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The annual McMenamins UFO Festival. complete with a parade, in McMinnville is not landing this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event will return in May 2021.

MCMINNVILLE — Spaceships and other unidentified flying objects won’t be cleared for landing in McMinnville until 2021, since McMenamins and the McMinnville Downtown Association decided to cancel this year’s UFO Festival.

Aliens and those who love them will swarm through town May 13-15, 2021, instead.

Organizers announced in April they were postponing the wildly popular festival until September. But this week they said it was canceled altogether for 2020 because of continuing coronavirus concerns.

"Our plan is to come back bigger and better next May," says the announcement on the McMenamins website.

McMenamins Hotel Oregon started the festival in 2000 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Trent Sighting, in which a farmer photographed a disc hovering over his land west of McMinnville in 1950.

The photo was printed in the Telephone-Register, a forerunner of the News-Register and seen by people around the world. The UFO evidence has never been disproved.

The UFO Festival became an annual event that draws thousands of visitors to McMinnville each year. It’s the biggest festival of its type outside Roswell, New Mexico.

A serious ufology conference is paired with light-hearted activities hosted by the downtown group, including a pet dress-up contest, fun run and parade. The latter event fills the downtown area with floats and people dressed as aliens — or are they real?

For more information about the 2021 UFO Festival, go to the website, ufofest.com.

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