Monday, April 2, 2012

UFO Museum takes Roswell Festival lead

ROSWELL — The International UFO Museum and Research Center reports it has taken the lead in organizing the 2012 Roswell Galaxy Fest.

Julie Shuster, executive director of the UFO Museum, had served as co-chair of the 2011 Festival. She was asked to again co-chair this year’s event. However, Shuster said the city’s contract for the co-chairs to sign was not ready until mid-March.

“Fortunately, the UFO Museum had been planning the 2012 Festival since March of last year,” Shuster said. “As soon as the Festival was over last year, we were booking speakers, authors, and vendors for this year’s event.”

The city’s Festival has been built around the UFO Museum since the first one was launched in 1997, marking the 50th anniversary of the reported crash of a UFO near Roswell in 1947.

The Museum, in fact, organized the Festival for years, until the City of Roswell asked to help organize some of the events.

After Del Jurney was elected mayor 2 years ago, he asked Shuster and businessman Greg Neal to co-chair the 2011 Roswell UFO Festival.

The Festival was a resounding success.

“The UFO Museum board of directors was proud of the job Julie and Greg did to bring down costs for the city UFO Festival, while improving the quality of the event,” said Jack Swickard, president of the Museum’s directors. “Organization and business sense are  key to organizing and operating a community festival. Julie and Greg demonstrated this last year.”

Swickard said the Museum’s directors back Shuster’s decision to concentrate on the Museum’s role in the 2012 Festival.

“Four of us met with Mayor Jurney and other city officials earlier this week and made it clear the Museum wants to work closely with the City of Roswell to make this year’s Festival a big success,” Swickard said. “A successful Festival is good for the community and good for the Museum.”

This year's Festival will run June 29-July 2.

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