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Posted on Saturday, July 03 - 2004

" After months of planning, Roswell 2004, formerly known as the UFO Festival, starts today.Those who sit on the Roswell 2004 committee say the planning and coordination among members has paid off, and everything is ready to go.“The major preparations have already been done,” said Julie Shuster, direc..."

user posted imageAfter months of planning, Roswell 2004, formerly known as the UFO Festival, starts today.Those who sit on the Roswell 2004 committee say the planning and coordination among members has paid off, and everything is ready to go.“The major preparations have already been done,” said Julie Shuster, director of the International UFO Museum and Research Center and co-chairwoman of the festival committee. “Each of the committee members has their little ducks in a row, and so now we’re just doing the last-minute — making sure the coffee pots are where they’re supposed to be and ... waiting for vendors to come in (Wednesday) night.”Shuster said committee members have worked hard tocreate an event that will be a success.“The people that are involved want to be involved and they — their names are on it, so they want to make it a success as much as possible, not only for the community, but for the sense of pride they’ve got,” she said.Last year, about 9,300 people went through the museum during the festival; Shuster hopes to double that number this weekend.“So we’re looking at, I’m saying, anywhere from 15-20,000, we will be ecstatic,” she said.

“Anything more than that is going to be just overwhelming, we’re going to be thrilled.”Roswell City Planner Zach Montgomery, co-chairman of the festival, said city management has been key to ensure the coordination, approval and accomplishment of event logistics. Various entities — Roswell Police and Fire departments, Keep Roswell Beautiful, Parksand Recreation, Streets and Sanitation, Special Electronics, Code Enforcement, Business Licensing, the Roswell Convention and Civic Center, Roswell Museum and Art Center and especially city management — have contributed to help things run smoothly this weekend, he said.Locals and tourists alike should come see what the festival has to offer; after all, Roswell’s in a unique and fortunate position, he said.“Roswell is a household name around the world, and all we’re trying to do is capitalize on that, to the benefit of the local businesses,” Montgomery said. “So whether you believe or not, come have some fun.”Last fall, the Roswell Chamber of Commerce gave up sole sponsorship of the event. Soon afterward, a group of community members came together and with only a little more than half a year to go until July,started ...


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