The second annual festival celebrating the anniversary of the world’s first encounter with the iconic Men in Black will kick off a full weekend of events with its signature “6/22” party on June 22, 2023,, where over 100 attendees in cosplay black-and-white will receive the annual – and humorous – “warning to humanity.”
According to festival co-founder Steve Edmiston:
“The warning is the key element to Men in Black history and culture. Everything we now think we know when we think of the Men in Black in popular culture – the movie franchise, the X-Files, even Twilight Zone – is a legacy of Harold Dahl’s June 22, 1947, story of being confronted and warned by a mysterious man dressed in black. And surprise – he was warned not to tell anyone what he’d seen in the sky the day before over Puget Sound.”
While components of “the warning” are unique from year-to-year, the core element is unchanged and involves a rather existential prediction – “how many years until the invasion.” The warning arrives in a sealed envelope from “The Maury Island Incident Historical Society’s “Burning Saucer” event held one day earlier.
“We understand why communities love festivals that rise from local history or mythologies,” Edmiston said. “Who hasn’t thought about what it must be like to run with the bulls in Pamplona or join a giant tomato fight at La Tomatina? Or watch a rodent named “Phil” look for his shadow to predict how many weeks until Spring? We appreciate why 25,000 people gather in Estes Park, Colorado, to celebrate – literally “frozen” dead guy. It just makes sense to us that Pacific Northwest folks want to get their black-and-white cosplay on and embrace our truthful place in UFO history – where a controversial UFO sighting and men in black encounter started it all.”
This year’s MIBBB Fest features a full weekend of events, commemorating the first-ever sighting of Men in Black on June 22, 1947 (6/22/47) during the Summer of the Saucers, when thousands of UFO incidents were reported worldwide.
6/22 Men in Black Birthday Bash – Thursday, 6/22
The 6/22 cosplay party that generated buzz last year will be held again at the Quarterdeck at the Des Moines Marina. Partygoers come dressed as Men in Black or other black-and-white attire. Tickets include live music and MIBBB swag.
MIBBB Film Party – Friday, 6/23
New this year is MIBBB Film, debuting Friday, 6/23 at Harper Studios in Des Moines. “MIBBB Film is devoted to short films about the unexplained and unresolved, and films that challenge things we’ve been told. The evening will include a pre-function at Marina Mercantile and an after-party at Harper Studios.
MIBBB Music – Saturday, 6/24
Another first – the “Ol’ Blue Eyes Bayside Ball” features an evening of Frank Sinatra-style swing by Joey Jewel and the Swingin’ Sixties Orchestra at the Des Moines Yacht Club. The show is presented by the Des Moines Legacy Foundation, and proceeds will benefit the Foundation’s youth and community programs.
MIBBB Summer Saucer Search – 6/14 – 6/18
Five days and ten clues, scattered throughout our Seattle Southside cities. Make a team and be the first to find the hidden object inspired by our history’s first encounter with the “men in black.” Presented by Seattle Southside and Four Points Sheraton Hotel.