Skip to comments.Church's Fourth of July Event Might Hamper Roswell Festival (Christians vs. UFO's)
Posted on 06/27/2006 1:07:13 PM PDT by CedarDave
Patriotism and UFOs are sparking a few fireworks of their own in Roswell this Fourth of July.
Tempers have flared over a Christian-themed Fourth of July event, sponsored by a Roswell church, scheduled at the same time as events for the city's 12th annual UFO festival.
The famous UFO festival is sponsored by the International UFO Museum and Research Center and runs from Thursday through Sunday. It commemorates the purported-but-never-proven July 4, 1947, crash of an alien saucer in the area.
Events in the UFO festival include a "Lights in the Night" parade at 9 p.m. Saturday, topped off with a mock UFO appearance, courtesy of a jet flyover from Holloman Air Force Base.
The festival, said Julie Shuster, the UFO museum's executive director, is one of the biggest annual events the city has and is a major tourist draw.
But, this year, the festival has some Saturday night competition a 9:15 p.m. fireworks show, sponsored by the local Church on the Move.
The church fireworks display will be the culmination of a daylong patriotic celebration at Cielo Grande Park called "One Nation Under God."
"My whole thing is why, in the middle of the UFO festival, do you have something else?" Shuster asked Monday.
Shuster said she was taken aback last week when she learned for the first time about the scope of the Church on the Move event.
Shuster said she asked the non-denominational church's pastor, Troy Smothermon, why he was "competing" with the UFO festival.
According to Shuster, Smothermon replied, "Because we don't believe in UFOs" and said the scheduling conflict was "on purpose."
Smothermon said he does not recall making that exact statement. However, referring to the Fourth of July, he said he wanted to emphasize the "true meaning of this holiday."
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