Today I visited my first UFO Festival and it was tucked away in the tiny village of Kecksburg, Pennsylvania. I’d been to Kecksburg before when I was writing the “Travelogue of Horror” book. You see, decades ago, an object fell from the sky and landed in this offshoot of Mount Pleasant, PA. The US military descended upon the town and confiscated the object which was either a spaceship shaped like an acorn, a Russian satellite or a time traveling Nazi super weapon depending on who you believe. You can read all about Kecksburg’s Space Acorn in my book but this article is about the annual UFO Festival which is a must see event in its own right.
The town has clearly embraced its otherworldly fame and lawn signs advertising the festival lined the roads leading into town. Upon entering Kecksburg I discovered the streets filled with cars and all of the parking lots full. Many visitors had parked on the sidewalks and I joined their lawbreaking ranks. I followed the sound of a country music band and the tunes led me to the Volunteer Fire Hall and VFW where the events were taking place.
Carnival type games and food stands occupied one corner of the site but I was more interested in the vendors which had a fantastic variety of UFO and cryptozoology themed merchandise. You could buy everything from an alien lanyard to a giant, chainsaw-carved wooden Sasquatche. Alas, I bought nothing.
After not shopping I took in the UFO Festival Conference which featured experts Stan Gordon, Eric Altman, John Ventre and Brian Seech. I especially enjoyed Altman’s lecture on bigfoot sightings in Western PA and snapped several photos of his presentation. Unfortunately I couldn’t hang around for Seech’s speech(es) on Cryptids of the Ohio Valley but a good time was had nonetheless.
I’d love to return to the UFO Festival next year. Maybe I’ll even enter the UFO Dog Eating Contest. Competitive eating might be a good back up career should this writing thing founder.