6/24/2007 2:23:00 PM 

Amazing UFO festival
The Amazing Roswell UFO Festival, scheduled July 5-9 all over Roswell, promises to be the best UFO festival yet.

Ten years ago, Roswell was packed with UFO enthusiasts, here for the 50th anniversary of the Roswell Incident, the crash of an unidentified flying object on a ranch northwest of Roswell in July 1947.

Since then, attendance has dropped off more each year and in the past couple of years we have heard a lot of speculation over whether the annual festival would survive another year.

This year, the city of Roswell has taken over the festival, and planners have scheduled such a variety of activities that everyone should be able to find something to their liking. The 2007 Amazing Roswell UFO Festival is the kind of extravaganza that should have been taking place all along.

There actually are two UFO festivals this year. The Internatinal UFO Museum and Research Center has decided to do its own thing - "Roswalien Experience 2007" - and also has activities scheduled each day.

Certainly there's plenty here for the serious student of Ufology - the study of unidentified flying objects. Lectures are scheduled every day at the UFO Museum, Bassett Auditorium at the Roswell Museum & Art Center, Robert H. Goddard Planetarium and the Roswell Convention and Civic Center.

In addition, there will be vendors and exhibits at the Convention Center, along with live broadcasts. At the Wool Bowl, there will be tethered balloon flights each morning and helicopter rides after that. Great Southwest will be providing flights over Roswell at the Roswell International Air Center. Buses will take people out to the crash site on the Corn Ranch.

A carnival will be set up at the Wool Bowl beginning Tuesday, July 3. Children's outdoor activities will be offered at the Wool Bowl Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Concerts will be held from mid-afternoon until midnight every night at the Wool Bowl.

Friday morning, aircraft will fly in to RIAC for the Roswell Airfest 2007 - the successor to the Roswell Spectacular Air Show of past years. Aircraft will be on display at RIAC all day Friday and Saturday. Aircraft also will perform in the skies over Roswell on Friday and Saturday afternoon.

The Alien Motorcycle Rally will be held Friday through Sunday at the Elks Lodge. And, of course, there will be an alien costume contest at the Convention Center and the light parade head down Main Street on Saturday night.

Oh, and don't forget the "UFOetry" readings (UFO-related poetry) and performances of the play "Rendezvous over Roswell" at the Roswell Community Little Theatre.

Sports activities during the weekend include the Alien Chase Run on Saturday, World's Best Skateboard & BMX Athletes performances Friday and Saturday, alien disk golf competition Friday, UFO Soccer, Mud Volleyball and Dodgeball tournaments Saturday and Sunday.

The Amazing Roswell UFO Festival has received attention in national and international press, so maybe some of the UFO aficionados who haven't been back since the 1997 festival will come again.

Planners have done all they can to make the 2007 festival a success. It would be nice if it were a financial success for the city, but even if expenses far outweigh costs, if it brings large numbers of people to town, it will be a success.