ROSWELL, NM (KRQE) – The 2020 UFO Festival and Roswell Galacticon have been canceled due to the coronavirus. The event will not be rescheduled according to MainStreet Roswell and the Roswell Galacticon that made the announcement Monday.
“Oh it’s a complete bummer,” said Laney Smith President of MainStreet Roswell.
The city announced that this year’s UFO Festival has been canceled due to the coronavirus. Coordinators said it was not an easy decision knowing people plan for this all year. People come to the festival from all over the world and organizers want to keep everyone safe.
“We’ve been planning this trip for like a year maybe,” said Megan Runge.
The festival brings up to 20,000 people to Roswell for the first weekend of July eager to see the legend of where aliens crash-landed, This festival is the lifeblood of a lot of small businesses in downtown Roswell bringing in more than $1 million of revenue over the weekend.
“Our best day last year, it was the second day of the festival, and we did over 3,000 people, just here,” said Beth Wiegand with the International UFO Museum and Research Center.
The festival coordinators said local businesses have already been struggling since they had to shut their doors because of the health order. They feel now that the festival is canceled, some businesses will have to close for good.
“The impact for our local merchants is horrible, so many will not be able to survive this and that’s so unfortunate,” said President of MainStreet Roswell Laney Smith.
MainStreet Roswell said they are working on some special ways to get shoppers to support the small businesses before they are gone.
“Though we have had to cancel the events scheduled for the Roswell Convention Center, the Roswell Galacticon Sci-Fi Film Fest will be held digitally. The winning films will be shown on our website during the original dates of July 3 to 5 and we are seeking the filmmakers’ permission to repeat showings throughout the month of July 2020,” said Elaine Mayfield, Roswell Galacticon Director.
This is the second major event canceled event in the community. Hike it & Spike It, the world’s largest four on four flag football tournament is held every Memorial Day weekend. It too was canceled because of the coronavirus.
The tourney draws more than 40,000 people from around the country including 600 teams.