Z. grew up in a rural town in Western Oregon called McMinnville. Nestled between farms and long stretches of highway, McMinnville is home to the Alien Days parade.
He spoke about the parade as one of the town’s biggest attractions. I grew up in Oregon as well, and many of my classmates and teachers growing up would make the drive to McMinnville once a year to go and celebrate aliens and their presence in the Universe and McMinnville, in particular. Z. said:
“Alien Days parade in McMinnville is a tradition–one of the biggest alien celebrations/congregations in the US, if not the world. Apparently there have been a bunch of sightings in the area and the local culture is super connected to it. People from all over visit, and share stories and perpetuate myths. That’s been going on forever as well.”
The three-day long event gathers together people in a variety of alien-like costumes, participating in activities from trivia contests to story telling to barbecues.
The tradition has been happening since the 1950’s when one of the most famous photos of a UFO were taken in McMinnville on a plot of farm land. The photos are some of the only ones to have been taken that seem to have no explanation from the US government. The parade brings together people from all over to celebrate their belief in the myth of aliens who come to visit Earth from other galaxies. Because of their origin outside of our universe/reality, these stories could be classified as either legend or myth, depending on how you look at it.
To read more about the Alien Days parade, follow this link: https://visitmcminnville.com/about/articles/ufo-festival/