Weekend UFO Festival in Shag Harbour could be last of its kind

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Graham Simms and Chris Styles signing their latest book, Impact to Contact, at the 2013 UFO Festival.

 

By Haleigh Atwood

Special to the Coast Guard

When the annual Shag Harbour UFO Festival is celebrated on Aug. 9 to 10 at the local Incident Museum, it may be the last of its kind.

Located on the lighthouse route, the museum is a hidden jewel that tourists often accidentally stumble upon. Despite the remote location, the Shag Harbour Incident Society has seen over 550 visitors since June 8.  Unfortunately, the museum cannot thrive on admission fees alone; it is a non-profit organization that remains privately maintained by the Incident Society, a society that is slowly running low on funds.

The outcome of this weekend’s Shag Harbour UFO Festival will partly determine whether the museum continues to run in 2015. Hopes are high and fingers are crossed as the festival is expected to bring in over 200 visitors.

There are many of events scheduled, including two symposiums featuring local witnesses, authors, and UFO researchers. The Incident Society is also hosting the Haligonian jazz band, Unidentified Funk Object, which will be performing a concert on Sunday, Aug. 10.

Although the festival officially begins on Saturday, the Incident Society will be selling a takeout chowder dinner in the evening on Friday, Aug. 8. Following the dinner, the museum will open for a public screening of Spielberg’s ET: The Extra Terrestrial.

On Saturday, Aug. 9 events are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. with a family picnic. The annual alien fashion show will take place in the afternoon, leading up to the first symposium of the weekend, which will run until early evening.

The Saturday symposium consists of local residents who claim to have witnessed the 1967 UFO, as well as author Stephen C. Brown whose science fiction novel, Sojourn’s Fall, is based on the Shag Harbour incident.   

On Sunday, the final day of the festival, the museum will be organizing family activities at 1pm, such as galactic tag and rocket ship building. Following the family activities the Sunday symposium will begin, featuring Nova Scotian UFO researchers Chris Styles and Graham Simms.

Unidentified Funk Object will close off the weekend at 6 p.m. with a concert inspired by their latest album at the Woods Harbour Community Centre. Lead singer, Greg Melchin, released the album’s track “Shag Harbour” on July 28 which is the band’s tribute to the Shag Harbour incident.

For more information on the Shag Harbour UFO Festival’s events visit their new website at www.shagharbourincident.wordpress.com. Certain events will have a charged admission.

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