June 26, 2016: Superman Celebration Report

PatrickONealBy Patrick O’Neal

This year marked my 6th straight year attending the Superman Celebration. I have to say without a doubt, it is my favorite trip I take every year and I look forward to the celebration all year. My wife and I headed out to Metropolis on Wednesday and got there on Thursday afternoon in time for the opening ceremonies. It is great to see friends you haven’t seen for a year. The opening ceremony is always a fun and comical way to get the celebration started. After the opening ceremonies concluded, we headed over to my favorite place in Metropolis, the Super Museum. This museum contains thousands of pieces of Superman memorabilia dating back to the 1930s. I’ve visited the Super Museum every year, but I’m always impressed and see something new each time I visit. The Super Museum opened an expansion section this year, which included life size statues of Superman, Batman, and Doomsday. It also had a Superman pinball and arcade machine. I could spend hours in this museum!

After walking through the museum it was time for the annual Super Friends bowling game. This is one of my favorite events as I get to catch up with old friends and relax in the air conditioning. In addition to the bowling, there was a raffle for super hero prizes and various super hero collectibles for sale. The raffle and items for sale raised over $200 to benefit the Project Hope Humane Society, which is a no-kill animal shelter in Metropolis. This event is always a great way to finish off the first day of the celebration and a great opportunity to meet new people.

Friday is the first full day of the celebration; some of the celebrities have arrived and there is a full schedule of events ahead of us. My wife and I started off the day by heading to the annual Superman Homepage meet and greet at Hardees. This meet and greet is always a lot of fun and this year was no exception. It is also nice to be inside the Hardees to escape the heat, as it gets very hot very quickly in Metropolis. I was able to meet Superman Homepage’s own Clark Kent and Lois Lane! I picked up my Superman Homepage button and then trivia questions were asked to win prizes. There was a great selection of DVDs to pick from as prizes. After the meet and greet, we headed over to the Metro tent to see the Q&A session with The Death of ‘Superman Lives’: What Happened? Director Jon Schnepp and producer Holly Payne. The session was very interesting as they talked about the process of making the documentary and fielded questions from the audience.

Following the Q&A, my wife and I competed in the Great American Puzzler contest. The puzzling contest is a great example of the many activities that families can enjoy while in Metropolis. Following the puzzling contest, I participated in and won the annual Superman Jeopardy game. This event is a great way to test your Superman knowledge, and there are a lot of prizes to be won by both the contestants and the audience members. We finished Friday by attending the Superman Collectibles Auction, where I picked up some very cool Superman items for my collection.

Saturday is another full day of activities at the celebration. I spent the morning meeting all of the celebrities who attended the celebration this year. The guests were Mehcad Brooks and Peter Facinelli from Supergirl, Marc McClure (Jimmy from the Superman movies), Michael Landes from Lois & Clark, Jon Schnepp and Holly Payne from The Death of ‘Superman Lives’: What Happened? documentary, and WWE wrestler and Superman fan Jerry “The King” Lawler. All of the guests were extremely nice and took time to talk to all of the fans who came to see them. In the afternoon, I again participated in and won the second Superman Jeopardy game. After which, my wife and I took our annual picture with the Superman of Metropolis in front of the giant Superman statue. We finished Saturday by attending the annual Save the Massac Benefit Auction. For those that don’t know, the Massac Theater is a 1930s Art-Deco movie house and endangered historic landmark in Metropolis they are trying to restore. Through the auction, they were able to raise over $3,000 this year!

Sunday is the final day of the celebration. In the morning I checked out the Super-Con looking for more collectibles. After that, I participated in the Stump the Superman Expert game, which is a fun way to test your Superman knowledge against fellow fans. Following the game my wife and I headed over to Artist Alley to see the artists and check out the artwork on display. I picked up a great piece of original Superman artwork by Kenneth Dunn. We then headed to the Americana Hollywood Museum, which is a second museum in Metropolis. The museum holds a massive collection of everything Americana and has a pretty big Superman section as well. When we finished walking through the museum it was about time for us to start the long drive home to Maryland. We said goodbye to some friends, took a few last pictures, and headed home. I’m always amazed every year at how fast the weekend flies by.

The Superman Celebration is quite simply a fantastic event with something for everyone. There are many things I really enjoy about the celebration, but my favorite thing is being able to see the friends I’ve made every year. Metropolis is truly like a big family, and every year is like a family and friends reunion. What makes it even better is the people you meet here have the same love of the Superman character that I do. Attending the Superman Celebration at least once is a must if you’re a Superman fan. I guarantee you will have a great time, and if you’re anything like me after you attend the celebration the first year, you’ll want to come back every year!

Patrick O’Neal

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