very fun crowd. People who are definitely not afraid to be themselves...and who love to have fun!

RachaelLefler profile image

RachaelLefler 6 years ago from Illinois

Hey, when I went to Roswell and visited the gift shops, (there's several little shops around it that sell alien stuff, in addition to the museum gift shop) I bought a 3-foot tall plastic alien you can drink out of. Couldn't pass it up! And, yes, I really loved the people. Very laid back, which I liked.

k@ri profile image

k@ri 6 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Rachael, Of course I wouldn't be able to pass up a 3-foot tall plastic alien either! Especially one you can drink think were out of stock while I was there. By the way...what do you drink from a plastic alien? LOL :D

ceholmes profile image

ceholmes 6 years ago from Chicago

This is really cool! thanks for writing this, I would like to visit Roswell.

k@ri profile image

k@ri 6 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

ceholmes, It is a really fun time! Thanks! :D

maheshpatwal profile image

maheshpatwal 6 years ago from MUMBAI

Really great piece of writing. I really like your style of writing.. when i was reading your hub i was feeling as if i was reading a fiction book from some PRO..... Never knew that somewhere in this part of the world people and not the ALINES celebrate UFO festivals.....

k@ri profile image

k@ri 5 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

maheshpatwal, Yes, it's a strange and wonderful time. I recommend it highly. Thanks for the compliment! :D

Max_Power profile image

Max_Power 5 years ago from Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia.

Hi K@ri,

Great story, and you painted an excellent picture of the festival. I don't know the truth about the alien crash, but it makes for an interesting topic.

If I ever make it to the US, the UFO museum will definitely be on my list of things to do!



1947 Roswell UFO incident and Roswell name genetically comes from his 4 greats grandfather William Beamont born Carlyle, Scotland

South from Roswell Scotland opposite ROSSLYN CHAPEL MIDLOTHIAN SCOTLAND.

William Beamont

born 1607 died 12/4/1699

Rebekah Beamont

born 17/9/1659 died 3/4/1742 3 greats grandmother

John Clark

born 11/6/1689 died 16/12/1777 2 greats grandfather

Abigail Clark great grandmother

born 21/4/1720 died 1784

Rachel Pratt grandmother

born 19/3/1769 died 7/5/1839

Wealthy Pratt mother

born 18/11/1797 married 18/11/1797

Roswell C. Smith son

Roswell, New Mexico gets its name from a Lawyer onetime from Layfayette, Indiana, he married Annie Ellsworth, daughter of U.S.

Patent Commissioner Henry Leavite Ellsworth, Roswells son Van C. Smith filed a claim with Federal Government for land 20/8/1873 and a Post Office was erected and he became first Postmaster originally the Roswell ground named after and honor of his father Roswell C. Smith and was known earlier as Rio Hondo,"Let it be known that the son was calling this place Roswell" and his father Roswell C. Smith back in Nebrasca addressing mail to Rio Hondo could not be delivered anywhere along the stream and would be delayed in reaching him.


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