Thousands of tourist are expected to descend on Roswell, New Mexico in the coming days for the annual UFO Festival. The festivities, which will include a costume contest, entertainment and even a parade, is scheduled for 2 July to 5 July.
According to the Roswell Daily Record, the festival will happen in downtown Roswell, between Third and Sixth streets along Main Street. Visitors will also be able to attend the Roswell Cosmicon, happening at the Roswell Mall, and the Roswell International Sci-Fi Film Festival at the Galaxy 8 theatre.
Mark Briscoe, the executive director of the International UFO Museum and Research Center, told the Daily Record that the museum attracts between 175,000 and 180,000 visitors a year. "They just like the whole thing. They like the 1947 story and we have so much information with the research center and library," Briscoe said.
Briscoe added that he expects between 7,000 and 10,000 visitors between Thursday (2 July) and Sunday (5 July). Roswell public affairs director DeAnna Phillips said the festival is the city's signature event, according to the Associated Press reported.
Local business owners told KRQE News 13 that while the event is a lot of work, it pays off. Pescos Flavors Winery owner Robin Folse told KRQE, "We stock up on anything with an alien face on it, lots of beer, lots of wine."
Fellow business owner Anne Baker, who owns Stellar Coffee Company, said the shop is extending hours and bringing in entertainment.
"Something happened, it was a big news story and its never gonna go away and it's internationally known and people are going to keep coming to this town to find out more about it and we might as well enjoy it, have fun with it, embrace it," she said.
The festival will also host several guest speakers and an Alien Chase 5K/10K Run/Walk.