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Meet superheroes in person in Illinois

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By Wayne Lazarus on May 26th, 2010

Categories: Linda's Travel Articles

What city was it in which people on the street would turn their eyes to the sky and exclaim, “Look! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No…it’s–!”

It was Metropolis, of course. And Metropolis, Illinois holds a Superman Celebration every June to honor its special relationship with the Man of Steel.

Other superheroes and heroines drop by the celebration and enter the Costume Contest, including Batman, the Green Hornet, Supergirl and Wonder Woman. Keep your eyes peeled — you’re also likely to see some famous villains, such as Poison Ivy and Lex Luthor.

supermanAmong the celebrities at the celebration is Noel Neill, who played Lois Lane in the television series, The Adventures of Superman with George Reeves. Neill is often a guest at the Superman Celebration and this year the city will unveil a bronze statue in her honor. (The 15-foot-tall Superman statue already occupies pride of place in the city square.) She has been called “The First Lady of Metropolis.”

Other celebrities at the 2010 event include Sam Witmer who played Doomsday (Superman’s rival) in Smallville and Laura Diane Vandervoort (Supergirl in Smallville.) Ilya Salkind, producer of the Academy-award winning movie Superman: The Movie and the Superboy television series, will be a special guest this year. Carmine Infantino, the 50s-era artist who drew the original comic book hero the Flash and DC Comics writer Josh Elder will make appearances as well.

In addition to the autograph sessions, costume contest, road race and costumed dance party, there are strength competitions, the chance to make Kryptonite and a Superman trivia contest as well as a film competition for fan-made films about super-heroes. To allow visitors to become a participant in the festivities, the city offers (for a $20 fee) the chance to stand in front of the Superman statue and be sworn in as an “honorary citizen of Metropolis.” (Citizenship certificates are suitable for framing.)

In 2010, the festival runs from June 10 through 13. There are other reasons to visit Metropolis, located at the southern tip of Illinois, including the Ohio River, Ft. Massac State Park, the Shawnee National Forest and Harrah’s Metropolis Casino.

(Photo: Metroplis Daily Planet, courtesy Metropolis Tourism. Used with permission.)

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