First stepping onto the convention floor of a con is usually an adrenaline rush for most fanboys and fangirls. As you look around the venue, the walls and floor are packed with geek activities and merchandise. But for the Superman Celebration in Metropolis, IL, the activities take over the entire town. On any given day, the quiet, Southern Illinois village of Metropolis shows its support for the Man of Steel with 15 ft. bronze statue overlooking the town square. Superman stands at one end of Market Street and Lois Lane stands at the opposite end of the downtown. But during Superman Celebration, the entire downtown area is an explosion of red and blue.
And the fact that this is a town festival, rather than your typical con, is an awesome change. The success of Superman Celebration is the charm of the town of Metropolis. The vendor booths are lined up along Market Street. There are t-shirt and toy vendors that are typical to a con experience, but there are many vendors that would be typical at a county fair rather than a comic con. Corn dogs and yard art are mosied up right next to the Son of Krypton t-shirts. There are a variety of artists with tents on the street, but there is an additional artist alley located in the Carpenter's Local No. 640 building just 1/2 a block from Lois Lane's statue. Additionally, Metropolis has a variety of activities organized around the festival. They have costume contests, helicopter rides over the city, a Superman vs. Batman tug-of-war, a dog show, a BMX demonstration, a 4 mile run, and a classic car show .
The celebration always brings in a few celebrity guests. This year the celebrity guests included Stacy Haiduk and Diane Sherry-Case. Haiduk portrayed Lana Lang in the Superboy series from the late 1980's and Sherry-Case is known for her portrayal of Lana Lang in Superman: The Movie. John Shea was also on hand to discuss his role as Lex Luthor on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. Saturday's celebrity guests were Caity Lotz, alias Sara Lance from Arrow and the upcoming Legends of Tomorrow and Candice Patton, Iris West, from the CW's The Flash. All of the celebrity guests had question and answer sessions at the Metro Tent next to Superman Square, as well as autograph and photo opportunities.
If you can't make it to Metropolis during Superman Celebration, they always have an impressive gift shop and Superman Museum available all year. The gift shop is full of merch concerning Superman and superheroes in general. The museum is an impressive collection of Superman memorabilia from his earliest appearances. Superman Celebration will be held June 9th - 12th, 2016. Mark your calendars and plan to meet the Man of Steel in Metropolis next year.
-Photos courtesy of Rob Augino