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Illinois Country Living

Calling All Super Fans!

Don’t miss the 30th Annual Superman Celebration!

by Jen Danzinger

Superman Statue

Visitors can have their picture taken with the 15-foot statue of Superman located on Market Street.

If you haven’t yet made the trek to the hometown of Superman, now is the time. This small southern Illinois town near the Ohio river is preparing to transform from a Smallville look-alike to a popular Metropolis this summer.

The 30th annual Superman Celebration in Metropolis will be held Thursday, June 12 through Sunday, June 15. Fans from across the nation will gather to enjoy a long weekend of activities revolving around the star of comics, movies and multiple television series.

Celebrity guests are always a highlight of the festival and this year Ned Beatty (Otis from “Superman: The Movie” and “Superman II”) will be the headliner. You’ll also get a chance to meet Allison Mack, who portrays Chloe Sullivan on the popular “Smallville” television series. The actress best known as Lois Lane, Noel Neill (star of multiple Superman Saturday matinees and the “The Adventures of Superman” TV show from 1951-1958), will once again attend.

To extend a warm welcome to Noel Neill, a 1940s Hollywood Ball will be held on Friday. Participants are encouraged to wear period clothing and there will be a costume contest for the best dressed 1940s man and woman. The Jerry Ford Orchestra will provide big band music to set the mood.

Ensuring fun for the whole family, the Superman Celebration features live music each day, an antique car show, carnival rides and lots of food, shopping and fun.

The smallest fans can enjoy activities all weekend. Kids will get a chance to meet Superman and compete in “supersilly games” and a costume contest. There is also a pedal tractor pull, puppet and magic shows, and many other child-friendly events.

Adult fans can listen to artists and writers discuss their work in Superman comics. Anyone wishing to add a special item to their Superman collection can bid in the annual charity auction. The outdoor theater has always been a hit and this year it features the first annual fan film contest.

Don’t forget to bring your superhero costume! During Sunday’s costume contest fans will compete for best Superman, Clark Kent, Supergirl and Lois Lane prizes, as well as awards for villains, non-Superman heroes and creatures. After the costume contest, all attending men of steel can try to set a Guinness World Record for most people dressed as Superman.

Can’t make it the week of the Celebration? Have no fear! Metropolis has plenty to offer visitors any day of the week. The 15-foot statue of Superman is always on display on Market Street and there are plenty of signs in town to help you locate it.

Don’t miss the Superman Museum adjacent to the statue. The $3 admission fee is well worth the chance to peruse Jim Hambrick’s collection of 60,000 Superman-related items. You’ll see props, photos and pop culture memorabilia spanning the matinee serials through the movies. There are even entire rooms dedicated to “Supergirl” (the 1984 movie) and the popular “Lois and Clark” television series from the ‘90s. No item is too small or too obscure for this collection. If you think you know all there is about the “Man of Steel,” it’s guaranteed this museum will teach you a thing or two.

That’s not all! The American Hollywood museum houses collections of Elvis Presley, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe and other icons of film and music. After both tours you’ll be hungry for some down-home cooking. Metropolis has a number of restaurants to refuel your family.

For a full schedule of events, go to: www.supermancelebration.net and www.metropolischamber.com.

 

© 2008 Illinois Country Living Magazine.
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