The UFO and Alien Festival in Roswell, NM
Check out the 2008 UFO Festival in Roswell, NM
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!
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.
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!
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!
Information on the UFO Festival in Roswell, NM
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. 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.