BUCKHANNON — Members of the Buckhannon-Upshur community have teamed up with the Colonial Arts Center to host the sixth annual Gray Barker World UFO Day Event.
Every year on July 2, World UFO Day is celebrated internationally to recognize the Roswell UFO crash incident of 1947. On Saturday, July 2, from 2-4 p.m. at the Colonial Arts Center, there will be family-friendly activities and a celebration, which includes a scavenger hunt and a costume contest.
Gray Barker was a science fiction and supernatural author whose writings helped inspire the Oscar-winning “Men in Black” movies starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. Barker was also the manager of Buckhannon’s historic Colonial Theatre — now renamed the Colonial Arts Center — during the 1970s.
“The Colonial is thrilled to host the event this year for our Buckhannon community,” said Anne Wilson, manager of the Colonial Arts Center. “With Gray Barker’s ties to the old theatre, it’s important for us to celebrate our history, and this is just one of the first of many events to celebrate that.”
During the World UFO Day event, families can stop by the Colonial Arts Center from 2-4 p.m. to participate in a costume contest of their favorite aliens, monsters, or cryptids of any kind, as well as a scavenger hunt down Main Street with some local businesses. In addition, folks will also get the opportunity to receive a tour of the new theatre spaces inside the Colonial Arts Center as renovations continue. Dave McCauley, the host of past UFO Day events in Buckhannon, will also read a passage from Gray Barker’s book “They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers” inside the Colonial lobby.
“In the future, we’d like to advance this to a day-long festival, bringing in the Braxton County Monster and Mothman groups, and other West Virginia science fiction-loving folks from around our region to more fully celebrate all things UFOs here in WV,” said McCauley, when asked about the expected turnout for the event.
The Colonial Arts Center plans to become the new host for Buckhannon’s World UFO Day Event annually.