Thursday, June 18, 2009

#6 Superman Festival - Metropolis, IL - June 14, 2009

#6 Superman Festival - Metropolis, IL - June 14, 2009

A 3 story statue of Superman protects all those that reside in Metropolis. I think the kid gives a good frame of reference.

There were definitely some interesting people at this festival. On the left is Ironman. Apparently he spent almost a year fabricating his costume which consisted of riveted steel plates and aluminum foil. The suit weighed approximately 100 pounds, and I felt bad for him as we stood in 90 degree sunlight all day. On the right is Super Girl. I must have been bad luck, as neither one won any awards.

Now I have become somewhat of a funnel cake aficionado, but there really is no true way to distinguish between them. Yes there are assorted fruit toppings available these days, but I had never before seen this peanut butter glazed funnel cake. It was definitely satisfying but for some reason heavier; I think I'll stick to the powdered sugar. I love toasted peanut butter sandwiches and this funnel cake tasted a lot like them.

And then all of the characters assembled under the statue for a group photo that Clark Kent was supposedly going to use in the Daily Planet. Here's a fun game: click the photo and see if you can find Indiana Jones.

The winners of each category. From left to right(and category): Superman (Best Superman), Some Creature (Creature and the only entry), Dr. Doom (Best Villain), Red Tornado (Best Costume), Super Girl (Best Super Girl), the resident Superman, and the emcee Jar-El.

Video of the week. No music this time. At the costume competition each character gets to do a little improvisation (by which I mean a very rehearsed speech), in character of course, in order to impress the judges and audience. This is Mr. Freeze.

I know this wasn't a true food festival, but it was definitely something different and too funny to miss. The sad thing is I missed the character karaoke contest which I think had real potential for a video of the week. Apparently the schedule of events doesn't really mean a lot at these festivals.

I think I could have taken my entire data card worth of pictures at this festival, but don't worry someone else did. Click here and behold the true power of Superman Fest (page 11 of the 2009 Celebration - $1,000 Superhero Contest, yes page 11!, has good group shots).It was that strange and every character enjoyed having their picture taken. I mean there were Ghostbusters, Jokers, Wonder Women, characters out of people's imaginations, and even a Star Trek Engineer (who strangely enough was the outcast of this festival and got made fun of).

This festival was just plain silly, and thus right up my alley. It seemed like it was the one day a year the people that attend this event get to be "normal". Apparently, DC Comics declared Metropolis, IL as the "Hometown of Superman" in 1972 and the state legislature followed suit that same year. In other words, it's officially the real hometown of the fictional character.

I was definitely impressed to see the determination of Ironman. Obviously the man spent a lot of time on his costume riveting the steel together and the "boots" had to be street worthy, which he told me weighed about 20 pounds each. He had a hard time getting on stage for the judging, and needed the help of his assistant (yes Ironman had an assistant). I voted for him in the audience favorite category, but he lost to some local woman dressed as Super Girl who had the ballot box stuffed by friends. Ironman was set up from the get up.

It was a fun festival that capped off 11 hours of driving this weekend. Although it was not a food festival I even found a new variant on funnel cakes. The vendor was old school too, he actually ladled the batter into a funnel and drizzled the batter into the fryer. He used two funnels worth. It seems nowadays people are using new-fangled squirt bottles, pancake dispensers, and God help me if I see another vendor using a pastry bag. You just don't always get the slow old fashioned care and approach to funnel cakes as much as you would like these days. Well, I'm off to work on my costume for next year.

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