Alabama town celebrates UFO past with family festival

Published 11:58 pm Tuesday, August 19, 2008

FYFFE – The town of Fyffe attracted international attention with a string of UFO sightings nearly two decades ago and residents are expecting hundreds of visitors to descend upon the town again this weekend.

But this time it will be for a UFO of another kind.

Fyffe, a city of less than 1,000, is holding its fourth annual Unforgettable Family Outing or UFO Days on Friday and Saturday.

A mini-industry sprung up in Fyffe after the sightings in early 1989, which had hundreds of people showing up to gaze into the night sky in search of flying saucers.

“As everyone knows, we are the UFO capital of Alabama,” Fyffe Mayor Larry Lingerfelt said. “We have come to realize that our somewhat different reputation and worldwide fame of having alleged UFO sightings should be fostered and cherished.”

He said the festival has grown tremendously since its start three years ago and has a great impact on the local economy.

This year there will be helicopter rides for the first time and Rhythm Nation, a 10-piece Atlanta band with horns, will perform at the free event.

The festivities begin Friday morning with the liftoff of hot air balloons. Balloonists from all over the Southeast will provide hour-long rides across Sand Mountain.

Friday night’s music will start at 5, intertwined with the theme “Teen Night in the Park.”

On stage that night, a “Ms. Senior UFO Pageant” will take place followed by gospel and Christian music.

Lingerfelt said this pageant is also a first for the festival.

Saturday includes an antique tractor show and Civil War re-enactment, along with live music and street vendors.