Extraterrestrials wait to take the stage during the Alien Costume Contest at the 2012 Roswell UFO Festival, Saturday. Mark Wilson Photos
From laser-eyed guinea pigs to statuesque sun goddesses, the alien costume contests offered UFO Festival spectators extraordinary exhibitions in creativity known only to Roswell.
The pet contest featured 14 entrants vying for Earthly supremacy on the north lawn of the Civic Center, Saturday, where Gordeaux, strapped with aluminum armor, was readied for battle by his people, Curtis and Emily Champagne from Mission, Texas.
“His defense mechanisms are his spikes. And he’s very uneasy around Earthlings,” Emily warned. “Gordeaux is from the planet Alumina, and his favorite food is Tribbles — plentiful on his planet!”
Buggzey Boo, guinea pig queen of the planet G.P., was wheeled on stage in a crafty space vehicle made by Matt from Carlsbad. Matt, 11, entered Buggzey in the pet contest the past two years, capturing third place at both events.
With red, laser eyes, a mighty paw and the fearsome “squeak of annoyance,” Buggzey utilized her unique powers to capture second place for Matt, who said he spent four days preparing for the contest.
“I used a jump-suit, a sock, a couple of beads and some stick-on stuff,” Matt said of Buggzey’s get-up. “It’s fun. I like winning trophies.”
Susana Guzman, from Kingman, Ariz., earned third place with her dog Bear. Guzman shared how Bear, a biker from the planet Cripton, likes eating boa constrictors and soaking up the sun whenever possible. Guzman said preparing for the event with her two sisters was a blast.
“We had an awesome time doing all the costumes, getting together and making stuff — it was great!” she said. “I enjoyed this thoroughly. Bear really enjoys events like these; he goes to all the motorcycle rallies.”
Roswell resident Vincent DeHoyos and his pug Ositos were the big winners at the pet contest, both dressed as superheroes of nutrition. DeHoyos, who co-owns Out of this World Nutrition at 1010 S. Main St., came to the event dressed as Herba-Hero, earning first place with Ositos — Herba-Hero’s trusty sidekick.
“We’re on a mission for nutrition,” DeHoyos said. “We have one body to live. If we take care of it, it will take care of us!”
The costume contest for humans delivered a variety of colorful characters to the Civic Center, where 45 entrants competed in adult and child categories of Scariest, TV and Movie, and Most Creative.
Roswell resident Ashley Reese dressed as a sun goddess for the event, entering the contest with her sister Kalli McKelvey in the Most Creative category. Reese said she and McKelvey spent hours of preparation on their costumes.
“We were awake from all day yesterday until four o’clock this morning, and only got a few hours of sleep. Then we woke up in the morning and got right back into it. We’ve been working up until five minutes ago!”
Of her costume, McKelvey commented, “I’m from Neptune, and I’m blue because my source of food is methane gas.”
Roswell residents Sienna Fleming and Paloma Dooley captured first place in Adult Most Creative, going on to capture first overall with a highly inventive approach.
“We used up three full-length mirrors, broke them all up and glued them on,” Fleming said of the two futuristic, black and silver costumes.
“Lots of tape, glue and velcro. … We couldn’t see very much, but we could feel this great energy!”
Carlsbad residents Jim and Debbie Daley entered the event with their two grandchildren Kyle and Kelsey, each dressed as alien sumo wrestlers. Jim said Kyle spotted sumo outfits while at a rummage sale, and the rest was history.
“We looked for something that would be interesting,” he said. “Our grandson is into sumo-wrestling, and when he saw these sumo costumes, we just thought a sumo alien would be a good, original idea!”
Mead Myer, from Tucson, Ariz., arrived in Roswell for the first time Saturday, entering the contest as a Sputnik-era alien equipped with an arsenal of tinfoil accessories.
“It’s fun! It’s so fun!” Myer said. “All the inhibitions go away. It’s so neat to see what people make of it. People just let themselves be an alien for a day.”
Stewart Madson, from Melbourne, Australia, and Kelsey Tapp, from southeast Texas, entered the Scariest category dressed as Anunnaki, representations of a nefarious reptilian race. Madson and Tapp linked up on the Internet prior to Saturday’s event, their first trip to Roswell.
Madson said the costumes he and Madson donned were purchased at a store called Mostly Dead, and that the two spent hours piecing them together and applying paint. “They’re latex prosthetics, so they conform to your face. It’d work out a lot better if I didn’t have a beard under this!”
Tapp said her experience in Roswell during such festivities has been tremendous, an experience she won’t forget any time soon. “This brings out the deepest parts of people, the creative twitches. It gives you a chance to really express yourself in ways that you wouldn’t be able to in a normal community.
“… It’s absolutely thrilling — the people here are wonderful, they’re very nice. There’s a lot of hospitality in Roswell.”