News-Register file photo##The UFO Parade attracts crowds of humans and other beings each year.
News-Register file photo##The UFO Parade attracts crowds of humans and other beings each year.
News-Register file photo##Parade-goers get into the spirit of the event. The UFO Festival also includes speakers, a sci-fi film fest and a pet costume contest.
News-Register file photo##Parade-goers get into the spirit of the event. The UFO Festival also includes speakers, a sci-fi film fest and a pet costume contest.
By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

UFO Festival: The greening of McMinnville

The event offers something for everyone and everything, whether you're a ufology scholar, a fan who likes to parade around in Star Trek gear, or a gray or green who's spending your vacation on Earth this year.

McMenamins Hotel Oregon hosts many of the events, including a new wine tasting and music activity called Close Encounters of the 3rd Vine that kicks off the festival from 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday. Tickets are $22 in advance or $25 at the door.

Big-name speakers are scheduled at the McMinnville Community Center. Each talk costs cost $20 in advance or $25 at the door; passes also are available that cover several programs. In addition, visitors can have lunch or breakfast with the speakers.

McMinnville Downtown Association hosts other parts of the UFO Festival on Third Street. The biggest draw is the alien parade, which will move west on Third starting at 2 p.m. Saturday. A popular pet dress up contest — Fido as Yoda, anyone? — takes place later that afternoon.

Along the way, the festival also will include dances, films, a live radio broadcast, 5K and kids' runs and plenty more. Booths will offer souvenirs, food and beverages.

And, of course, there will be a segment about the Trent Sighting, which inspired McMenamins to start the UFO Festival in 2000.

Fifty years earlier, local farmers snapped pictures of a UFO hovering over their farm between McMinnville and Sheridan. They took the negatives to the Telephone Register, a forerunner of the News-Register, and the T-R became the first mainstream newspaper to print a UFO photo.

The image drew worldwide attention. It has never been disproved.

A film about the Trent sighting will be shown at 7 p.m. Friday in the Hotel Oregon. Admission is free.

This year's festival will feature several nationally known speakers.

  • Filmmaker Jeremy Corbell will discuss “UFO Secrecy: A Techtonic Shift” at 7 p.m. Thursday night in the community center, $20/$25.
  • “The Bob Lazar Story: UFOs and Fierce Technology,” about a man who says he reverse-engineered alien craft at Area 51, presented by Jeremy Corbell, 3 p.m. Friday, community center, $20/$25.
  • “The 1994 Ariel School Phenomenon," about a UFO sighting by 60 schoolchildren, presented by Randall Nickerson, 7 p.m. Friday, community center, $20/$25.
  • “Skinwalker Ranch: Stunning New Information Revealed,” about a Utah site with all sorts of unexplained phenomena, presented by investigative journalist George Knapp, 10 a.m. Saturday, community center, $20/$25.
  • Speaker panel and question-and-answer session, 6 p.m. Saturday, community center, $20/$25.
  • Breakfast with the speakers George Knapp and Jeremy Corbell, 9:30 a.m. meal, 10 a.m. speaker presentation, Mattie's Room at Hotel Oregon, $25 in advance, limited seating.

 

Other activities include:

 

Thursday: 

  • Live radio broadcast of Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis, 7 p.m. to midnight, Paragon Lounge in the Hotel Oregon, free.
  • Music by Kirby Swatosh and the Moon Rock Patrol, 7 to 10 p.m., Cellar Bar at the Hotel Oregon, free.

 

Friday:

  • Sci-fi film festival, in the 3rd St. Pizza Co's Moonlight Theater, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., free.
  • Lunch with speakers, 11:30 a.m. meal and noon speakers Jeremy Corbell, Randall Nickerson, Peter Davenport and others, Mattie's Room in the Hotel Oregon, $40.
  • Criss-crossing Science: The Truth is in HERE, a live podcast recording, 4:30 to 6 p.m., Mattie's Room at Hotel Oregon, free.
  • Alien Landing Party with live music, 5 to 11 p.m., tent outside the Hotel Oregon, free.
  • Live music Kirby Swatosh, 7 to 10 p.m., Cellar Bar, Hotel Oregon, free.
  • Live radio broadcast of Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis, 7 p.m. to midnight, Paragon Lounge in the Hotel Oregon, free.

 

Saturday:

  • Music by the Urban Shaman, noon to 2 p.m., US Bank Plaza, Third and Davis streets, free.
  • UFO Festival Parade along Third Street, 2 p.m. free.
  • Willamette Radio Workshop, 3 p.m. , Mattie's Room at Hotel Oregon, free.
  • Garcia Birthday Band, 3 to 5 p.m. in the tent at Third and Evans, free.
  • Alien Pet Costume Contest, at Grain Station Brew Works at Fifth and Irvine, 3:30 p.m. registration, 4 p.m. judging, free.
  • Live radio broadcast of Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis, 7 p.m. to midnight, Paragon Lounge in the Hotel Oregon, free.
  • Music by Kirby Swatosh and the Moon Rock Patrol, 7 to 10 p.m., Cellar Bar at the Hotel Oregon, free.
  • Alien costume ball with music by Big Mama Gayle and her Sugar Daddies, 8 to 11 p.m., Mattie's Room, Hotel Oregon, free.
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