The weather in McMinnville on Saturday was less than stellar—gray, overcast, and a threat of sprinkles that materialized just as the parade began. I hadn’t thought I’d be able to attend the UFO Festival this year, but apparently the Universe had other ideas.

Saturday’s parade down 3rd Street was a gathering of self-styled lunar loonies for at least a hundred-mile radius. I can say that without reservation because I live over 100 miles from McMinnville and I was there after all—in costume, of course.

I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for the things “out there” that cannot be, or have not been, fully explained to my satisfaction. Sasquatch, Nessie (the Loch Ness monster), “flying saucers” or UFOs of any type, even God—it’s an interesting list I ponder.

But on the 16th, there was no doubt in my mind that some of the “creatures” participating in this event were not of this planet. My goodness! What a wild and crazy assortment!

McMinnville boasts the second largest UFO Festival in the country. The largest is in… wait for it… Roswell, New Mexico.

But if Roswell’s 1947 “UFO Incident” means nothing to you, then you’re probably not going to remember Farmer Trent, either. He lived just outside McMinnville, and was responsible for photographing the controversial flying images of 1950.

Ah, well… Not everyone enjoys a good game of “dress up,” but I totally identify with eclectic and quirky people and fun festivals a little off the beaten path.

“A little off…” Yep, that’s describes me to a T!