Third Friday goes out of this world

Third Friday in Pascagoula
Third Friday in Pascagoula Pascagoula

Third Fridays in Pascagoula will reach for the stars with this month’s Galactic Adventures theme.

The event will take place downtown from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday. Jen Dearman, the city’s director of community and economic development, said it will offer activities based on outer space, while giving a fair nod to Halloween.

“We wanted to encourage costumes and play off Halloween and give homage to the 1973 Pascagoula UFO incident,” Dearman said. “There are still people with us who were there that night or saw them afterwards, and it’s still an oral history around here.”

Dearman is referring to the alleged UFO abduction of Charles Hickson and Calvin Parker Jr. in 1973. Forty-three years later, their story of being abducted from the bank of the Pascagoula River remains a renowned tale for both UFO enthusiasts and skeptics. Dearman said some people who were around when the incident occurred are expected to gather at the Downtown Buffet at 5:30 p.m. to share their memories.

A highlight of Third Friday will be the Electric Light Parade, which invites people to walk or bicycle with lighted and decorated costumes and bikes. Following the parade, cyclists can continue riding through the city on the Great Haunted Halloween Bicycle Tour, which had about 100 cyclists last year. Check in between 5 and 6 p.m. at the information table to participate.

Likewise, participants for the Galactic Costume Contest must check in between 5 and 6 p.m. Participants should dress as a space-related character, such as an alien or an astronaut. Contest judging is at 6:15 p.m. and trophies will be awarded at 6:45 p.m.

Merchants will join in the fun with discounts and space-themed specials, such as Scranton’s Paranormal Pork Rinds and Deep Fried Milky Way Bars. There will be a Pumpkin Pottery demonstration at the River Art Gallery throughout the event. At 5:30, Whimsy Books & Toys will have storytime and crafts.

Music will be played on two stages. Wes Lee will play at Anchor Square and Deuces Wild will play at the corner of Delmas and Magnolia.

Third Fridays began in August as a fun way to encourage patronage in the downtown area on the weekends. This is the third and final event of the year, but plans are to resume it in April.

Admission is free.