2009 Superman Celebration in Metropolis, Illinois

Part 1 below is from Thursday, June 11th and includes the opening ceremony, the Noel Neill statue ground-breaking, and a number of awards presentations.

Part 2 comes direct from the local bowling alley where Superman fans gather for the annual "Super Bowl" on the first night of the Superman Celebration.

Our friends over at SupermanSuperSite.com also attended the 2009 Superman Celebration and filmed the opening ceremony skit in full. Watch Part 1 and Part 2 via YouTube.

On Friday, June 11th, the second day of the 4 day Superman Celebration in Metropolis, Illinois, a Press Conference was held where invited press were able to participate in a Q&A with Noel Neill, Beverly Washburn, Phil Morris, and Justin Hartley.

The Superman Homepage reporters Jamie Kelley and Ronda Marson were on hand to video the conference.

You can watch Part 2 and Part 3 of this press conference via YouTube as well.

Below are the events from Day 2 of the 4-day festival, including exclusive interviews with Josh Elder (writer of The Batman Strikes!), Daniel Peretti (author of Superman in Myth and Folklore), John Ostrander (writer of The Kents), and more! Be sure to watch through to part four to see Clark Kent bat at the annual "Metropolis Marvels vs. Smallville Meteors" Baseball game.

You can watch Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 of the "Day 2" video report via YouTube.

Below, Noel Neill talks about her favorite episodes from the "Adventures of Superman" TV series.

Below are the events from Day 3 of the 4-day festival.

You can watch Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5 of this video report via YouTube.

Below are the events from Day 4 of the 4-day festival.

You can watch Part 2 and Part 3 of this video report via YouTube.



Superman Celebration 2009 Report

By Chris Brockow

This past year we have seen the Republicans step down and the Democrats take over. We have also seen the economy drop so low that people are not just losing their jobs but also their homes. But that still did not stop all the Superman fans from gathering in Metropolis for the 31st Annual Superman Celebration!

Groundbreaking It runs four days Thursday-Sunday of the second weekend in June. Thursday starts off in the late afternoon with a skit centered on Superman defeating some villain such as Lex Luthor. This year after the opening, there was a ground breaking party for the Noel Neill statue. This statue was presented to Miss Neill on her 85th birthday and the Chamber of Commerce is still continually trying to raise funds for the statue in both her likeness and honor.

After the ground breaking, a group of people who belong to the Superfriends of Metropolis web page met at a local restaurant named Wiley Jacks for an "Eat and Meet" session with everyone and then onto ten pin bowling.

Friday Morning started early with waiting in line to get tickets for the Saturday Autograph sessions with Justin Hartley (Green Arrow/Oliver Queen) and Phil Morris (Martian Manhunter/John Jones) of Smallville. The rest of the day was filled with activities such as seeing Clint Young's Batmobile, a Superman fans baseball game, Superman Jeopardy (my personal favorite) and the list went on. There was something to do till the late evening. All day Friday and Saturday fans met with Beverly Washburn who appeared as the little girl in Superman and the Mole Men.

Metropolis 2009 I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with her. She is a dear sweet lady and I hope she will be returning for future celebrations. Beverly was at the Artist's Ally and Writer's Way where there was much going on. A pilot titled Super Kids and Dad was shown and the place was packed. It was a throw back to the 1966 Batman series and I hope it "takes off". The evening ended with Noel Neill and Larry Ward sharing their favorite episodes from The Adventures of Superman TV series.

Saturday was the day to get the autographs of the featured celebrities and a chance to ask them questions at the Questions and Answers session.

Fans got a chance to meet the first Lois Lane of the Movie Serials and TV show, Noel Neill. I said this about Beverly Washburn and it goes double for Noel. She is a dear sweet lady and she has a special place in her fan's hearts. Noel is always there to meet her fans and share her stories.

Superman fans got a chance to become honorary citizens of Metropolis. The Chamber of Commerce was selling the certificates for $20.00 and at 1:30pm Saturday and Sunday afternoon, Mayor Billy McDaniel swore the fans in and pictures were taken under the Superman statue. This was the first time this was done and I think it was a popular event.

Saturday ended with the Annual Superman Auction. This is the place where collectors can get some rare pieces of Superman history. This took place from 5:00pm-11:00pm. If you did not want to go to the auction, Beverly was showing the complete film Superman and the Mole Men at the Artist's Alley.

Metropolis 2009 The last day was Sunday and the annual car show was held at Massac Park, and a costume contest was held under the main tent. The costume contest is where people put their time and energy to make costumes of their favorite superhero or villain and the winner received $1,000. This was fun and exciting to watch.

The celebration ended with a Superman Scavenger Hunt. This writer had to catch a plane home and did not see it but like everything else I am sure it was a success.

Don't forget this celebration is held the second weekend in June every year. I have already made my reservations for 2010, how about you?

Chris Brockow



Celebrity Q&A Session Transcript

Entertainment Wrap Up has posted a transcript of the Celebrity Q&A session with Justin Hartley, Phil Morris, Beverly Washburn and Noel Neill.

    Question: Is there any souvenirs that you guys keep from the set that you keep in your houses?
    Noel: "Bodies."
    (Big laughs on that comment.)
    Beverly: "I have William Shatner at my house as we speak."
    Noel: "Lots of different things that people bring you from different outfits and towns. It's really nice".
    Phil: "The best stuff is that. The fans bring you something nice or maybe a great drawing of your character or some momento. What you bring to us means way more to me than a studio sending me their obligatory gift. It's like that card that they send you for your birthday that means less to me when I'm here and I get a photograph of my dad from you or I get a drawing from a young man or woman. It just touches my heart and that is what means the most to me."
    Justin: "It's true. I try to keep all that stuff with gifts that I get from people. I do have one thing that I took from my previous job. I was on a daytime show and I took the lead actress. I really do have a body. (laughs)." [Justin was talking about his wife of course.]

You can read the complete transcript at the Entertainment Wrap Up blog.

Alternatively you can watch the complete Q&A session on YouTube. Divided up into 3 parts, Part 1 and Part 3 are available to view online. I'm not sure why they haven't uploaded Part 2 yet. There's an alternative to Part 1 that catches the first question to Justin Hartley.



Superman Celebration Fan Film Contest Winner

The second annual Superman Celebration Fan Film Contest took place at the 2009 Superman Celebration in Metropolis, Illinois on Saturday, June 13th.

Walking away with the 1st prize trophy and $300 prize money was George Doerr with his fan film "Villains Day Off".



Superman Celebration is fun for all in Metropolis, June 11-14

It's time to pull out your blue tights and red cape and head to Metropolis... or you can wear your blue jeans and a t-shirt if that is more your style!

Superman will be walking the streets of Metropolis for the 31st year in a row as the annual Superman Celebration is set to take place June 11-14 in the small Ohio River town.

"It's a chance for people of all ages to come together and just enjoy a weekend of fun," explained Metropolis Tourism Director Angie Shelton. "You never know who you'll meet...and you never know what you'll see!" People from all over the world travel to Metropolis each year for this unique celebration and many will be dressed as their favorite Super Hero.

Celebrity guests at this year's festival include Justin Hartley and Phil Morris from television's Smallville; Noel Neill, Lois Lane from The Adventures of Superman; and Beverly Washburn, the child actor from Superman and the Mole Men. Hartley, Morris and Neil will participate in a Q & A session as well as autograph sessions on Saturday. Washburn will be available to meet with fans Friday and Saturday.

To honor Noel Neill, the "first lady of Metropolis, a ground breaking ceremony for a statue of her likeness is scheduled to kick off the weekend at 5:30pm on Thursday, June 11 at the corner of 8th and Market streets. Engraved bricks are being sold to help fund the statue project. Neill will also take part in a tribute to George Reeves Friday evening as it is the 50th anniversary of Reeves' death.

Beverly Washburn will take part in another tribute to George Reeves on Saturday when the uncut version of Superman and the Mole Men movie is shown.

Artists and writers Gail Simone, Mike Norton, John Ostrander and Josh Elder along with member of the Mid-south Cartoonist Association will be among those who will share their love of comics with visitors to Metropolis.

Free live entertainment on Superman Square will include gospel music by Cross Harmony and the Kingsmen on Thursday evening; the Scott Air Force Band, Hot Brass on Friday evening and Sunday afternoon; and the Colgate Country Showdown on Saturday night.

Merle Haggard and Shooters Jennings will perform in an outdoor concert at Harrah's Saturday night as well. Admission will be charged for this concert.

Celebration Co-Chairperson Karla Ogle explains there will be events for people of all ages. "The Celebration will include a "Smallville" tent where free children's activities are held each day, an amusement park with concessions and rides and a "Man of Steel" tent where "super" strength competitions are held, " she said. " Our Artist's Alley will welcome visitors as a place to learn about the creations of comic books and our street fair filled with vendors and food even features a rock climbing wall," she added.

Plus right in the middle of all of the activities visitors will have the opportunity to tour the Super Museum, which holds the largest collection of Superman memorabilia in the world, and pose with the world-famous 15-foot-tall bronze statue of Superman.

Many popular events are returning to this year's line-up including the $1000 Costume Contest, Super Car Show, Supertrek Bike Ride, The George Awards and Auction, Color-A-Cape for kids, Superman Road Race, The Super Dog Contest, the Supergirl and Superboy pageants and many more activities.

New to this year's line-up is a Kentucky Harley's Owners Group Bike show on Saturday afternoon at Dorothy Miller Park.

Superman fans will have the chance to become an "honorary citizen of Metropolis" for the first time during this year's Celebration. Citizen certificates will be available for purchase at the Metropolis Chamber of Commerce during the Celebration and the mayor of Metropolis will hold a "swearing in" ceremony at the Superman Statue.

Metropolis, Illinois is the only town with the same name as the fictional city made famous in comic books. It is located at the southern tip of Illinois where the Ohio River meets Paducah, Ky. A complete schedule of events for the Superman Celebration can be found at www.supermancelebration.net, or by calling the Chamber of Commerce at 800-949-5740.

Schedule of Events

Thursday, June 11

5pm - Opening Ceremony on Superman Square - Meet Superman! Official Presentation of Guinness World Record - Most People Dressed as Superman - set during 2008 Celebration
5pm - Carnival rides and games on Fifth St.
5:30pm - Noel Neil Statue Ground Breaking, 8th & Market Streets
6pm - Lois Lane Award, Helping Hands Award, at Metro Tent
6:15pm - Cross Harmony & Kingsmen Gospel Concert at Metro Tent
7pm - Superman Road Race at Fort Massac State Park
7:30pm - Kids Karaoke at Smallville Tent

Friday - June 12

7am - 1/2 of Tickets for Autograph Sessions available outside the Chamber of Commerce, 607 Market St. While supplies last. Limit 2 tickets per person, limit one session per person.
All Day - See Clint Young's 1966 Batmobile
10am - "Superman Fans" Baseball game, Metropolis Marvels vs. Smallville Meteors at Metropolis Sports Park
10am - Artist Alley Opens - Beverly Washburn meets with fans from 10am-noon and 1-5pm
11am - "What's It Worth?" live broadcast at Americana Hollywood" with WPSD's Mike Mallory
11am - Painting for Comics: The Art of Adam B. Shaw at Artist Alley
11:30am - Freestyle Connection BMX Bike Show at Man of Steel Area
Noon - Super Silly Games at Smallville Tent
Noon - Writers Q & A with Gail Simone , John Ostrander and Josh Elder at Artist Alley
1pm -Superman Jeopardy at Metro Tent
1pm - Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa Comics Panel at Artist Alley
2pm - Video Game Tournament at 801 Market St.
2pm - Writing Workshop with John Ostrander at Artist Alley
3pm - Kids Superhero Costume Contest at Smallville Tent
3pm - Comic Artist Q & A Session at Artist Alley
4pm - The Red Mullet - Comics to Film panel at Artist Alley
4pm - Meet Superman and gather for Kids Superhero Costume Parade at Smallville Tent.
5pm - Carnival rides and games on Fifth St.
5pm - Mighty Kids & Dad, TV pilot premier, at Artist Alley
5:30pm - Freestyle Connection BMX Bike Show at Man of Steel Area
5:30pm - Omega Force Strength Team at Man of Steel Tent
7pm - U.S. Air Force Band of America "Hot Brass" from Scott Air Force Base performs at Metro Tent
7pm - Superhero Gameshow for kids at Smallville Tent
7pm - Tribute to Noel Neill - Career highlight film by Larry Ward.
Doors open at 6:30pm at Artist Alley theater.
8pm - Recollections of George Reeves. Noel's favorite episodes of The Adventures of Superman. Noel Neill will host a memorable tribute to George Reeves and speak about her favorite episodes as they are shown.
9:30pm- World Premier of The Red Mullet Movie & Q&A at Artist Alley

Saturday - June 13

7am - 1/2 of Tickets for Autograph Sessions available outside the Chamber of Commerce, 607 Market St. Limited Supply. Limit 2 tickets per person, limit one session per person.
8am - Kiwanis Superman Bike Ride - Fort Massac State Park
All Day - See Clint Young's 1966 Batmobile
All day - Carnival rides and games , Fifth St.
9am - Celebrity Autograph Session A
Noel Neil at Metropolis Planet
Hartley & Morris at Chamber
TICKETS REQUIRED. See 7am listing
10am - Celebrity Autograph Session B
Noel Neil at Metropolis Planet
Hartley & Morris at Chamber of Commerce
TICKETS REQUIRED. 10am - Superman X-Games - at Metropolis Sports Park
10am - 5pm - Artist Alley - Beverly Washburn will meet with fans
10am - Washer Pitch Tournament, at Girl Scout House
10:30am - Do It Yourself Comics 101 at Artist Alley; and BMX Bikes
11am - Meet Superman at Smallville Tent - Photos and prizes!
11am - SLP Superman Classic Bench Press & Dead Lift Competition
11:30am - Celebrity Q & A Session, Hartley, Morris & Neil at Metro Tent
Noon - Super Silly Games at Smallville Tent. Carnival rides and games, Sign-in for Pedal Tractor Pull - at Smallville Tent
Noon - Q & A featuring Artist Mike Norton at Artist Alley
12:30pm - Freestyle Connection BMX Bike Show at Man of Steel area
1pm -Color-A-Cape with the Metropolis Planet staff, on courthouse lawn
1pm - Superman Jeopardy at Metro Tent
1pm - Up Close with Gail Simone, Writer of Wonder Woman, Superman & Others at Artist Alley
1pm - Superman Classic Bench Press/Deadlift Competition, Man of Steel Tent
1:30pm - Official Swearing In Ceremony for Honorary Citizens of Metropolis at Superman Statue with Metropolis Mayor Billy McDaniel. Purchase your limited edition certificate at the Metro Chamber.
2-4pm - Ky. Harley Owners Group Motorcycle Show, Dorothy Miller Park
2pm - Writing Workshop with John Ostrander at Artist Alley
2pm - Superdog Contest at Smallville. Video Game Competition, 801 Market
3pm - Magic Show at Smallville Tent
3pm - Jetta: from Comics to Film Panel at Artist Alley
3:30pm - Celebrity Autograph Session C - Hartley & Morris at Chamber of Commerce.
TICKETS REQUIRED. See 7am listings on Friday and Saturday
3:30pm - Freestyle Connection BMX Bike Show at Man of Steel Area
4pm - Harley Show Winners arrive at Superman Statue for award presentation
4pm - Beautiful Baby Contest - at Smallville Tent - Sign in at 3pm
4pm - Art of Puppetry Panel at Artist Alley
4:30pm - Celebrity Autograph Session D - Hartley & Morris at Chamber of Commerce. TICKETS REQUIRED. See 7am listings on Friday and Saturday.
5pm-9pm - George Awards & Auction at Metropolis Community Center, Hosted by Super Museum. $15 Admission. Portion of admissions donated to Christopher Reeve Foundation. Bring your DC Super Hero items to auction.
5pm - Colgate Country Showdown at Metro Tent
5pm - BMX Bikes
5:30pm - Omega Force Exhibition at Man of Steel Tent
6pm - Supergirl & Superboy Pageants - at Smallville Tent. Sign in at 5pm
6pm - Cruisers (antique cars) on Superman Square
6pm - Block Party at Artist Alley - prizes, food and fun!
7pm- Tribute to George Reeves. Beverly Washburn will introduce the uncut version of "Superman and the Mole Men." Doors open at 6:30pm. $5 Admission. Tickets available starting June 11 at the Chamber office and June12 at Artist Alley.
8pm - Harrah's Outdoor Concert: Merle Haggard & Shooter Jennings Advance ticket purchase required.
9pm - 2nd Annual Metropolis Fan Film Awards at Artist Alley
10:30pm- Metropolis After Dark Costume Dance Party at Artist Alley

Sunday - June 14

8am - Rotary Super Car Show at Fort Massac
All Day - See Clint Young's 1966 Batmobile
10am - Artist Alley opens, closes at 4pm
10am-Noon - Sign in for Costume Contest.
10:30am - Kids Superhero Gameshow at Smallville Tent
11am - Character Karaoke at Main Tent
11am - Guest seminar at Artist Alley
Noon - $1000 Superhero Costume Contest at Metro Tent
1pm - Omega Force Exhibition at Man of Steel Tent
1:30pm - Official Swearing In Ceremony for Honorary Citizens of Metropolis at Superman Statue with Metropolis Mayor Billy McDaniel. Purchase your limited edition certificate at the Metro Chamber.
2pm - U.S. Air Force Band of America "Hot Brass" from
Scott Air Force Base performs at Metro Tent
2pm - Color a Giant Comic at Smallville Tent
3pm - Superman Scavenger Hunt at Smallville Tent