Social media hasn’t been too kind to the Metropolis Superman Celebration for the last few years. They just can’t believe our event is as SUPER as it really is! Our friends who have been coming for many years have been so helpful in getting information out there on their pages and for that we are thankful. MSC is setting up this page for questions and answers to help visitors with the ins and outs. We’re giving you an opportunity to ask questions that you have or you think others may be asking. So, even if you know the answer, ask the question, if you think it’s helpful to first timers! And remember, we are all volunteers so it may take a bit but we’ll answer as quick as we can.

Unless the wind is faster than a speeding bullet and a tornado leaps a tall building, a little rain won’t stop the Superman Celebration. Most main events are held under the Metro Tent at Superman Square. The kids events are all held under the Smallville Tent at 8th and Market. Artist Alley is inside the SICIL building so everything is out of the weather. Any events held at the Superman Statue will be moved to the Metro Tent. Some vendors may leave on Market Street but there will be plenty of food and fun.

Sadly, no. And believe me, we’ve tried! For years, the carnival at the Superman Celebration was a highlight for many visitors and definitely our locals. Here’s what we have learned about carnivals.

Firstly, a carnival has to have your date open. Most carnivals have a set schedule of events and only have an opening when one of their regular events stops happening.

If you can find a carnival with your date open, they want to know how far you are from either their home base or the location they are in prior to your event. Carnivals have a circuit they travel each year and to be cost effective, your location needs to fit within that circuit. One driver equals one ride, the driver takes the ride to the new location and then goes back to the previous event’s location to get another ride to bring, so on and so forth. Right after covid when drivers were scarce, most carnivals would not travel further than 50 miles from their home base and most Illinois carnivals are located in Northern Illinois.

Carnivals now want to know crowd size and have a guarantee. You’ve got to turn in records for five years of what a previous carnival made at your event. For years, the carnival that attended the Celebration gave the Metropolis Chamber a percentage of their income. It was a fundraiser for the Chamber. Now carnivals want a guarantee of income and if they fall short, you are responsible for paying the remaining part of the guarantee. It’s not cheap and the Chamber knows exactly how much we have made in years past due to the records given to us by the previous Carnival to pay our percentage.

Carnivals appearing in Illinois must be licensed in Illinois. Illinois has some of the strictest safety laws and many carnivals are unwilling to come here. A state inspector comes from Springfield to inspect each ride before it is ever opened to the public. Other carnivals say if they can pass Illinois, they know they are good in the other states.

There is such a thing as a Carnival organization that even has a convention in January so there is a list of carnivals. We have reached out every year to many, many carnivals hoping to find one with our date open, in their circuit, with a guarantee we can afford and licensed in Illinois with no luck. The Metropolis Chamber of Commerce will continue to try each year and hope you understand.

Yes, parking is free! There are two city parking lots, not huge ones but plenty of room. The largest is on Pearl and 6th Streets and the smaller behind Hardees on 6th and Ferry Streets. There is also plenty of parking on all the side streets. We do ask you do not block any driveways and do not go beyond any barricades. The Celebration is a walkable event so you will want to park your car and then walk to most events. There are several event venues that are further than you think in the heat so check out the Celebration map.