The tiny town of Metropolis, Illinois has built an entire culture around the legend of Superman. A Kryptonite meteorite is located on the southwest corner of Third and Ferry Streets, giant cut-outs of Superman and Lois Lane stand in front of several stores and businesses, and a bronze statue of America’s favorite Super Hero towers over the central square. Across the street from the statue, The Super Museum
is filled with a $2.5 million collection of more than 20,000 items spanning 60 years of Superman memorabilia.
For the past 30 years, the town has even held an annual Superman Celebration, which draws more than 30,000 visitors to events that include a Superman auction and dinner, a Superfan Baseball game between the Metropolis Marvels and Smallville Meteors, autograph sessions with Superman celebrities, and a costume contest where the town attempts to set a Guinness World Record for the “Most People Dressed as Superman.”
Despite the present day success of the event, Metropolis’ Super Hero connection was slow to catch on. The current Superman statue wasn’t erected until 1993. Its predecessor was a seven-foot high statue crafted of fiberglass that was used for target practice by local youths who apparently wanted to see if Superman really was bulletproof. But there’s no messing with today’s Superman; the current 15-foot tall bronze statue is indestructible, and thanks to the festival, Metropolis’ connection to the Man of Steel is stronger than ever.
This year’s event features a spectacular celebrity guest line-up that includes appearances by Justin Hartley and Phil Morris from “Smallville“, Noel Neill from “The Adventures of Superman“, and Beverly Washburn from “Superman and the Mole Men.” The 2009 event is scheduled for June 11th – 14th.
Photos courtesy of Barbara Weibel
Article by Barbara Weibel of Hole In The Donut Travels