In a cosmic convergence of creativity and quirkiness, on Friday, Aug. 4, 2023, the Burien UFO Festival returned to its roots with a cosmic Costume Contest in Olde Burien, all thanks to co-founders/organizers John White and Shelli Park, along with several volunteers and sponsors.

Aliens of all shapes, sizes, and species, including canine visitors from distant galaxies, a tardigrade in its magnificent microscopic glory, and an enigmatic group of three Women In Black, made this year’s event a celestial spectacle like no other.

One of the highlights of the out-of-this-world extravaganza was the Costume Contest, hosted by DJ Marco Collins and DJ Lucky Strike.

Burien was swept off its feet as dozens of people lined the streets to witness the parade of imaginative extraterrestrial ensembles. The festival, held to celebrate the town’s unique history of UFO sightings and encounters, surpassed all expectations this time around.

At the heart of the buzz was a squad of costumed dogs, elegantly masquerading as aliens from far-off planets. Local dog owners Mandy and Desiree teamed up with their furry friends to create adorably otherworldly outfits complete with antennae, glowing collars, and even shiny, flowing capes. Bystanders were in awe of the sight, and it was clear that the pooches themselves had fully embraced their newfound alien identities, wagging their tails with celestial delight.

Among the many other creative getups was a tardigrade costume that captured the essence of these tough, tiny, and seemingly indestructible microorganisms. Kelsey Swift managed to shrink down her appearance to microscopic proportions, complete with an accurate depiction of the tardigrade’s eight pudgy legs and its trademark plump belly.

One of the most mysterious and intriguing entries was the group of three Women In Black, shrouded in dark suits and sunglasses, and maintaining an air of enigmatic secrecy as they glided down the street. Witnesses couldn’t help but wonder if these individuals were indeed real WIBs disguised as humans or just dedicated enthusiasts paying tribute to the iconic mythology that started with The Maury Island Incident in June, 1947.

The festival’s founders and organizers expressed their delight at the event’s success.

“Every year, the Burien UFO Festival aims to bring together the community in a fun and imaginative way,” they said. “We are overwhelmed by the creativity and enthusiasm displayed by everyone who participated. It’s heartwarming to see people of all ages and backgrounds coming together to celebrate the mysteries of the universe.”

As the contest drew to a close, participants and spectators gathered as cash prizes were handed out for various categories. The winners were ecstatic and proudly posed for photos, immortalizing their cosmic achievements.

The 2023 Burien UFO Festival Costume Contest will undoubtedly be etched into the annals of local space history, leaving an indelible mark on B-Town and its inhabitants.

Until next year’s extravaganza, Burien will remain a haven for all things extraterrestrial, and who knows what intergalactic wonders will grace the streets once more!

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Winners of BUFO Costume Contest:

There was a three-way run-off for Crowd Favorite between:

  • Kelsey Swift as a Tardigrade Alien
  • Michelle Couture, Julette Couture and Shelly Voie as Women In Black
  • Mandy and Desiree with dogs Tex & Rambo

…and the Crowd Favorite was…Mandy and Desiree with alien dogs Tex & Rambo!

Other winners included:

  • Kelsey Swift – Extraterrestrial Excellence as Tardigrade Alien
  • Beck Family – Out of this World Kid’s Category Winner
  • Rambo & Tex – Galactic Good Dog winners
  • Gael & Steph – Most Likely to be Abducted team category as Astronaut & Alien BFFs.
  • Michelle Couture, Julette Couture and Shelly Voie were the winners of the MIB category.

Thanks Volunteers

“What a wonderful event,” organizers said. “We’re still glowing from all of the community spirit! And it wouldn’t have been so successful without the team of volunteers, Olde Burien businesses and organizational partners.”

Thank you to the volunteers:

  • Crystal German
  • Kellie Bassen
  • Theresa Schaefer
  • Kate Fournier
  • David Yama
  • Kelsey Swift
  • Lochlin German
  • Lance McIntosh
  • Heather Fournier
  • Ashley White
  • Sue Emerson
  • Rick Sands
  • David Templeton
  • Karen Evans
  • Sarah Moore
  • Eric Dickman
  • Maggie Larrick
  • Laurel Humphrey


Below is a highlight video of the contest, as shot/edited by Scott Schaefer (running time 20-minutes, 53-seconds):

YouTube player


Photos courtesy @swilderphoto – click arrows to view slideshow:

Learn more about the Burien UFO Festival here:

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