When my friends and I decided to attend the Burien UFO Festival, we weren’t quite sure what to expect. Well, after a night of food trucks, David Bowie tributes, and tin foil hats, I can say that we did not leave disappointed.
The first thing we saw when we walked into downtown Burien on April 1, was a series of food trucks. This was pleasing to us as it was about 7:30pm (we were a little late to the festival) and we still hadn’t eaten dinner yet. We promptly ordered a few Tokyo Dogs with their signature teriyaki buttered onions and began walking through the festival. It was truly inspiring to see the town and local businesses get so involved with this event. There were businesses staying open long after closing time, alien-themed messages and displays in front of their shops, and the streets packed with tons of costumed people that want to believe. They even had a booth for the Highline Historical Society that was assembling and documenting UFO sightings reported by the festivalgoers!
While the BUFO Festival was great for adults, with the downtown Burien bars centrally located, it made for a fun night for families and kids as well. Right in the middle of town stood a massive UFO bounce house that was filled with happy, mini-aliens. Next to the bounce house, was a pop up movie screen that showed short films and the local favorite UFO film, The Maury Island Incident. There was also face painting, and a Full Tilt Ice Cream food truck featuring the new “Wheedle on the Needle” ice cream.
We walked around the entire festival and saw more than a few tin foil hats. We stopped by Burien Books and listened to a couple authors who quite literally wrote the book on the Maury Island incident, before the David Bowie tribute band began to play. The band was great! The frontman sounded just like Ziggy Stardust and they even had their backup singer come out and act as Freddie Mercury for “Under Pressure.” At one point, Mr. Bowie Tribute saw a person (I believe a woman) in the crowd that had the PERFECT Goblin King costume on, so of course he had to bring her up on stage for a bit.
After the tribute band we called it a night, but we had a great time! Again, it was really great to see the whole town get behind a funky festival with such a niche theme. The BUFO Festival has been going on since 2013 and it seems to be getting bigger and better every year. It seems to me that Burien is becoming the UFO capital of the Northwest, and who wouldn’t want to visit a paranormal hot spot like that? Next year, we plan to arrive early to see more of the performances and stay late until the winners of the costume contest are announced. Maybe if we start getting our costumes together now, we will win…