"Alien Invasion Parade"

Archived From
Roswell Record Newspapper

Alien Invasion 2005

Judges pick favorite spacecraft,
aliens from UFO Festival parade

Robin Briscoe
Record Staff Writer

Various spacecraft and shining aliens lit up the night during Saturdayís parade,
and an anonymous panel of judges took notice.

The Lights in the Night Sally Byrne Celebration of Life parade included
some 40 entries.

The panel judged entries in six categories, and judges were given free rein
to pick what stood out, said Kimberly Byrne, an organizer of the UFO Festival

The Star Wars theme float by Eastern New Mexico Medical Center took home
the Sweepstakes Award for the second year as the overall best float.

The float portrayed Star Wars characters who stormed out and fought with
caged aliens. The theme song from the movie blasted into the night.

A group of passionate employees planned all year for the parade entry,
according to Clarissa Gonzales, marketing director at ENMMC.

The float is similar to last yearís float, she said, adding that the group
expanded on the entry.

The Most Original Award went to the Smoke, Debris and Recovery Team that
set the story line for the entire parade.

Darrel Alexander, commander of the Roswell alien air force, said he
believes the theme isnít original because it happened 58 years ago.

The story set up by the team was an alien invasion. The jet that flew
overhead to kick off the parade was the UFO that crashed north of Roswell.
A recovery team picked up the survivors and debris to be brought back during
the parade on a float.

A committee worked for about a year on the alien invasion that involved
30 people, Alexander said.

The Light in the Night Award went to Chiliís Grill and Bar. Byrne said
this category involved finding a unique and unusual float.

The float portrayed six crafted chili pepper men. One additional chili
pepper was being abducted by a flying spaceship.

The general manager of Chiliís Grill and Bar, Katherine Wood, said that
a group of staff members spent two to three weeks working on the project
and that it was a great team building experience.

Roswell resident Norma McQuaid won the Outstanding Alien Award for her
alien appearance on a scooter during the parade. She described her
costume as different and strange. She also won in last yearís parade.

A local family entry won the Best Walking Unit Saturday. The entry was
a lit-up spaceship built around a child in a wheel chair, and friends
and family walked along side.

Champion Motor Sportsí Follow the Lights entry won honorable mention.
Two motorcycle owners performed tricks and involved the entry with more
than 100 other motorcycle riders at the end of the parade line.

New Mexico Mini Coopers won the Best Motorized Entry for their team of
British cars.

Winners took home trophies and prize money totaling $1,000, Byrne said.

Wal-Martís sponsorship of the parade made it possible, she said, adding
they deserve a special thanks.

Sources --
---------- Roswell Record Newspapper (www.roswell-record.com)