The 22nd Annual McMinnville UFO Festival

A woman wearing a grey alien mask pets a dog
“We, too, keep humans as pets.” | Photo by @leo_visions

Here at PDXtoday headquarters, we used our sophisticated hacking skills to intercept an intergalactic transmission. After deciphering the message, it appears that extraterrestrials of all sorts will be landing their spacecraft Thurs., May 12-Sun., May 15 for the 22nd Annual McMinnville UFO Festival.

You may be wondering why humans and aliens converge in wine country every year — other than the out-of-this-world pinot noir, that is. The story traces back to the turn of the millennium when McMenamins purchased the Hotel Oregon property in downtown McMinnville, located about an hour from Portland. 

Historian Tim Hill was enlisted to research the building + town’s past and came across a front-page news article from 1950, telling the tale of a UFO sighting by a local farmer named Paul Trent. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of this mysterious occurrence, Tim helped organize the first UFO Festival; it’s grown remarkably since then, second only to the gathering in Roswell, New Mexico

Whether you’re a believer or not, you won’t want to miss these cosmic events.

👽 Friday, May 13

  • Into the Parabnormal | 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | Free | Join host Jeremy Scott in Hotel Oregon’s Paragon Room as he interviews several of the festival’s featured speakers for a live radio recording.
  • Landing Party | 4-10 p.m. | Free | The festivities launch in earnest with a glow-in-the-dark light party, food, beverages (try the Alienator IPA), live music, and McMenamins Passport stamps. 

👽 Saturday, May 14

  • Alien Abduction Dash 5K | 8:30 a.m. | $25 | This run starts at Joe Dancer Park. Register by Thurs., May 12 and pick up your packet before the race.
  • Alien Costume Contest | 12-1:30 p.m. | Free | Attach your tentacles, don your helmet, and sign up at the Passport table (starting at 10 a.m.).
  • UFO Festival Parade | 3:30 p.m. | Free | Welcome our interplanetary visitors as they warp drive through downtown.
  • Alien Pet Costume Contest | 4:30 p.m. | Free | Bring your bedecked dogs or other friendly animals over to Buchanan Cellers for a paw-some demonstration.