Each year, they invade McMinnville. They come from who knows where? Their outfits are wild. Their skin can be green or blue.
Some of them are dead serious while others have their tongues firmly planted in their cheeks.
They come for the UFO Festival. And the story of how it started is a fun one.
It was May 11, 1950. McMinnville farmer Evelyn Trent had just finished feeding her rabbits and was heading back to their farmhouse when she noticed a slow-moving, metallic disc-shaped object in the sky, heading in her direction from the northeast.
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Evelyn called out to her husband, Paul, to come out and see the disc. He says he also saw it and ran back into the house to get their Kodak camera. He snapped off two photos before the disc sped away to the west.
They shared the photos with the local McMinnville newspaper, The Telephone Register, which shared them with the United Press International and the images went the 1950 version of viral. Time and Life magazines put the pictures on their covers. And that event put McMinnville, Oregon, on the UFO sighting map.
Fast forward in warp speed to 1999. McMenamins Oregon Hotel, located in downtown McMinnville, pounced on the idea of holding an annual UFO Festival to commemorate the Trent’s saucer sighting.
This alien invasion is a welcome sight to downtown McMinnville merchants.
It’s not all costumes and weird skin paintings. There are also speakers, authors, UFO investigators and UFO experiencers.