The 2010 Annual Superman Celebration is officially in the record books and marked the 32nd year Metropolis, Illinois has held its annual event. During the past 31 celebrations the crowds have grown to over 30,000 flocking to the only town in America that is officially known as the "Home of Superman."
Each Second Full Weekend in June, the City of Metropolis IL, the "Home of Superman" celebrates their Favorite Son, Superman with this fun and festive celebration!
Click here to read all about the 2008 Superman Celebration including pictures and a review of the festivities that took place.
Click here to read all about the 2009 Superman Celebration including pictures and a review of the festivities that took place.
32nd Annual Superman Celebration Coverage - Day 1
The first official day of the 32nd Annual Superman Celebration kicked off with visits to the Super Museum and Americana Hollywood.
Museum owner & curator Jim Hambrick has recently made a few changes to both museums by adding some new exhibits and making others a little more accessible.
The Super Museum is always a must see for any fan of the Man of Steel and the collection of movie memorabilia at the Americana Hollywood is truly mind boggling.
Opening ceremonies took place at 5:00pm with yet another wonderful skit featuring the likes of Superman, Lex Luthor, General Zod and the Mind Grabber Kid. (Video below)
The ceremonies were followed by the presentation of the Lois Lane Award and Helping Hands Award at the Metro Tent with Cross Harmony and the Kingsmen providing Metropolis visitors with the sounds of Gospel music.
The evening was wrapped up with the annual Superman Road Race at Fort Massac and a fun filled evening of bowling with fellow Superman fans at Bob's Bowling Alley.
Tomorrow's events kick off with the unveiling of the long awaited Noel Neill Statue which will feature Noel Neill herself and statue sculptor Gary Earnest.
32nd Annual Superman Celebration Coverage - Day 2
The second day of the 32nd Annual Superman Celebration started off with thunderstorms but the clouds parted and the sun came out to shine on the unveiling ceremony for the Noel Neill statue.
Metropolis Tourism Director Angie Shelton welcomed everyone to the ceremony and First United Methodist Rev. Gary Motta delivered the invocation.
Remarks were made by Metropolis Mayor Billy McDaniel, Superman Celebration co-chairs Karla Ogle & Lisa Gower, Banterra Bank President Mel Bower, statue artist Gary Earnest Smith, statue caster Kevin Maag and Noel Neill's manager Larry Ward.
Metropolis Planet Editor Emeritus Clyde Wills introduced Ms. Neill who thanked everyone for attending and spoke briefly about her career & portraying Lois Lane on "The Adventures of Superman".
With the assistance of Superman (Josh Boultinghouse), Noel removed the sheet to officially unveil the Noel Neill Statue to the cheers of everyone in attendance.
Next up was the 1st Annual Superman Super Site Meet & Greet at Dippin Dots which was a huge success with over 100 fans coming out for a great time filled with laughter, friends, wonderful door prizes and Dippin Dots discounts.
I'd personally like to thank everyone who attended and announce that we will definitely have another Meet & Greet next year!
After wrapping up things at the Meet & Greet, we headed over to the Q&A session with "Superman: The Movie" Executive Producer Ilya Salkind who spoke at length about his work on the film and the work it required to bring Superman to the silver screen.
The always popular Superman Jeapordy contest with the Rinaldi family was up next. Having never participated before, I was thrilled to be picked as a contestant and did pretty well placing third out of four.
Due to the length of the Jeapordy contest, we were unable to attend the 3rd Annual Superman Fans Baseball Game but sources have said it was yet another wonderful battle between the Metropolis Marvels & Smallville Meteors.
A visit to the Artist Alley consisted of meeting such guests as comic book legend Carmine Infantino, Curt Swan biographer Eddy Zeno and actor Jeffrey Breslauer as well as artists Trevor Hawkins & Dave Beaty.
The evening was wrapped up with a night of dancing, costumes and contests at the Fabulous 50's Dance at the Baymont Theatre.
Day 3 of the Superman Celebration will feature autograph sessions with Smallville celebrities Sam Witwer and Laura Vanderoort and Noel Neill as well as the 2010 George Awards & Auction.
32nd Annual Superman Celebration Coverage - Day 3
The third day of the Superman Celebration kicked off with a trip to the Artist Alley to meet legendary comic book artist Carmine Infantino and "Superman: The Movie" Executive Producer, Ilya Salkind whom we interviewed back in April of this year.
Mr. Salkind was very gracious with all those that came out to meet him and took the time to autograph items & answer everyone's questions. Just a few steps away was the very delightful Mr. Infantino who was in Metropolis back in 1972 when the city was first proclaimed as the "Hometown of Superman".
Other guests we met at the Artists Alley were artists Trevor Hawkins, Lin Workman & the Los Comics team as well as actor Jeffrey Breslauer and Noel Neill Statue designer, Gary Earnest Smith.
After a quick bite to eat at the "World's Largest" Dippin Dots, it was time for the VIP autograph session at the Metropolis Chamber of Commerce with Smallville stars Laura Vandervoort & Sam Witwer.
Both Laura & Sam were wonderful guests and took plenty of time to talk with everyone, autograph items & memorabilia and pose for photographs. Neither could confirm or deny that they would be back for the final season of Smallville but, to quote Ms. Vandervoort, "It's a definite possibility".
Following the VIP autograph session, we stopped by to meet wrestling legend "Handsome" Jimmy "Boogie Woogie Man" Valiant who was in town for the annual Renegade Wrestling event which took place later that evening. I had originally met Mr. Valiant back in 1992 when he was first starting his own wrestling school and it was wonderful to see him again.
We journeyed next to the Metropolis Planet where we just missed Noel Neill's autograph session but we did meet up with Jamie & Ronda Kelly (aka "Lois & Clark") who interviewed us about the website, celebration and the previous day's Meet & Greet event.
It was then time to head back to the hotel to get ready for the evening's Annual George Awards & Auction which was back at the Baymont Theatre this year.
The festivities kicked off with Jim Hambrick presenting $100 gift certificates to the Super Museum in place of "Supermen of Metropolis" certificates this year with Dave Olsen, Tim Gardner and Johnny Lloyd among the recipients.
Next up was the presentation of the Noel Neill Award which went to Brian & Cookie Morris who have helped with a range of aspects of the Superman Celebration for many years and were very deserving of the award. Congratulations to you both Brian & Cookie!
Mr. Hambrick then spoke about the history of the George Award and how it would be presented a little differently this year in the form of O.D. Troutman's George Award which was presented to Mr. Troutman in 2005.
O.D., whom passed away in January of this year, was a dear friend of Mr. Hambrick's & the City of Metropolis. He was the Chairman of the Superman Statue Committee and spearheaded the effort to make the statue become a reality. He was also part of the committee which saw the Noel Neill Statue become a reality as well.
Mr. Hambrick spoke very dearly of his late friend and then, much to my surprise, presented the 2010 George Award to me! I am truly humbled to receive this honor and to be the first recipient to receive the award in this fashion, makes the honor all the more special. It was an evening I will always remember & an award I will always cherish. Thank you Jim!
The auction was up next with Steven Kirk once again doing an outstanding job as emcee/auctioneer. Over 130 items were up for bids this year with such standouts as a Kryptonian Elders costume from "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman", a shovel from last year's Noel Neill Statue groundbreaking ceremony signed by Noel Neill, Larry Ward & Metropolis Mayor, Billy McDaniel and a purse donated by Noel Neill containing items personally selected by Mrs. Neill herself.
After four hours of fun & sometimes intense bidding, the 2010 auction was over and it was time to head back to the hotel & retire for the evening while others made their way to the Costume Dance Party at the Artists Alley building to party the night away.
31st Annual Superman Celebration Coverage - Final Day
The final day of the Superman Celebration kicked off with the annual car show at Fort Massac which featured many makes and models from over the past decades.
The always crowd pleasing costume contest was up next at noon with General Zod, aka Steven Kirk serving as emcee. The costumes once again were outstanding with such entries as Wolverine, Dr. Strange, Doomsday, and an amazing Clark Kent (aka Alexander Rae) who took home the grand prize of $1000.
Following the costume contest was the second of two official swearing in ceremonies for "Honorary Citizens of Metropolis".
The Celebration would wind down with a scavenger hunt at 3:00pm and an official closing ceremony skit at 5:00pm which picked up right where Thursday's opening skit had left off.
Market Street and the surrounding area were almost completely empty of all vendors shortly afterwards with only a few tents left to remind everyone of the past four days of festivities and excitement.
Although the 33rd Celebration is a full year away, it will be a joy to return to Metropolis in 2011 and see everyone once again.