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Annual UFO Festival begins in McMinnville

The 20th annual festival kicks off Thursday night.

MCMINNVILLE, Ore. — It’s one of the largest UFO Festivals in the country and it takes place right here in Oregon.

The 20th Annual UFO Fest kicks off in McMinnville Thursday night.

Every year the festival has been growing and that’s no different this year. Organizers are expecting to see 20,000 people fill the streets of downtown McMinnville. They have been spending the last several months getting ready for the crowds.

The festival all started when a farmer took photos of what appeared to be an unidentified flying object back in 1950. The photos were published in the local paper about a month later. In 2000, McMenamins celebrated the 50th anniversary of those photos by starting the festival.

RELATED: Annual UFO Festival kicks off in McMinnville

“Every year we have people that will come up to be personally and have a story of what they might have gone through an abduction to a sighting to something that has come to them,” says Renee Rank Ignacio, Director of Marketing for McMenamins.

The big attraction at this weekend’s festivities is the parade Saturday afternoon.

They also have several guest speakers and even filmmakers who come out to the festival.