Photos by David Rosen
The Men in Black Birthday Bash (‘MIBBB Fest’) – a four-day celebration of the first-ever alleged MIB appearance the day after the Maury Island Incident on June 22, 1947 – was held last week, and it was no secret that it was a HUGE success.
MIBBB Fest was produced by a new local company – MI3B Fabrications – a collaboration between Ken and Catherine Carbone Rogers, and Steve and Melody Edmiston, each long-time community residents.
While launching and expanding the festival proved daunting, the core MI3B team brought a variety of skill sets. For example, the Rogers founded the popular Quarterdeck in Des Moines; Catherine works as a PR professional. Melody Edmiston project manages for the King County Court helping large numbers of people navigate complicated systems. Steve Edmiston brings creative leadership (he is an entertainment lawyer and film screenwriter and producer) and event producing experience.
“We can cover a lot of ground,” said Edmiston.
The team still needed help to add additional events, and were joined by Natalie Welch, who supervised both the curation and operation of the first MIBBB Film Festival as Executive Director.
“Working closely with Harper Studios and Marina Mercantile, the goal was to provide a unique experience for what we thought might largely be first-time festival attendees. Natalie hit it out of the park,” Edmiston said.
The decision to add the final MIBBB Fest event – the Des Moines Legacy Bayside Ball – came late and is credited to Patrice Thorell.
“Patrice pitched Sinatra to a ‘Men in Black’ festival and we just couldn’t say no,” Edmiston added.
Putting on a new festival, and adding events (including smaller events, like walking tours and lectures), required sponsors willing to take a risk on something new.
“It truly doesn’t happen without sponsorship, and we were blessed with sponsors that jumped in with short notice. Think about it – all South King Media blogs, Waterland, B-Town, I mean, all seven blogs – supported our Summer Saucer Search twice each day to deliver our clues,” said Edmiston. “Explore Seattle Southside launched and carried the Summer Saucer Search over the line, then helped on our film night. Quarterdeck, Marina Mercantile, Edward Jones, Harper Studios, Legacy Foundation, Bracepoint Law, Four Points by Sheraton – just, wow. And thanks.”
“We couldn’t be happier about how our small but might festival shape up and performed in 2023,” Edmiston said. “All of our core events – the 6/22 Bash at Quarterdeck, the MIBBB Film Festival at Harper Studios, and Legacy Foundations Bayside Ball – sold out. So, by that one metric, we were successful. But what really struck a chord was how happy folks seemed to be at the events – it really seemed that our community engaged with our history and mythology in a way that just delighted and inspired, and left folks wanting more. Plus, we looked fantastic in black-and-white!”
It All Started With A Burning Saucer
It all began with a private party in Woodmont called “Burning Saucer” on Tuesday, June 21, which climaxed in the burning of a beautiful model Delorean from “Back the the Future,” designed by “Firemaster” Terry Donahue. It was a fiery start to the festivities!
Below are some photos from that event:
Men In Black Birthday Bash a Smash
On Thursday, June 22, a cosplay Men/Women In Black party was held at the Quarterdeck in Des Moines to commemorate the anniversary date of Harold Dahl’s encounter with what is believed to be the first MIB related to a UFO/UAP sighting.
A costume contest highlighted the evening, along with live music from Paper Moon.
Below are photos from that event:
Men In Black Birthday Bash Film Festival
On Friday, June 23, a film festival was held at Harper Studios in Des Moines, featuring several MIB/UFO-related films, including “Fred Crisman Chronicles: Cave of the Space Nazis” short by former South King Media Intern Bryan Shickley.
On hand was Northwest comedy legend Pat Cashman, who performed the voice of Fred Crisman, an iconic, bizarre, larger-than-life real person who was involved in the Maury Island Incident, as well as other strange claims (including rumors of being a second gunman at JFK’s assassination!).
Both Cashman and Shickley participated in a fun and lively Q&A session hosted by Scott Schaefer after the films.
Below are photos from that event:
Men In Black Ol’ Blue Eyes Bayside Ball
On Saturday, June 24, local singer Joey Jewell performed his incredible tribute to the swingin’ sounds of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and others of the Rat Pack era at the Des Moines Yacht Club.
Jewell hit all the right notes to this live concert, which also served as a fundraiser for the Des Moines Legacy Foundation.
Below are photos from that event (click arrows to view slideshow):