The 6th Annual Smallville SuperFest took place in Plano, Illinois, on August 18, 19, and 20, 2017. It featured music, games, and attractions for Superman (and comic book) fans of all ages.
Nicole Diaz, the Event Coordinator, explained the attendance for last year’s Smallville SuperFest, “[We estimate that anywhere from…[8,000] to 10,000 [people attended last year’s Smallville SuperFest].” “I’m hoping for the [10,000] to [12,000 people at this year’s Smallville SuperFest],” said Diaz. Diaz became involved in Smallville SuperFest because, “I had a business, while they were filming [‘Man of Steel’], and when Mayor Bob Hausler wanted to put an organization together for the festival, he invited me to the meeting.”
Smallville SuperFest was advertised in a variety of ways. Diaz explained a few of them, “Interviews…we did some press releases…we had a lot of interviews…we had some TV interviews, and radio spots.” “I just tell people, ‘Come to the train station, in Plano…that’s where the Superman Museum will be,’” said Kay Mulliner, a volunteer at the Depot, who became involved in Smallville SuperFest because, “I work at the Depot, Monday through Friday, and so I [volunteered] to [oversee] the Depot for Smallville [SuperFest].” “[Smallville SuperFest] was on Facebook a lot. It was advertised in the [news]paper. [It was advertised] on Facebook, [a lot]. On Facebook, [Smallville SuperFest] was advertised…when it [was]…what time…the dates, and everything. [The advertisement on Facebook] showed the [Batmobile]…that’s right down the street…[the Batmobile] returned this year. There was a lot of [advertisement] for [Smallville SuperFest],” said Mulliner.
The most effective advertising avenue, said Diaz, is social media. “Social media…Instagram…when people tag us…” “I think… Facebook…[works] better, because [everybody has] put it on [Facebook],” said Mulliner.
Diaz explained the easiest, and most difficult, aspect of planning Smallville SuperFest, this year, “I think…anywhere, in any community, has an issue with [getting] the volunteers.” “I think [getting] volunteers…I think that’s the biggest issue,” said Mayor Bob Hausler, the Mayor of Smallville, who explained how he initially became involved with Smallville SuperFest. “When the filming of the Superman, ‘Man of Steel’ was done in our downtown, and in our city, I thought it’d be a good idea to have a festival to commemorate the excitement and fun that everyone had.”
Each day of Smallville SuperFest 2017 had a theme. Diaz explained the inspiration behind these themes, “The reason why we [have themes for each day of the festival] is [to try] to coincide with the school. The school [has] a purple-and-white football[-type event], so we named [Friday] Purple Pride Night. Saturday is our family day, and that’s to bring everybody together and do family events. On Sunday, we honor our service people, and that’s why [Sunday is named] Service Day.”
This year’s Smallville SuperFest featured a variety of attractions. There were Opening Ceremonies on Friday, “We had the American [Legion] do the opening Honor Guard, and then we had Samantha do the National Anthem, and then we had a former Miss Illinois…[announce] our junior Hometown Hero Awards; we had five participants this year. They were referred [to us by] teachers, and they were students at our middle school. We also honor some of our service [people] that have done great deeds for the community…police officers and fire[fighters], because we want [to] honor them for [handling] dangerous situations,” said Diaz. “We presented the [Hometown Hero] Awards for those hometown heroes…the juniors and the police officers,” said Mayor Hausler. There was also Arts on Fire: Make and Take Art. “What I had [envisioned for the festival] is a [hands-on] science [project] so we…asked [the assistance of] ‘Arts on Fire’ [in coordinating the project for us]. So, [the personnel of ‘Arts on Fire’] came up with creative, hands-on art, and a lot of [the art is similar to] a science-type [project], because [some creations are projects that are similar to] goo. It was really cool that [‘Arts on Fire’] incorporated [the creative, hands-on art] with [the art that ‘Arts on Fire’] normally does,” said Diaz. The Villain’s Jail returned. “There were quite a few [people] that were contributing to keep me in [the Villain’s Jail], but, luckily, I had one very generous gentleman come over and put enough money in to get me out. I appreciated that. I may be in [the Villain’s Jail on Saturday night], when it cools off,” said Mayor Hausler. “The Mayor got in [the Villain’s Jail], and it was hard for him to get out. People would bail him out, and we’d put him back in…[really] quick,” said Diaz.
Renee Wilson, who “[works] for Rural King,” initially heard about Smallville SuperFest because, “I’ve lived in Plano my whole life.” Wilson initially became involved with the Villain’s Jail because, “Rural King is usually [at Smallville SuperFest] every year, so I decided that I wanted to get involved. I nominated myself to [have] our [Villain’s] Jail, [at Smallville SuperFest], to help us raise money.” “I’ve been [at Smallville SuperFest] every year, but this is my first year doing the [Villain’s Jail] fundraiser,” said Wilson, “[It is]…something fun for me to do, have my kids here, and it’s a good cause.” Wilson explained the Villain’s Jail and its connection to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. “The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation is for people who are living with paralysis or suffer from spinal cord [injuries], so they collect money for that. They have advocates all over…it’s a great cause. Their slogan, ‘Today’s Care. Tomorrow’s Cure’…1 [in] 50 Americans live with some form of paralysis. It’s [a] very important [cause], and what [the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation does] is wonderful.” “Basically, what we do is…[one] can pay for someone to be put in jail and whatever [one donates] to put them in [jail]…they have to raise that same amount, in order to get out [of jail]. We have goodie bags that we’re raffling off, so every time someone donates, they get entered in to win that,” said Wilson. “50 or 60 people [have visited Villain’s Jail]…we’re doing [well],” said Wilson, and “probably at least 10 or 12 [have gone through the ‘Villain’s Jail’ on Saturday] morning. It’s fun.” “I think [we’re] up to, maybe like [$30]…$40…so far. We’re doing [well],” said Wilson, “I hope a lot [of people will visit the Villain’s Jail]. I [would like to] raise at least [$400 or] $500 if we can.”
Cruise Night was also a big attraction. “Last year, a company [came] in. This year, [Smallville SuperFest is] all about bringing in the community, and bringing in the businesses from our community. So, we…asked Lyle’s Automotive if they were interested in…the Cruise Night, to promote their business, [in addition to providing] an event [for the festival], which we try to do [for] a lot of [the] events [at Smallville SuperFest]. [The Cruise Night was] really good; I think they had [at least] 40 cars [on Friday night],” said Diaz, “There [were] all kinds of old [cars]. I know there was a ’56 Ford.” “A lot of our local businesses [have] participated in different events. I actually just got out of the Villain’s Jail, which is helping to support the Christopher [Reeve Foundation], and…Rural King sponsored that particular event. We’re proud of our local businesses, like Lyle’s Automotive…for the car shows, and the events that they [provide],” said Mayor Hausler. “All ages [participate in the events at Smallville SuperFest]. If you’re 88 [years of age]…you can [participate in] ‘Arts [on Fire]’. Now, you see people [creating] the big bubbles and [participating in those] science[-type projects],” said Diaz.
There was also the Crowe’s Auto Car Show. “[The Crowe’s Auto Car Show] did an awesome job this year. We had to relocate them, because of the size of the car show. We had to relocate them over to [the intersection of] John Street and Center [Street], which is a bigger parking lot. That…worked out really well,” said Diaz. “[Crowe’s Auto Show does] a fantastic job,” said Mayor Hausler. “I [liked the Car Show]…they [had] some nice cars…newer ones…older ones…really old ones. I’m a Corvette man, so, [there was a] Corvette, just sitting…[it’s kind of] nice,” said Eric Kelly, “The Car [Show is] bigger…[there are] more vehicles.” Kelly’s role, in this year’s Smallville SuperFest, is as “A volunteer. I’ve been [at Smallville SuperFest] since the first day.” Kelly initially heard about Smallville SuperFest because, “I read [about Smallville SuperFest] on [a superhero website]. I went up to Chicago, and tried out, as an extra, for ‘Man of Steel’. I wanted to come [and] check out when they were filming the [‘Man of Steel’], but I didn’t get a chance to get [to Plano], so, when I [found out] that they were having a festival [in Plano], I figured [that] I could [come and] check [it out then]. [I’ve made] a lot of friends here.”
Another popular attraction was the Petting Zoo & Pony Rides. “This is [the] second year for [the Petting Zoo & Pony Rides]. The children really have a good experience with the Petting Zoo; when [one lives in a] town, even though [Plano is] a country town, [one doesn’t] get the experience of seeing roosters and…[peacocks]. It’s really nice…that’s fun for the kids,” said Diaz. “It’s all part of making [Smallville SuperFest] family[-oriented]. [It] works out [well], and, like [Diaz] said, it gives kids a chance to see what those animals look like,” said Mayor Hausler. There was a Phone Booth Relay. “[The Phone Booth Relay] was a [fun little] addition, that we did a few years ago. A storm…came through 2 years ago and actually demolished the Phone Booth Relay. What it consists of is costume changing. We had some great, artistic phone booths made this year [that] Brad Gardner, and [Kelly Browning from] ‘Arts on Fire’ had done. [The Phone Booth Relay is] just beautiful. I wish [it] could stay out all year-round,” said Diaz. The Kryptonite Jello Eating Contest was another popular event. “[There were] 24 participants…boys and girls alike. We had four winners, because there were so many children. We did [a contest of] boys against girls. That was awesome; I loved it. [The contest] took [the children] a while. We had to shake [the contest] up a little bit…it worked out…it was fun. It was a fun event,” said Diaz.
The Boy Scout Community Breakfast was also part of this year’s Smallville SuperFest. “It will [actually be] the Cub Scouts, this year, and it’s Pack 317, for our community, and [they will be doing the community breakfast on Sunday],” said Diaz. “We look forward to the [Boy Scout Community] Breakfast every Sunday. It’s a [really] nice event to have,” said Mayor Hausler. There was also a Rockin’ Scholarship Run. “Last year, [the family achieved the goal that they had set for the scholarship funds for] the [Andrew] Kuebrich [Hero] Run. So, we started the Rockin’ Scholarship Run, and we adopted that [event] ourselves, because the [Andrew] Kuebrich [Hero Run] was under the American Legion. So, we had adopted the [Rockin’] Scholarship Run, this year,” said Diaz. The Darik Martin Blood Drive was also a part of this year’s Smallville SuperFest. “Darik Martin was [an] Eagle Scout, here, in Plano. His mom and dad were raised [in Plano], too. [Darik] had passed away earlier, in the spring, and his mother started the [event of this blood drive] when he passed. So, she had asked if [we could create that event] and incorporate it [into] Smallville [SuperFest], which we did. [The blood drive] will be coming on Sunday, from 9 [a.m.] to 2 [p.m.], and it will be facing the Depot on Hugh Street,” said Diaz. There were also the Kids’ Super Inflatables. “We have a great sponsor for [the Kids’ Super Inflatables]…it’s Northwestern Medical. [They have] sponsored that for [the] past 6 years. Jacob’s Well… attends [Kids’ Super Inflatables] for us, and it’s just been a great addition to our festival. Kids really enjoy it; we are able to give it to them, as an event, for free, which is really a nice gift,” said Diaz. “They do a great job…it’s [a] fun event,” said Mayor Hausler. The Kids’ Old-Fashioned Game Area was another fun attraction. “That’s fun. That really brings our [not-for-profit] organizations together, [including the] Cub Scouts, the American [Legion] Auxiliary…the churches get involved in [the Kids’ Old-Fashioned Game Area],” said Diaz. “It is a great event for our [not-for-profit organizations]. [The not-for-profit organizations have] pretty much taken over that part of [Smallville SuperFest], and we appreciate everything they’ve done,” said Mayor Hausler.
The Flea Market was a new attraction, this year. “The Flea [Market is] a new thing, this year. A lot of people [inquired] about [the] Flea Market, so that was something that we wanted to add [to Smallville SuperFest]. We [had] 10 entries, which is great for the first year, so that will be really fun to see how that all turns out,” said Diaz. “I agree with [Diaz], that it’ll be interesting to see how it all turns out,” said Mayor Hausler. There was also a Beer Tent. “Q Bar is our sponsor for [the Beer Tent], and they handle all the licenses and the distribution of the alcohol. [The Beer Tent has] been a really good thing…it’s grown in size. It’s been a nice addition to [Smallville SuperFest],” said Diaz. “I think they’ve done a [really] good job [with the Beer Tent],” said Mayor Hausler. The Smallville Street Dance was also a great attraction. “[After the back to school bash], we…do a street dance for the kids,” said Diaz. “[Smallville SuperFest has] the Car Show, [on Saturday], and…[displayed] the old cars [on Friday]…[that weren’t displayed] last year. [There are] a few new vendors, this year. [Smallville SuperFest also has] the blood drive for Darik Martin…[that will take place on] Sunday, after the [Rockin’ Scholarship] Run,” said Mulliner, “All [of] our vendors returned.”
The Smallville SuperFest Parade was on Sunday. “We have local businesses [and] Girl Scouts involved in [the Parade]. We have our servicemen, again, with the fire trucks and [other vehicles] for the city. The German Bugle Band is coming back. We also have Ronald McDonald coming. Then…the Shriners are coming from nearby. So, [these will all] be participating. We have a lot of local businesses [participating in the Parade], too,” said Diaz. “Our local auto dealer sponsors the [Parade]…[Dempsey] Dodge, here in Plano. We’re happy, and thankful, that they sponsor the [Parade],” said Mayor Hausler. “[The parade was] very nice,” said Becky Lueken, who, “…was in charge of the bounce houses.” She has “…been involved with [Smallville SuperFest] for 6 years, [from] the beginning,” and became involved this year because, “It’s a fun event. It’s a nice small town.” “I like the cars,” said Jacob Herrmann-Mier, of Greek Delights. “My daughter will like the fire trucks…I know that,” said Patricia Kush, “a LuLaRoe consultant,” who initially became involved with Smallville SuperFest because, “I live a couple [of] blocks away, and I talked to Kelly at ‘Arts on Fire’…we go [to ‘Arts on Fire’] a lot, so she gave me an application and I’m set up [at Smallville SuperFest].” “This is my first time set up [as a business at Smallville SuperFest], but we’ve come the last 2 years,” said Kush, who said she has “[Seen] probably like 30 or 40 [people on Saturday],” and expects “[A] couple hundred [people]” throughout the weekend. “Everybody…everybody dressed up…it’s always kind of fun to see that,” said Tom Cooper, who is “just here, for the Flea Market, [selling] some comics…to people who are looking to buy some comics about their favorite superheroes,” which include, “comics…everything from ‘A’ to ‘Z’, from both universes, [everything] from Avengers, Batman, Superman, Catwoman, Deathstroke, Suicide Squad, The Flash…they’re all [at my booth]…Harley Quinn…” Cooper initially became involved in Smallville SuperFest when, “I found out about [Smallville SuperFest] online…I saw this event…I’m like, ‘Holy cow, this sounds really cool.’” Cooper also explained his experience of the filming of the ‘Man of Steel’, “All I saw…was that house, and I remember seeing these really big helicopters…these really big, huge helicopters, flying over, back-and-forth. I saw where the house was, where they filmed the scenes for the house, so [I was thinking], ‘[Oh], it’s [going to] be a huge film, with all these helicopters flying all over the place.’” “Just seeing this…this is so cool. This is where they filmed [the] last Superman [movie]. I remember just driving past the house…[that] farmhouse. I remember, one day, they had all the trailers by [the] golf course. I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh…this is [going to] be a cool movie,’ and I loved it. This [is] my first year, being [a] part [of it], and it’s really cool, to see everybody really being involved, and having a fun time,” said Cooper.
There was a Fire Truck Demo and Touch-A-Truck, “That…[follows] after the Parade. It gives children exposure to…fire [trucks], or an ambulance…maybe a police car. We have a new service vehicle, for the police, which is a Ford Explorer, that [the children] could check out. It…depends; each year changes…there’s no guarantee [that] we’re going to have a certain vehicle for that Touch-A-Truck. We also [brought] in some farm equipment…2 tractors…so kids can experience the tractors, too,” said Diaz. “It’s just something that kids enjoy being around, like the safety equipment, the fire trucks, the police vehicles, and the farm tractor,” said Mayor Hausler. Ryan Cihak, of the Smallville SuperFest Touch-A-Truck, explained his role, “Today, we’re doing the parade route with everybody. Right now, we’re doing the Touch-A-Truck. So, [we just let] the little kids jump up in [the truck]…[let] the public get to see [the] type of equipment we carry [on] the rig, and hand out hats, for the little kids.” The Touch-A-Truck event has been going on, “Since Smallville [SuperFest] has been going on…[we’ve] been participating in it every time, whenever they contact us for it,” said Cihak. “There was a handful [of children], when we came in, for the parade, downtown. I [would] assume probably anywhere from 75 to 100,” said Cihak, “Personally, it’s fun, just to have the little kids, [because] it’s always fun to see their expressions, and they get all superexcited when they get to see the lights…hear the sirens. [They] get a chance to jump up [in the truck] and see what’s happening [with the] equipment we have…little kids always enjoy [getting] up in the fire truck and having a good old time.” There was also an Ice Cream Social. “[Johnny K’s] is great. He sponsors an ice cream social for us, near our closing time; it’s just an awesome tribute to our festival,” said Diaz. “Even though they’re not a business, in the City of Plano, they do sponsor [Smallville SuperFest], [and] we’re happy that businesses, other than just the ones that are in Plano, do sponsor events. [It] works out [well],” said Mayor Hausler. There were also Closing Ceremonies. “What we started, a month or so ago, was a 50-50 with the American Legion, here in Plano. We will be calling the winning number for that. It’s really nice to get recognized, and [to] get everyone involved in that,” said Diaz. “It’s great to have other organizations involved in [Smallville SuperFest],” said Mayor Hausler.
There were also a number of bands at Smallville SuperFest 2017. “When we first started, [Smallville SuperFest] didn’t have any money. A lot of our bands came [to Smallville SuperFest] for free. Now, we’re bringing back the [bands] that helped [Smallville SuperFest] start, [along with] some other names, too. We’re able to hire [the bands]…[we have an] awesome stage and production company to [make it possible]. [The stage and production company is] R&B Productions. [R&B Productions has] been with [Smallville SuperFest] for [3 or 4 years now],” said Diaz.
Smallville SuperFest also had numerous vendors this year, “[Vendors at Smallville SuperFest included] LuLaRoe clothing, and some other really neat vendors. We had the Lego man, with his little Lego [figures]. [We’ve had] a nice assortment of vendors. We have a [gentleman, whose] wife [is] originally from Plano, and he decided to come, so [that] his wife could visit, for a week, with her family and…friends…so [they’re a vendor], too. So, it’s really nice…,” said Diaz.
The Smallville Museum was also a big attraction at Smallville SuperFest 2017. “I think Kay Mulliner does a great job with [maintenance of the Museum], and our city workers do a great job, too. We really depend a lot on our city workers [because] it is a city building and they had donated that area for the Museum. They do a great, great job,” said Diaz. “I dust it, I sweep it, I mop the floors,” said Mulliner. “I agree [with Diaz] 100 percent. Our city workers do a great job, but the building that we’re in is 102 years old, and, as you can see, it’s been maintained very well, and we’re very proud of, not only the interior, with the Museum, and our Historical Society has displays that [we’d] welcome people to come see, but also the exterior of the building is in great shape,” said Mayor Hausler.
Mayor Hausler explained the train stops, for the Smallville Museum, “The train runs 7 days a week, but we only have the Depot [staffed] for the weekdays, and while that’s happening, people are welcome to come through the Museum.” “During the week, we also have the Museum open during the times that our Amtrak station is open. So, really, [the Museum is] open 5 days a week, for sure, and it’s in the mornings and the evenings. Then, the 1st and 3rd Saturdays, [between] 8 [a.m.] and 3 [p.m.], unless it’s a holiday weekend, [then] we take those weekends off,” said Mayor Hausler. “[The] Amtrak [train] does stop, from Chicago, Naperville [and] La Grange. It stops in the morning at 8:30 [a.m.]. The 8:40…[p.m. or] 9:00 o’clock train [p.m.] goes back to Chicago at night,” said Mulliner. There are also more train stops to the Smallville Museum, “We currently have four [train] stops, two inbound to Chicago, two outbound from Chicago; the [routes] of those trains are from Quincy to Chicago, and back again, from Chicago to Quincy, with all [of] the stops in-between. [There are] four stops directly [to Plano]. [Plano is] scheduled to get four more [train] stops, and [that will] be from the Quad Cities to Chicago. [The trains] will stop [in Plano], and [one] can either go to Chicago or the Quad Cities,” said Mayor Hausler.
Mayor Hausler explained the props that are currently in the Smallville Museum, “The props that are in [the Smallville Museum] right now…the one main prop that [the Smallville Museum] will always have in place is the scale model of [downtown Plano] that Warner Brothers built. [Warner Brothers’] department built it, and we have that under glass, and it’s really a neat display to show how [downtown Plano] was during the movie. The other displays are [the props that] we rotate around. Currently, we have the gas pumps that were at [the] 7-Eleven, in the opening scene of the Battle of Smallville…we have one of the gas pumps [that was actually] blown up in that [scene]. We have the side of the train that goes [into] the Sears building, and we have other really neat [items] in [the Museum] now.” “I know that the train engine, that’s on [the] back of the wall…I watched [that prop being brought] in. I watched them cut it in half and put a car on one side…the front of the car on one side…the rear of the car on the other side…it’s made with wood and Styrofoam. All [of] the bricks [in the Museum are] made with Styrofoam, and painted, and [are beat up] to make [them] look old. I watched [the gas pump that is currently in the Museum] get [blown] up, so it makes it look really old. It was really awesome [to see the gas pump get blown up]…that was awesome. I got up early just to come down [to where the ‘Man of Steel’ filming was taking place] and watch that. There were two cars at the gas pump and then, all of a sudden, it was like, ‘Ka-boom!’, and that was it. The car flipped over a couple [of] times and landed and then there was a big fire,” said Mulliner, “[The model that Warner Brothers donated is] out [in the Museum], now. It’s pretty cool.” “[People] all say [that] they like [the model that Warner Brothers donated to the Smallville Museum]. They all say [that the model is] pretty cool…it’s pretty awesome. The kids like it. People stand [in front of the model], and they try to figure out, ‘OK, this is this street, here, [and] we were on this side…that was on that side…,’” said Mulliner, “I…like the whole [model].” “[The Smallville Museum has] different props from the movie, [‘Man of Steel’]. [It has] gas pumps, from the gas station [that] they blew up [for the movie], parts from the planes, parts from the train, and just little [items], from the movie, like bullets and brochures, and [items] that they got out of the bank…all kinds of neat little [props]…and, then, of course, the [model of the downtown filming] that [they’ve] got…[that’s] pretty cool,” said Kelly. “[When props are not in the Museum], we have them stored in safe locations,” said Mayor Hausler.
The Smallville Museum has had visitors from all over the world. “Everybody enjoys [the Smallville Museum]. [At the moment], we have 10…12 people in [the Museum], [checking] out what’s on display,” said Diaz. “We actually have a sign-in book that we ask the [people] that visit the Museum to sign and the last time I checked, we had…people…from 30 different states, and I believe it was 17 different countries. So, we do get a wide variety of [people] coming to visit the Museum,” said Mayor Hausler. “[The Museum has had visitors] from China, Japan, all over [the world],” said Mulliner. “Most [comments about the Smallville Museum] are very positive,” said Mayor Hausler.
Mayor Hausler explained possible “surprises” that may be in the Smallville Museum in the future, “[We]…[have] a different display in the Museum now. [We] actually have a display of the Battle of Smallville…that’s new this year, and that one [is one that] we didn’t really want to disclose [last year].” “We have a lot of neat items from during the filming when Superman was at our Centennial school, when he was [a] young kid, and so we have some items from that that we’d like [to] display. Then, [there are] a few other things that I’d like to keep a secret until we get [them] out, and just have [them] displayed.” “We’re going to shake things up…I think it’s time to shake things up inside [the Smallville Museum]. We have a lot of [items] for displays, so we try to [switch things around] a little bit. The [people] who maintain [the Museum are] just wonderful…they are exceptional [individuals who tend to] our Museum…I don’t know what we would do without them,” said Diaz. “We do have a lot of different items in storage, and we would like to rotate those items through, and [make] the display [a little more fresh]. [The Museum is] pretty neat, right now, but we’ve had the same items out for quite a while, and [it’d] be good to rotate it around,” said Mayor Hausler, “We’d…like to make [upcoming items in the Museum] a surprise for people, when they come to see the Museum.”
“I just like Superman himself,” said Angel Duran, as he explained how he became interested in Superman. This is his first year at Smallville SuperFest as a food vendor. Duran “…[saw] the actual filming [of ‘Man of Steel’]…I live in town. I’ve seen…when they did the [stage props] and [other things in Plano]…and I’ve been around since they [even] started [having Smallville SuperFest],” and remembers “…[seeing] that they had the train station all nice and propped up. [I saw] all the cool movie foam, bricks that they made, the helicopters that were flying around with the Army people on them…it [was] a lot.” Duran then heard about Smallville SuperFest because, “[I saw advertisements] in my neighborhood. The flags [advertising Smallville SuperFest] were [around town] and it said, ‘Smallville [SuperFest], gave the dates, we applied, and we [became a part of Smallville SuperFest] the next week.” “The old Superman…I grew up with Superman [on] Saturday mornings,” said Lueken. “I like to watch [Superman]…I like to watch the old ones…[with George Reeves],” said Bonnie Bauer, of R B & Associates, a land surveying business. Bauer’s role at this year’s Smallville SuperFest was, “just being [at Smallville SuperFest]…trying to [entertain] kids…[and promote] the business. Our building was actually used as the headquarters, [you might say], for the crew and characters [during the filming of ‘Man of Steel’].” Bauer has been involved in Smallville SuperFest for 2 years and has already seen “…10 [people at her booth] so far [on Saturday morning].” Bauer initially became a Superman fan by, “just [watching] it on TV, as a child.” Bauer’s business was unique during the filming of the ‘Man of Steel’. She explained, “A lot of the businesses [in Plano] were changed from furniture [businesses] to grain [businesses for the movie ‘Man of Steel’], but we are [actually a] land surveying business, and they had a land surveyor symbol [in the movie ‘Man of Steel’].” “The reason why I’m a [Superman] fan is [that I] just moved to Plano and they were filming the [‘Man of Steel’] movie [in Plano]. I never got a chance to see a movie being filmed. Being part of [the ‘Man of Steel’ being filmed in Plano has] made me a big Superman fan,” said Jamal Williams, “[I became interested in Superman because of] everything he stands for.” Williams’ role in this year’s Smallville SuperFest, is “I’m on the Committee. I’m also [the] one sponsoring [the] booth, ‘Ward 2 Alderman Jamal Williams’”. Williams initially heard about Smallville SuperFest because “I’m on the Committee. [I’m] just trying to help out, [to] do something for the community,” and assists by “…[helping] with planning, zoning, logistics, getting vendors and the booths set up.” “My kids…my husband [made me interested in Superman],” said Laura Minick, whose earliest memory of Superman is “probably [the age of] 12…[a] cartoon.” Minick’s role in this year’s Smallville SuperFest is “…we’re representing the Women’s Auxiliary with the American Legion. I’m the Vice President, and [the American Legion runs] a couple [of] games, and the proceeds go to…our Veterans’ [Fund].” “I live [in Plano]. I usually follow [Smallville SuperFest] on Facebook,” said Minick, about how she initially found out about Smallville SuperFest, and she “…Initially [became] involved [because] of the Womens’ Auxiliary.”
“I think [my earliest memories of Superman are] the old cartoons from the [1940s], with Superman, and the old Superman TV show,” said Brian Brown with The Brick Pick, who, during his first year at Smallville SuperFest, wants “to make as many kids happy as possible.” Brown initially became involved with Smallville SuperFest because, “I saw a couple [of] people going on Facebook; I thought [Smallville SuperFest] would be a fun thing to go to [and] see,” and has seen 300 people so far. “[My first memory of Superman is] watching [Superman] on a small black-and-white TV, as a kid,” said Brown, who initially became a Superman fan, “…through comics and movies. I always watched [Superman] on TV, as a kid, but later on I got to be a much bigger fan [as they] had more stuff, with [the] comics and the movies.” “[The filming of the ‘Man of Steel’ movie] was a big thing for [Plano]…a wonderful big thing for [Plano],” said Cindy Carr, a vendor for the Flea Market, who initially heard about Smallville SuperFest because, “We’re from the area, so we’ve known about [Smallville SuperFest] for the last few years,” and became involved when “I saw [Smallville SuperFest] advertised on the Facebook page.” “It’s nice to get small towns out together, involved,” said Cindy Carr, whose earliest memory of Superman was “The cartoon on TV…years and years ago,” and “Superman…was our first date [movie].” “The interesting part…when [one comes] around, [one gets] to see where they filmed certain parts of the [‘Man of Steel’] movie…[it] brings a lot more of the entertainment part of the [‘Man of Steel’] movie,” said Dan Carr. “Childhood. I have two kids [and] we were always watching ‘Superman’ and ‘Batman,’” said Iwona Wyszynski, of Ivana’s Cafe. Wyszynski initially heard about Smallville SuperFest because, “[We heard about Smallville SuperFest] from the local people…everybody is so excited…they’re all talking about the Superman festival. We opened [the] cafe…6 months ago and everybody was so excited…everybody talks about it…how big and important this is for [the] Plano community, so we decided to join [them] this year [and we] love it.” She initially became involved with it, when “I spoke with the [Smallville SuperFest] organizer, [Nicole] Diaz.” This was the first year for the Ivana’s Cafe booth and they saw “25 [or] 30 people [on Saturday],” but expect to see hundreds throughout the weekend. “[I] watched Superman, [growing] up, when I was about 8 or 9 years old,” said Williams. “I remember the [original Superman movies], with Christopher Reeve, when they came out. I’ve always been into Superman, since [I was] a very little girl,” said Maggie Heery, who is “[A vendor]…Fun Time [Lawns] rentals,” and initially heard about Smallville SuperFest because, “[Some of us] live in Plano and this is not our first time at [Smallville SuperFest]. I found out [about Smallville SuperFest] from family.” “I like Superman. I remember watching it, back in the day, in the early [1970s]. I watched all the Superman movies. I like the idea that [‘Man of Steel’ was filmed] locally, [in Plano],” said Matt Jackson, a vendor, who found out about Smallville SuperFest because, “I live in Plano.” Jackson’s earliest memory is “probably the Christopher Reeve [Superman movies]…the first [movies]. I enjoyed the movies as a [teenager/young adult].” “My daughter is [a big superhero fan]. She really likes Wonder Woman right now,” said Kush. “We follow [Superman]. We go to all [of] the [Superman] movies,” said Robin Perry, a retail vendor, who initially heard about Smallville SuperFest because, “We were [at Smallville SuperFest], 5 years ago, for the first [Smallville SuperFest], just as visitors. My wife is from Plano, originally, born and raised [in Plano]. So, we came down [to Plano], and, this year, I decided…we’ll just come…to Plano…she’ll get to see all of her old friends.” Robin Perry’s earliest memory is “When we were kids, the original…George Reeves.” “When I was 6 years old, [seeing] the Christopher Reeve [Superman movies]…that couldn’t have been any cooler for a 6-year-old kid, watching Superman come out. I saw it on the big screen,” said Cooper. “The [Superman] movies…I love the [Superman] movies,” said Wilson, “I think I was about 3 [years of age], and I dressed as Superman for Halloween.” “I remember my dad talking about the Superman TV show, from when he was a kid, and, probably, the very first Superman movie. I remember [that] we didn’t go to the movies and see it. I saw it on a VHS tape…many, many years later…that was probably my first…where I knew about [Superman],” said Christy Hager, who represents “Jacob’s Well…[it’s] a church. We provide services, to the community. We serve by providing the supervision for the bounce houses that [Smallville] SuperFest provides, and [we] also provide a changing area for moms to change their babies, and also to nurse, where it’s clean and taken care of for them.” Hager initially became involved with Smallville SuperFest because, “We have been a part of Smallville SuperFest, I believe, from the first year, in one form or another. Most of the time, [our participation has] been…what we’re doing, this year, where we volunteer to help [Smallville SuperFest] in whatever [capacity] they needed, and this was one of the ways [in which] we could help. [Jacob’s Well], as a whole, has been a part of [Smallville SuperFest], and I’ve been a part of [Smallville SuperFest], I think, for every year, but one.” “As far as what we did, to set [the bounce houses] up, we really just [turned] the generators on…these are bounce houses that [Smallville SuperFest] provides…that [Smallville SuperFest rents]. Then, we set up our octagonal tent, that we have our baby care area in, where moms can change and nurse. [There are] a few tables to allow [moms to change and nurse], and a couple [of] chairs. [We] provide something, free, for the kids to do,” said Hager. “I think, for me, it was ‘[Superman] Returns’. [‘Superman Returns’] really did focus on more of the emotional. [Superman] was willing to give his life in that movie, for the world…this world, that had rejected him. I remember when my husband and I saw that movie, and we remembered thinking, ‘This is very much like the story of Jesus, that this was a world that rejected him, and yet, he was willing to give his life.’ That’s what that Superman was willing to do. In fact, he was willing to give up everything, [including] his life. He knew that the best thing for Lois Lane was for her to go forward with this guy that she loved, even though it hurt [him]. I just remember seeing such a selfless Superman, and the correlation, to Christ, was very important to us. I was always kind of a superhero [fan]…I liked it,” said Hager, “We’re big superhero people, in our house, and…we really love how we see a little bit more about what’s going on, mentally and emotionally, with superheroes. [A superhero seems] to be someone who didn’t really feel for a long time. The last several Superman [and Spider-Man] movies…[one begins] to see that they are, maybe, more human than what [one] originally gave them credit for. It’s kind of the psychological side of it [that] has been really interesting. We loved the new Wonder Woman movie; our whole family [raved] about [Wonder Woman]. We like the heroes…we are all drawn to the hero aspect. We’re [people who are drawn to] special effects, fantasy…at our house, too. We like it all…Star Wars, Star Trek…all of that. There’s just something special about Superman, I think, for most people.” “I remember, when I was a kid, seeing a clip of the Christopher [Reeve] movie, where he was at Niagara Falls…I was so young, and, also, I’m from Buffalo, New York, which is near Niagara Falls, as well. That was my earliest memory, and I didn’t really watch the movie, until I met my husband, in my early 20s,” said Nicole Davidson, “…from Jacob’s Well, also…just supporting, and being [at Smallville SuperFest], if anybody needs to be directed anywhere…one child asked if the water was free, and, so, I helped her get the water…just being [at Smallville SuperFest], in general.” “This is actually my first year helping [at Smallville SuperFest], just [because] I’m a member of [Jacob’s Well],” said Davidson, who initially found out about Smallville SuperFest when, “We just moved [to Plano] two summers ago, from Harvard, Illinois, and…we were excited, [because] we’re Superman fans, and, especially of the movie, [‘Man of Steel’], that was made [in Plano], so we were just excited to come to the festival, every year, and, then, this is the first year that we realized [that] we could help out, with [Jacob’s Well].” “When my husband and I started dating, and we got married in 2002, that was around the time that they really started making a lot more superhero movies. Marvel came out with ‘Spider-Man’. We like sci-fi, sort of fun movies, like that, so we, of course, before kids, had time for a lot of dates, and, so, we would go to all of those movies, and we just started getting really caught up in the excitement of being superhero fans, and then, of course, we had a son, first, who was constantly running around the house in some kind of superhero costume. Then, more kids came. It’s just been such a wonderful family tradition; even my husband and I are wearing superhero shirts a lot of the time. It’s just so much fun…I love it. Superhero movies are my favorite, favorite genre,” said Davidson, “Superman, the original Christopher [Reeve] movies, were my husband’s absolute favorite, growing up, and, so, we have four kids, so we’re big superhero fans, in general. Of course, if the dad in the family, is a Superman fan, it trickles on down. We’re actually pretty proud to live in Plano, where we have something like [Smallville SuperFest].” “My husband [made me interested in Superman]. I [loved] Henry Cavill’s portrayal [of Superman]…I just think he makes an excellent Superman and I love the tone of the newer movies that are being made…they’re a little more serious, and I like that. We’re very into DC characters, in general, and it’s great to see how the new movies are bringing in a bunch of new characters. It’s just ongoing stories…,” said Davidson.
There were a number of people in costume at this year’s Smallville SuperFest. “As a kid, I was not always the strongest…Spider-Man was my first…even after he became a superhero, he didn’t look very [bulky]…he made jokes while he was [portraying Spider-Man]…I always liked that,” said Elijah Cann, whose role, in Smallville SuperFest, this year, is “I’m one of the [superheroes] that walk up and down the street, interacting with kids [and keeping them] happy during the day.” Elijah initially heard about Smallville SuperFest because, “I was actually part of the original Committee that put [Smallville SuperFest] together. I learned about it from my mom; we were part of the town paparazzi [that was] trying to get pictures of the movie as it [was being filmed] and then we got my hair cut one day and [Nicole], one of the leaders of [the Committee], told us about [the Committee] and we started going to meetings.” Elijah initially became involved because, “I think Mayor Bob [Hausler] wanted to do something in [Plano] to commemorate [the filming of the ‘Man of Steel’ movie], and wanted to [create] something [similar to] ‘Hometown Days’, but more interactive. So, he started [Smallville SuperFest], and it…started as…a smaller [festival]…[and] ended up growing to three blocks. That’s where [Smallville SuperFest is now]…so it’s good.” Elijah became a superhero fan because “My mother really liked Batman…that was one of my first favorite superheroes.” “Since I can remember. [Superman has] always been [my] favorite, since the movies came out. I was only…4 [years old] when the first [movie] came out,” said Kelly, who is intrigued by, “What [Superman] stands for…truth and justice.”
Elijah explained his favorite superhero series, “I really like the original TV show, ‘Smallville’; I really like that one, because Green Arrow makes an appearance in it, at the very end of it” and “[My favorite ‘Smallville’ episode is] probably the one that Green Arrow is [a part of].” “[My favorite ‘Smallville’ episode is] the final one…I’ve seen it at least ten times,” said Kelly. “I love that [‘Smallville’ TV] show. Just the whole series was good. [It] was a really good show…I really enjoyed that show…every episode was good, and I really thought John Schneider, growing up as [a] Dukes of Hazzard fan, did great as Superman’s dad…[I] thought he was wonderful in that role,” said Cooper.
Elijah’s favorite superhero characters are “Obviously, I love Green Arrow. I [also] like…Batman.” “I like [the good] guys and the bad guys [because] the good guys are only as good as their bad guys,” said Kelly. Elijah’s favorite supporting character is “Robin…probably the Dick Grayson Robin is the best, because he [jokes] while he jumps around and [does cartwheels].”
If Elijah could be any Superman character, “[I’d] probably be Superboy; he has a lot more of the joking side. I like [to] tell jokes. He has a lot more of the joking side and he’s a lot more playful, with the way he handles [things]. Generally, when [Superboy stops a villain], he always ends with a one-liner…[but] his one-liners aren’t serious…they’re just kind of funny and [comical],” and “[My favorite TV show that the Green arrow has starred in is] The Green Arrow TV show, on the CW [network].”
If Elijah could meet any of the cast members of any of his favorite TV shows, “Meeting Grant [Gustin], from [The] Flash…would be awesome, [because] he seems pretty cool. [Meeting] Stephen Amell…would be really cool. I saw [Stephen Amell]…on American Ninja Warrior, and he seemed really down-to-earth.” If he could meet any celebrities who played superheroes, “I think [I would like to meet] Ben Affleck…he seems pretty cool.” Elijah has, however, met a few superhero-related celebrities, “I did meet [one of the original artists for most of DC Comics], and…while we were talking, he actually drew a Green Arrow [picture], and it’s hanging on my wall at home. I really like that. I almost met Stan Lee, and then he had to go [due to illness]. I think [the artist] was one of the ones that actually created Green Arrow, the Golden Age version of him. He does have a graphic novel, that he made, that I really like, and it’s [‘Green Lantern/Green Arrow’], and they travel across America, and they talk about political [topics], but [the graphic novel is from] the [1980s], so it’s a little dated now. It is very interesting…[I like that one].” “At C2E2, I met Dan Jurgens; he’s the one who came up with [the] ‘The Death of Superman’ idea. So, that was cool…That was…a highlight…meeting some of the guys who actually created the comics,” said Cooper. If Elijah could change anything Superman, or superhero-related, “In the ‘Arrow’ [TV] show, I would make [Green Arrow] joke a little bit more…I would have him lighten up a little bit on the show.” “I would change the fact that Jonathan Kent died in a tornado in ‘Man of Steel’, because one of the defining moments of Superman is that he couldn’t save his dad, no matter what [he did]. [Clark] could have [run] over…and [saved his dad from the tornado]. That was the defining moment for Superman…he can’t save everybody,” said Kelly. If Elijah could tell any actor, or actress, that he admires, anything, “On the show [The Flash, Grant Gustin’s] character, Barry [Allen]…always has hope [in every situation], and I think that is very admirable, and it’s very hard to do. Always having the ‘We can do this’ mentality can change a whole lot.” “I would have to say Christopher Reeve, for doing what he did, after he was paralyzed…to still be a Superman,” said Kelly. “[Gal Gadot]…keep doing a great job as Wonder Woman. She’s wonderful,” said Cooper.
Elijah explained the various portrayals, of Green Arrow throughout the years, “On the show…[Green Arrow is] very serious, but, the Golden Age version of him…he’s very [clowny]…he jokes around a lot. He has the famous Boxing Glove Arrow that just has a boxing glove on the end of it…and he has just a lot of random arrows. [However], the newer versions of him are starting to try to make him a little bit more like Batman, where he’s just dark and [brooding]. I still like [Green Arrow].” Elijah also explained the possible creation of a future ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ costume, “[In regard to] the ‘Spider-Man’ [costume], I always liked the homemade [costume]; it’s very similar to the Scarlet Spider comics. It’s just kind of like a…[blue sweatpants with red boots] and a red hoodie with [a] blue shirt, and then gloves [similar to the ones I’m currently wearing], [and then] a full mask, goggles, and a hood.” “I really like [being Green Arrow], but, maybe…down the road…doing…a different costume, every day. I’m looking at doing a Flash [costume], but I might be doing one of the Spider-Man suits from the new movie, ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’,” said Elijah.
“I do love Stephen Amell’s version [of Green Arrow],” said Elijah, of his favorite portrayal, who explained his ideas for a future superhero series, “I think there’s a character called Red Hood in the Batman franchise, and I think he’s very interesting. He was one of Batman’s sidekicks, that ended up getting killed, and [being] brought back to life. [Red Hood’s] storyline, I think, would be interesting enough to [warrant] a TV show.” “I like Tom Welling [as] Clark Kent, growing up. I like [Tom Welling’s portrayal],” said Kelly.
According to Elijah, “I think there can be [a ‘true fan’]…it depends on the character, and I think that might be scary, at times. I think, if somebody was like that, with Barry Allen, I think that would be amazing, because he [has a very good outlook on life], and different characters, I think, would be good.” “I have two very different [types of] friends, at my school. One of them knows a lot about comics, like I do, and one of them is just kind of a casual person, and I have very different conversations, between the two of them. With one of [them], we can talk about the first issue of Batman in Detective Comics [#24], when he uses the gun, and that’s the first time, and then after that, his number one rule is ‘No guns’, and how ironic that is. With my other friend, we just talk about, ‘Oh, the new Spider-Man movie was really cool,’” said Elijah.
Charlee Soffer, who [is] “still a volunteer…I try to come out, each day, to help [with Smallville SuperFest]…heard about [Smallville SuperFest in] 2012,” and then became involved because, “[Egan and I] just come every year,” explained the inspiration for his costume, at this year’s Smallville SuperFest, “I always bring my Superman/Superboy [costume], every year. [As I mentioned] in the first year [of Smallville SuperFest], I always want to make sure that there is someone here for the kids, and the families, to take pictures with as Superman, or a Kryptonian, rather. There should be a Kryptonian, in blue spandex, here. So, I always make sure that they have that.” “I was going to wear [the] Hawkgirl costume, that I’ve worn [to Smallville SuperFest], before, in Metropolis and [other places]. This year, the wings that go with the costume were not allowed on [the train, due to space concerns]. [Soffer] had to leave [the wings] behind, have a friend come [and] pick [them] up [on the train]. It was like, ‘Uh oh, I have nothing [to wear] for Saturday.’ I had to [create] a last-minute ‘Plan B’. So, I got online and looked for local costume shops [near] Huntley. I found a place that had a website, so I started looking at what [the costume shop] had available. I wanted to find [a costume that was] easy to [create], and my Hawkgirl costume is probably one of the most difficult [costumes] to prepare and [wear], with the harness and [other parts of the costume]. I ran across a prison jumpsuit [on the website]. I said, ‘Wait a second, maybe [it] would be fun to be a villain.’ I said, ‘Maybe I could [be] a…Joker or Harley Quinn.’ So, I started [tossing] around ideas. [It was like]…I already have a blonde wig…all I need is the jumpsuit, and I [have] a couple of extra pieces of makeup to go with it. I also got a green wig, so that I could switch over, and also just wear exactly what I have on now, put on a green wig, and be Joker,” said Colleen Egan, who [is a] “Part-time volunteer, and…[spending time], for fun…visiting our friends, [in Plano], too.” She initially “[Heard about Smallville SuperFest] from Charlee [Soffer], when he first got me to come out [to Smallville SuperFest] and dressed up as Lana Lang, [the] cheerleader.” She then became involved in this year’s Smallville SuperFest, because, “It…stems from coming, ever since the first year. [Plano is]…like a second home. [Plano] kind of adopted us after the first year.” “I’ve always had a deep love for the Joker, and just the question of, ‘Is he sane, or not?’ has always been…my favorite thing, ever, to…try and pick apart, so I always…like to get [into] his psyche and…figure it out myself,” said Lacey Romanov, who [is] “The Joker this year.” He initially found out about Smallville SuperFest because, “I live in Plano, so I [receive] all [of] the advertisements around town.” “I like the character in Batman v. Superman; I thought it was a cool character. He’s trying to protect the world, even from Superman, at that time. I thought it was a good, good character,” said Steve Escorcia, who is “[Portraying] Nightmare Batman. I [portray] Batman [at Smallville SuperFest] every year…I’ve been doing this since [Smallville SuperFest] started, and I found out about it [through] friends. Charlee [Soffer]…he [portrays] Superboy [at Smallville SuperFest], and we knew about [the festival] when it first [started]. When ‘Man of Steel’ came out, we found out that they [were] going to have a celebration [in Plano], because they filmed Smallville [in Plano], so we started coming [to Smallville SuperFest] that first year.” “[My costume is] actually the season 1 of ‘Arrow’. The [coat] is an exact replica; I made the pants. I got the jacket online…[the] pants…we found some green skinny jeans, and then we sewed on a replica of what [‘Green Arrow’ wears] on the show,” said Elijah.
“[My costume at Smallville SuperFest today was inspired by] the first season of Stephen Amell’s ‘Arrow’ on [the] CW [network]…[my costume] is almost an exact [replica],” said Elijah, “I’ll, for sure, be Green Arrow, but there might be a Flash costume in my future. I [still] have to find [the] pants.” “I’m saving up for a season 4 costume, but, right now, I have the season 1 [costume],” said Elijah, “The season 4 [costume] is better, [in] this [weather], because it’s kind of like a vest, and it has a sleeve that only goes from the forearm to the hand, so I wouldn’t have a total leather jacket on, which [is extremely uncomfortable] in the heat. That would be a little [more comfortable]. Then, I think the legs have a lot of fabric that breathes a little bit more…it’s not just a jean or leather fabric.”
“I actually finished [my Conner Kent Superboy costume]. A friend of mine, who used to live in St. Louis, with me…he’s a very good photo editor and Photoshop artist. We spent a [lot of time] together in St. Louis and he knows [that] that’s one of my favorite characters. So, he actually helped me [to] finish the costume, and he gifted me the unitard. He got me the last piece [of the costume that] I needed. It was really nice of him to do [that]. He also helped me [to] get a suit that [I will debut on Sunday]. Another piece that I was trying to finish…I was trying to get another replica Gerard Christopher suit; it’s the [suit that I wore during the first year]. [My friend] actually got me a replica unitard…for Gerard…that was the bonus. I knew he was [going to] help me with Superboy, but he helped me with the Superboy from the [1990s] TV show, and I thought that was pretty cool, too,” said Soffer.
Egan explained costumes that she plans to wear, in future years of Smallville SuperFest, “[In] future years, [my costume would involve] sticking with the whole Lana Lang [outfit]. My first experience [of Lana Lang] was from the Superman movies from the [1970s] and [1980s], so…continuing the trend that I’ve done with various versions [of Lana Lang]. [Continuing] with that trend [of portraying Lana Lang], I want to continue future Lana Lang [portrayals]…I have the cheerleading outfit but I want to go ahead and…elaborate on it in an Insect Queen costume that I had done about 3 years ago.” She also explained how girls reacted to her costume this year, “One little girl…reached out and gave me a hug, then, there was another little girl, who, when the family asked [to] take pictures [with me], the one girl [said], ‘I’m [going to] stand by [Egan].’ Usually everybody wants to stand by Superman…I’m sure [that the little girls] recognize the [ponytail], the red and black, the eye makeup…” Egan also explained how she thinks girls will react to her costume in future years, “I think, maybe…teenage [and] little girls, too, will react to the Harley Quinn [costume], just because she’s been so popular lately, especially with teenage girls, since Suicide Squad [premiered in theaters]…even though it’s a different look than [the costume I am wearing]…because [the costume that] I’m [wearing is] from the comics. With Supergirl, I want to [portray] Helen Slater’s Supergirl, and I think [that costume is going to] get a lot of positive feedback. Not, probably, so much from…little girls, but probably more [from] women who…recognize the classic Supergirl.”
Elijah explained how children react to his Green Arrow costume, “That’s great [when children recognize me as Green Arrow]. I absolutely love it. The [kids] try to [trip] me [up with show trivia], and I’ll be like, ‘Oh…well, actually…I didn’t miss…I just shot a boomerang arrow that came back…’ So, that’s always great,” said Elijah.
“[Next year], I might be the original Dark Knight again [in Plano] because I always [portray] the Dark Knight [at Smallville SuperFest]. This is the first time I’ve [portrayed] Nightmare Batman [at Smallville SuperFest]. I [portrayed] this character in Metropolis, in June,” said Escorcia.
Wyszynski explained her costume, for this year’s Smallville SuperFest, “Superwoman can do it all.”
Soffer explained the easiest and most difficult aspects of portraying his character this year, “The heat. I actually had to get a pair of sunglasses from [one of the vendors] because the sun was too unbearable. Every time [Green Arrow and I] would come up for a picture, I would say, ‘Can we stand against the sun, so we’re not being blinded?’, and the parents [were already] on board, because the kids were complaining just as much. So, I think everyone was having the same trouble with the sun. If I could find a pair of sunglasses, that were classy, that Superman would actually get away with wearing, I would wear them [at] every festival…as long as it would be in character, of course. That’s probably something that’s challenging.” “[The most difficult aspects of portraying my character are] probably doing the makeup, because this is the first time [that I’ve] used the kind of makeup that I’m using…I’m using theater makeup that I bought at the store where I got the costume pieces. [The makeup is] like a powder…but it’s [a] powder-to-water base makeup…it took me [more than] an hour to get the combination. I’d say the makeup was the most difficult part,” said Egan. “I was looking at a lot of going back into Silver Age, and I liked the very simplistic Joker look, so I tried to make it as recognizable, yet as simple as possible,” said Romanov. “Some of it is from my regular Batman, Dark Knight, but…the rest is…I just got [an] overcoat…that stuff is from the thriftshop, I bought, and just put it together, and it was kind of simple to make. I like the look of it…I like the way it looks. [The costume is] not too constricting, like the other Batman costume I wore…[that required] a lot [of] armor, so [it was] a little heavier, [difficult] to move. This [costume doesn’t have] that much armor in it, so I can move freely in [it]. I thought it was the simplicity and the look of the character [that] I liked,” said Escorcia. “For me, since I have a very joking nature…[it’s] kind of hard to [conceal that]. On the [‘Arrow’] TV show, [Green Arrow is] a very serious person…so that’s difficult. Trying not to smile, a whole lot, in pictures, [because] he doesn’t really smile a lot [is difficult]. It’s just difficult to be as serious, as he is, on the [TV] show,” said Elijah.
“Superman, Wonder Woman…[I’ve] seen the Green Arrow…[I’ve] seen him walking around…he’s really cool. [I’ve] seen…festival [attendees dressing] up like Batman [and] Superman…I think that’s really cool…they’re all wearing capes…all the kids. I’ve seen a lot [of] people in costume. Definitely…Superman…is my favorite. It looks just like him,” said Duran, who explained the superheroes he saw at Smallville SuperFest. “Superman,” said Lueken. “Some of the runners were dressed up [in costume],” said Cindy Carr. “We saw the Joker,” said Dan Carr. “I’ve seen a lot of the superheroes walking around. [I’ve seen] Superman, Supergirl, [the] Joker, Green Arrow,” said Diana Hastings, who is “…[at] the library booth, I [was at] the library book sale [on Friday] and the [information] booth [on Saturday].” “[I found out about Smallville SuperFest] through the newspaper,” said Hastings, and became involved because, “I’m a Friend of the Library. I was the Library Director for many years. I’m very involved in the Library activities.” “I’ve seen Superman…I’ve seen Batman, the Joker, and a few [others],” said Williams. “I’ve seen Harley Quinn…the Joker, Supergirl…a whole group of [them] walked by. Superman was [in the group],” said Heery. “There [are] some people, in costume, [at Smallville SuperFest]…it’s kind of cool,” said Jackson. “[I saw] Superman [and the] Joker [on Saturday],” said Nicholas Quinn, a food vendor. “[On Friday night], I saw Clark Kent,” said Kush. “[I’ve seen] Supergirl,” said Ruth Morello, with the Library booth, who “…found out about Smallville SuperFest through] word of mouth [and] in the newspaper,” and, “This is my first year [at] our booth, that is put on by our Board of Trustees, of the Library. So, they have a booth every year. So, I just volunteered to work at [the booth]. I am a Friend of the Plano Library, as well.” “I’ve seen a Batgirl, I’ve seen a guy running [the] 5K in a Batman [costume],” said Cooper. “We’ve seen lots of people in costume. We’ve seen The Joker and Superman and Harley Quinn and Green Arrow and Batgirl,” said Hager. “I saw Wonder Woman taking pictures,” said Davidson.
“I think it shows that…with all [of] these completely different backgrounds, [but] some people coming from…horrible [circumstances], or some people just realizing things are [not right] in the world, that [one] can always stand up and make a difference. They even push past their own physical boundaries, even though they’re so much farther than humans, that I think it just shows you can be so much more,” said Elijah, as to why he thinks superheroes are so popular, “I feel…[that superheroes stick] up for the little person. When [one sees this], in real-life, it becomes a big [deal]. When [one] can just, always, pick up a comic book, or [regular] book…like a novel, and just read about [this situation], that…can affect how somebody’s day goes…knowing that there’s still at least somebody, out there, that believes it could happen.” “[Superman] stands up for the weak, truth…justice. Even if he didn’t have the powers that he [has], [he would] still be the same guy…[he would] still do what he does, [as much as he is able],” said Kelly. “I think Superman is popular because he represents what everybody would like to be,” said Brown, who “…liked [the ‘Man of Steel’ movie] a lot…I thought [Superman] was very interesting, to be made a bit more human, or to have more flaws…” “He’s [the] good guy…[because this] world needs good guys,” said Cindy Carr. “It’s…a fantasy, morals…,” said Wyszynski. “[Superman] embodies [what] everyone is trying to [be]…family, community…looking out for the weak,” said Williams. “I think [Superman is] just an American hero that people look up to,” said Minick. “[For] the same [reason] as all superheroes…just the whole idea of the good against bad…,” said Heery. “Fantasy…I think the fact that there is good and evil in the world, and that good always triumphs over evil…we wish there was a Superman,” said Robin Perry. “[Superman] represents everything…what everybody…either wants someone to be, or what they hope themselves to be…Truth, Justice, and the American Way…and the fact [that] he’s always fighting for good, so people, always, are hoping, for either, to be that person, or, maybe, they’ll meet somebody, in their life, that’ll be that person,” said Cooper. “[Superman is a] good figure…role model,” said Wilson. “[Superman] was always respectful and he always treated others fairly. Even the villains…[Superman] didn’t do what he did out of anger, but out of a way of protecting [people]. I think that that’s part of it. I think we’re drawn to [Superman’s] character and his strength. We see that he’s human, but yet he still exhibits that character and strength,” said Hager. “I think it’s just [Superman’s] sense of integrity, and the fact that he truly wants to do good all [of] the time, and is honest. He’s so strong, so we look up to him, yet, he’s vulnerable, too. I think most people want Superman to be happy…they want him to have love in his life. They want him to [have] friendships and things that are difficult for him [because of who he is]. So, here’s this person, that we almost want to take care of, emotionally, but who is so strong, and who is trying to fight for all of us,” said Davidson.
There are currently several TV shows about superheroes. “I think the shows [on the CW network] are doing very, very well. In particular, ‘Arrow’ is one of the older shows, and I know they’re trying to rebrand. They have another Black Canary…I think she’s doing pretty [well]. I would like to see Oliver get in a romance with [the] Black Canary…or a related character…maybe this new girl, [because, according to comics], Oliver and Dinah were always together. I think ‘Flash’ is [going to] be good, because it’s starting to [follow more with the comic books], when he would have to pay for trying to fix time, which I thought was very good writing, and we’re [going to] see some more characters this year, which I’m excited about. With…the Legends [of Tomorrow] and Supergirl, I’m excited to see what happens in season 3 [of Legends of Tomorrow] and all I [can] say about Supergirl is [that] I really miss Mon-El, but I hope they do something with Conner Kent soon…I think that [would] be fun to see on TV,” said Soffer. “Arrow, Flash, Supergirl…Legends [of Tomorrow are on the CW TV network]…I think they’re great. I think DC is doing an excellent job with the [shows]…whether it’s doing crossovers with [them], and since they brought [shows over to the] CW [network], I think they’ve done remarkably well with the TV shows,” said Egan. “I’ve seen bits and pieces of some of [the current superhero TV shows]; they look pretty good,” said Romanov. “I watch The Flash and Supergirl…the good character is there. They’re like the comics, for me; they’re based on what’s [in] the comics. [They’re] very entertaining and [they’re] true to the comics. [I like] The Flash and Supergirl…I’ve been watching since the beginning. I like how they [include the original] Supergirl…[Helen Slater],” said Escorcia. “Although I really like ‘The Flash’ and ‘Smallville’…[CW’s] ‘Arrow’ is my favorite,” said Elijah, “I think if [Supergirl’s] sister, and her…I think it would be interesting if Jimmy…and then [Supergirl’s] sister, and [Supergirl], made a team…I think that would be kind of cool.” “I’ve always liked Supergirl, but I’ve always liked more of the Silver Age Supergirl,” said Elijah, “I do really like [Melissa Benoist]…the [actress] that plays Supergirl, and I like the idea of Jimmy Olsen…I do like what [the TV show ‘Supergirl’ is] doing with [his character].” “[It] would be great [if I got to direct an episode of ‘Green Arrow’]. I love [the] crossovers between Grant [Gustin] and Stephen [Amell]; their chemistry is very funny. I [would] probably create some big [catastrophic event], just so they would have to work together, [because] I just love them on the set. It’s fun.” “I watch [all of the current superhero TV shows], but my favorite is The Flash. I think [Grant Gustin plays the role] really well, I like the writing, I like the special effects, and the stories. I like what they did with The Flash, just with [bringing him] back in time, and changing [things], and what repercussions come out of that. [It’s just] good storytelling,” said Kelly, “I liked them. Once [Grant Gustin] got into [his] role [as The Flash], and then became Barry Allen, [Gustin] did a really good job. I like [Gustin] as Barry Allen.” “[I’d] definitely [like to see] a crossover, with Superman, of course,” said Kelly, “[I’d like to create a] continuation of ‘Smallville’…[of] Superman first being Superman, [learning] his powers…he [has had] his life, to figure [that] stuff out, but once he [dons] those tights, what happens next? What happens next? He’s just now becoming the Man of Steel…how [will the people] react? Especially [in the] Smallville [episode where] Lex Luther [is] President of the United States…I want to see where that goes.” “I love The Flash. I love Green Arrow. [I watch] ‘Flash’…I think it’s wonderful. They’re great shows, and it’s really good to see this genre. [The shows are] well-acted and they [have] wonderful actors in these shows…These shows, though, they [have] the great effects, and [when] you have good actors playing these characters, that [one] grew up, reading about, it’s always a good thing,” said Cooper.
Soffer explained his thoughts about the upcoming “Justice League” movie, “I’m actually excited [about the upcoming Justice League movie]…and something, personally, that I’m looking forward to…I’m excited for ‘Justice League’, not only because they’re finally [going to] be uniting the seven, as all the posters say, but they’re actually giving us a solid Justice League movie. I know that Joss Whedon is taking up the mantle [as] director, in honor of [Zack Snyder]. Joss Whedon worked on [The] Avengers, so I know he’s [going to] represent the Justice League well, and he’ll be able to [make] the movie the way it should be. He’s going to basically finish [Zach Snyder’s] vision. So, I’m excited to see that the Justice League movie will not only get done, [but that] it’ll [appropriately be] added in, and finished, [because] I know that they want to…try to get everybody in, but I know they can’t do that in one movie…they might have to wait for two [movies], which is okay. I’m looking forward to seeing what Green Lantern looks like….they have not [released] a single picture of what Green Lantern will look like, and I’m waiting for that…very much so. Lastly, as far as something else I’m looking forward to…they [filmed] a scene at the Smallville site again…the one that’s near Plano, off in another town. So, I’m very happy to see what this scene is [going to mean] for Smallville and the Justice League movie. I always like to see how Plano gets represented…they always try to come back, because this is Hollywood Smallville, so it means a lot that they’re always trying to use the city [of Plano] as much as they can.” “I’m looking forward to [the upcoming Justice League movie] bringing together…uniting everybody. [I’m] looking forward to seeing how they [portray] Flash and Aquaman,” said Egan.
“I loved [‘Man of Steel’]. I can’t wait for [the upcoming] ‘Justice League’ film. What really caught [my attention, during the [‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’ movie’]]…I really enjoyed it, [because] it’s [introducing] new characters,” said Cooper.
Cindy Carr explained what she thought have been the biggest attractions, in previous years of Smallville SuperFest, “The characters. The parade.” “[I think the most popular attractions, in previous years of Smallville SuperFest have] definitely [been]…the kids’ games. The little kids really enjoy that. The bands that play, throughout the afternoon…I think [there are some] really good acts, and to just keep [the music] upbeat. I think that, altogether, [Smallville SuperFest is] put together pretty well,” said Minick. “I know, for the kids, they really like the Petting [Zoo],” said Heery. “Definitely the music. That definitely brings in a crowd. It’s just nice seeing everyone get together…[having a] good time,” said Wilson. “I know that [the bounce houses are] really important and all of these free attractions for kids and for families. Families are looking for a way [in which] they can do something, together, but they’re also having to consider cost. So, to have [Smallville SuperFest] for families to come together and [play] the games, and bounce [in the bounce houses], and it doesn’t cost them a dime, and get to have a great time doing it…I think is very, very important for a community festival,” said Hager. “I know that, in the past, the Zipline has been really popular, and actually really fun to watch, too…just [watching] people come down the Zipline. So, that’s been fun. I do love the fact that [there are] free bounce houses, because it’s pretty rare to have any place with free bounce houses. Even if [one goes] go to…a fall festival…or a fair…or anything, [one usually has to buy] tickets, and then the kids have a limited time to be on [the bounce houses]. So, [I think the free bounce houses at Smallville SuperFest are] pretty great,” said Davidson.
Diaz explained what she thought would be the biggest attractions at Smallville SuperFest this year, “Our music…our entertainment [will be the biggest attractions at the Smallville SuperFest this year].” “I think that with the addition of the 2-day Car Show, [which was originally] just 1 day, adding an extra day, to the Car Show, I think, was really good. Even though it was two separate car dealerships, keeping a variety, even on the first day, I think that was a very smart idea. Also…they moved all of the retail vendors towards the front, in front of the food vendors, and a lot of the retail vendors…they looked a lot happier…[they got] more foot traffic…I think that was a very smart move. [To go along with Egan’s earlier comment], I think the Petting Zoo was a great idea…I really like the Petting Zoo, and I like the bouncing castles. I think [those are attraction that Smallville SuperFest] should [have] every year,” said Soffer. “For the adults, it’s been great that [Smallville SuperFest has] added the Batmobile. I’d say, [the music], also, for the adults, because [there are] always tons of people sitting [in front of the stage, listening to music],” said Egan. “[Smallville SuperFest has] changed…a lot of the [vendors]…[there are] a whole bunch of different stands [at Smallville SuperFest this year], so, I think…I think it’s just [the] new variety of everything coming [to Smallville SuperFest] that people are more interested in seeing what’s new. Now, [there are] more people coming out [to Smallville SuperFest] and we have people selling mini figures, we have a lady who sells jewelry on her own…that makes [Smallville SuperFest] interesting. We even had a blood drive, this year,” said Romanov. “This year, [I think the biggest attractions at Smallville SuperFest are] the characters. Every year, there [are] a [few] more characters [at Smallville SuperFest], and a little more word of mouth [with] people. It’s fun to come [to Smallville SuperFest],” said Escorcia. “I think the Parade is always a huge [event], because it goes through most of the main part of [Plano]; I think that’ll be cool. The Petting Zoo seems to be doing really [well],” said Elijah. “The food and the music,” said Kelly, “The Batmobile definitely brings people out, I think, and the bouncy [houses], for the kids, and the kids’ games. [The] food and the music…and the people…[are also popular attractions].” “For me, it’s the people, [because] that’s why I keep coming back [to Smallville SuperFest],” said Kelly. “I think the Car Show [will be the biggest attraction]…and the food,” said Mulliner, “I’m proud of the whole [festival], because it takes a lot of work to get [Smallville SuperFest] going…I’m just proud of the whole [festival], that [Plano has] it [every year].” “The most popular attraction, I’d say, would have to be that Petting Zoo that [Smallville SuperFest] had [on Saturday]…with the llamas and the horses and the ponies. I also like that [Smallville SuperFest] had the Blues Brothers cover band [on Saturday]. [That was] pretty good…that brought out a lot of people. The Car [Show is] bringing out a lot of people. [There are] a lot of little things, for the kids to do…[a] lot of activities going on,” said Duran. “I think [Smallville SuperFest has] a nice variety of [attractions],” said Bauer, “[Smallville SuperFest is] promoting a positive effect on the younger generation and bringing back memories for the older generation.” “Probably the parade,” said Cindy Carr. “For the kids, probably the [bouncy houses]. I’m thinking the music and beer,” said Wyszynski. “The Petting Zoo is pretty cool. The Petting Zoo and the parade,” said Herrmann-Mier. “[The Most popular attractions at this year’s Smallville SuperFest are] probably the Car Show and the bands,” said Minick. “I think the most popular attraction at this year’s Smallville SuperFest, is] probably the Petting Zoo. [The] Petting Zoo is awesome this year,” said Heery. “I would say, probably, the music and the Petting Zoo,” said Kush, “[The most popular attractions this year will be] probably the kids’ activities. I know my daughter’s excited; she’s at the bounce houses, right now, so she’s excited about that.” “That’s the best Petting Zoo [I’ve] ever seen,” said Robin Perry. “The [Kryptonite] Jello Eating Contest is looking pretty good. [It looks] well-attended,” said Morello. “[I’ve] seen bouncy houses, and last year [I saw] a lot of rides, and this year [I’ve] seen a bunch of bouncy houses, and there [were] like things that you run through. [There were] a lot [of] games, and hot dog stands and ice cream,” said Serenity Gonzales, who also got to see Superboy and Lana Lang, and thought that, “It was really cool.” “[My favorite attractions are the] bouncy houses,” said Serenity, “Because I like to bounce a lot, [and] do flips.” “[The most popular attraction at Smallville SuperFest will] probably, be…the parade,” said Cooper, “[The] parade. Everything is [going to] be great [at Smallville SuperFest on Sunday]. The vendors are wonderful and [everything is] great [at Smallville SuperFest].” “[The most popular attractions at this year’s Smallville SuperFest will be] the music, the bands,” said Wilson. “So many parents comment about, ‘Thank you for [assisting with the bouncy houses],’ and, we always let [them] know, ‘We’re just here to help supervise…[Smallville SuperFest] actually provides [the bounce houses]’. I know, [according to] the parents [that] I’ve spoken to, that [the bouncy houses tend] to be something that [the parents] are really appreciative of,” said Hager. “I think, definitely, the bounce houses will be [some of the most popular attractions at Smallville SuperFest this year]. Also, the Petting Zoo and the Pony Rides. I know [that] I’m excited to come back [on Sunday] with my kids and…[to] be able to…see the animals,” said Davidson.
Duran explained the attractions that he thought would be most popular in future years of Smallville SuperFest, “I think [the best bet] would be that Petting Zoo. [I’ve] seen everybody…[I’ve] seen [the Petting Zoo] go on all day…lines [of people]…for it. I think [the Petting Zoo] was cool. That was awesome.” “I’d like to see [Smallville SuperFest] grow a bit more, and…continue on, and grow as big as [Smallville SuperFest] possibly can get. [I’d like to see Smallville SuperFest] grow, for businesses, or to get more people [at Smallville SuperFest, like adding a] water park, or water slides, or bounce houses…things like that. If there’s anything [one is] going to do [the weekend during which Smallville SuperFest is taking place, one is] going to come [to Smallville SuperFest],” said Brown, “I’d like to see [Smallville SuperFest become] the [primary] festival in northern Illinois.” “I think…for any small town festival to be successful, that we need to get the churches involved, [the] businesses involved, all the local groups…like, the Boy Scouts had the Pancake Breakfast. Get everyone involved…get people together…and involved,” said Cindy Carr. “I’m hoping that they keep a lot of [Smallville SuperFest] the same,” said Minick. “Anything geared towards children is always…a big [success]. Little carnival games or…[the] Petting [Zoo],” said Heery. “There’s always something new [at Smallville SuperFest],” said Robin Perry. “I think the booths will be, for sure, because the booths have great prices, [have] great people coming [to Smallville SuperFest], [have] a great crowd. I think [they’re] here to see [that] this [festival does] nothing but build, especially when the word gets out for it, more and more and more and more,” said Cooper. “Maybe [expand Smallville SuperFest] a little more. Maybe bring the rides back,” said Wilson. “I think that [the] combination of a bunch of smaller attractions [would] really draw me, just that [there is] variety…like the animals and the reptiles and the games that are around, that are free. There’s a parade [on Sunday]. I think, just having the variety [is a big attraction]. Also, [there is] a free craft at the pottery exhibit, too, for kids. [I think] having live music is a good [attraction]. I…think that, having a whole bunch of things to enjoy, at one place, is going to be what draws people the most in the future,” said Davidson.
“I think the volunteers…they make [Smallville SuperFest]…[they’re] the main [drive] of the festival, and [people] like [Nicole Diaz] make it happen,” said Mayor Hausler, “I think just the different, diverse ideas of having the days [of Smallville SuperFest] dedicated [with themes], like they are, and having Saturday, which is our biggest day, be more family[-oriented], and, then, in the evening, having the Beer Garden expanded…I think that’ll also add to the attendance [of Smallville SuperFest]. Better bands [also contribute to the growing success of Smallville SuperFest].” “[I attribute the success of Smallville SuperFest to] the group of volunteers,” said Diaz. “The success of the movies, and the characters that people [want to] see…where it originated…I liked [‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’], and now Justice [League is] coming out. People [are going] to [want to say], ‘Let’s go back, and watch the ‘Man of Steel’…[Plano] is available to go check out…it’s a nice little festival,” said Kelly. “Just [getting] the word out [about Smallville Superfest]…advertisement,” said Cindy Carr. “More people seem to be working with the Committee and seem to be involved,” said Hastings. “I think more people like to visit [Plano] because of the Superman, [‘Man of Steel’], movie. [I think], every year, [there are] more and more [people. Smallville SuperFest is] getting popular. People [are] coming [to Smallville SuperFest, and they’re] taking pictures by the Smallville flag,” said Wyszynski. “[I attribute the growing success of Smallville SuperFest to] the active members and new ideas,” said Minick. “The people that are running [Smallville SuperFest] are very nice. [Nicole Diaz is] just super. [She] did a fine job,” said Robin Perry. “[I attribute the growing success of Smallville SuperFest to] probably just continuing growth of the community. We actually had somebody stop by the [library] booth who was from Oswego. So, if [Smallville SuperFest] can draw more [people] from other towns, that would be good,” said Morello. “I love seeing the number of different entities of people, from the community, being involved in [Smallville SuperFest]. [One sees] everything from churches, to the banks, to individuals, cub scout troops…[one sees] so many different organizations that are helping out in whatever [ways] they can…I think that’s what really makes a community festival…when [one sees] the community being able to help out, and be a part of it. I think that that helps to bring us together,” said Hager. “I think, since Plano is a small town, it’s just really exciting for [Plano] to have…a claim to fame. I think that is going to contribute to [Smallville SuperFest] going on. It’s something that a small town can really look forward to having, and it’s special that [Plano has] the Smallville Museum, with props from the movie. It’s just something that gives [Plano] some notoriety, so it’s something…really fun that [Plano] can take pride in,” said Davidson.
Diaz explained how Smallville SuperFest is expanding next year, “We’re [going to be] working on some surprises [for next year]…that came to our attention, near the end of the planning…that we would like to incorporate for next year. [We would also like to] bring back the Zipline and the Euro-Bungee, and so forth.” “[Volunteer work is] needed everywhere. If [someone is] interested [in volunteering for Smallville SuperFest], they can come, the first Tuesday of every month. At the Plano Public Library, we have a meeting at 6 p.m., in the community room.” said Diaz. “[Someone who is interested in volunteering for Smallville SuperFest] can go to the website…[that would] probably be the easiest way, just [get the] information. One of the questions, when [one is] going to the information portion [of the website] is ‘Do you want to volunteer?’. Just [type] ‘Yes’, and give [your] contact information, and be ready to go,” said Mayor Hausler. “All [of] the volunteers, including [Diaz]…they put a lot of…time in…on [Smallville SuperFest], to get it to expand, and make it [a] bigger and better [festival],” said Mulliner. “[I would like to see]…just more people. [It’d] be nice to get more of the town [to Smallville SuperFest],” said Lueken. “[I’d] like [Smallville SuperFest to] be more than a 3-day event. [I’d] like to see it all over Plano,” said Williams. “I would like to see more vendors…more local vendors,” said Minick. “I would actually like to see [Smallville SuperFest] just become bigger…[Smallville SuperFest is] only 2 blocks long. [I would like to see Smallville SuperFest] almost [taking] up [a] 4-block radius. That would be awesome, if we [had]…this huge [festival], and people came in costumes…I think that would be a lot of fun,” said Heery. “More vendors and more stuff for the kids,” said Kush. “I’d like to see more advertising [because that brings in] more people, and [that brings in] more attractions,” said Robin Perry. “I think [Smallville SuperFest is] great. I think [the people who planned Smallville SuperFest] did a wonderful job,” said Cooper. “I think if we brought in cosplay, more officially, [that] it would probably draw a lot more fans, because cosplay is something that’s this whole culture of its own, and I went to the C2E2 Comic-Con, in April, and there are so many thousands of people there doing cosplay, which is so much fun, and I think that…people…if they knew…that we were, maybe, having like a cosplay contest or something like that, that it would draw a lot of people, and it’s just so much fun,” said Davidson.
Soffer explained what he thinks he will most be remembered for, “I think, this year…I [made a] new version of that old suit, from [the first year Egan and I spent together]. [I’m excited] to wear [that suit on] Sunday. A lot of people recognize [the suit that I’m currently wearing] already, and I’ve already worn [the Clark Kent costume]. I hope a lot of people will enjoy [the suit]…[on Sunday]. Aside from that, this year the weather has been bearable enough…so…I know [a lot of people are] happy about a relaxed weekend.” “I’m always most remembered for being the Lana [Lang] to [Soffer’s] Superboy,” said Egan. “[I think I will most be remembered] as Nightmare Batman…just the basic character…[the] costume contest was fun. Just the look on the kids’ faces, too…they love it. They see Batman, or even Superman, or other characters…[because] a lot of kids…they’re small…they recognize the characters, especially Batman and Superman. When they see [characters], their faces light up. It’s a cool experience; I like it,” said Escorcia. “This is my 3rd or 4th year, being Green Arrow, at [Smallville SuperFest]. I’m [beginning to gain recognition for that character]; kids [are] starting to recognize me, from [previous years of Smallville SuperFest], so I think some of [them] will recognize another Green Arrow,” said Elijah.
Elijah explained what he would like to teach future generations about Superman, “It’s not all about [Superman’s] fights. It’s more about how he can…keep himself in check, and always make sure that the little guy is taken care of.” “One person can change a lot…[one just has to] start,” said Kelly. “Superman is timeless…I hope he never changes,” said Brown. “To do what’s right,” said Cindy Carr. “Standing up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. I think these things about Superman being there, [able to] take care of crime, whenever, around the world. [One] can do [one’s] part, one part at a time…in your community, in your county, in your state, and in the world,” said Williams. “To protect others,” said Minick. “I think [future generations] would need to experience the whole Superman genre, in general, because it just [provides] that whole mystery of life [story]…coming from outer space, and being our hero…the good versus the evil. I think [the story of Superman] definitely needs to go on…,” said Heery. “It’s always about good over evil, and good always wins over evil, even when it looks like [evil is] winning,” said Robin Perry. “It’s a fun character…keep enjoying it. Hopefully, people keep reading about [Superman]. He’ll always have…a following…since the 1930s…1940s. [Superman] left that exploding [planet of Krypton], a new family found him…[the story] went from there,” said Cooper. “I think [I would teach people about] all those characteristics that we were just talking about. [One] can make a difference. I remember when Superman flew around the world and reversed [time]. I think every one of us can do things to help make the world a better place…that we can be a Superman in someone else’s life, come through for them when [they] need us the most. I think that those are important [qualities], that we care for one another, and we try to do the right thing, [and], if we can help out, we do help out. We do what we can to support one another. I think [Superman is] a good example of that because I feel like [Superman] just wanted things to be right, and to be good in the world. I think that’s something we can all strive [toward]…to help with,” said Hager. “I just feel like Superman is really the original superhero…[he is] so classic, and just one of the first really great superheroes, and I would just want kids to know that he is one of the superheroes that they [can] strive to be like. I feel like [one] can know [that] Superman can be vulnerable, [but] he’s still someone that [one] can strive to be like, and that would be why I would never have any problem with any child wanting to be like Superman,” said Davidson.
“I think Batman and Superman will always be synonymous. Batman will always be around when [Superman is] around. Even in Metropolis, [one sees] a lot of [people portraying] Batman. I would like to see other [people portraying Batman at Smallville SuperFest], from the [1960s]…I [would] like to see a lot more [people portraying Batman at Smallville SuperFest],” said Escorcia, “Celebrities…like [Ben] Affleck or Henry [Cavill to come to Smallville SuperFest]. It [would] be good to get some [people who had] smaller roles [to Plano]…like the boy that played Clark [to Plano]…[that would] be cool…or his best friend, Pete. [Smallville SuperFest should get] some of the [more minor] characters…[that would generate more interest]. More people will see it…[that] celebrities are coming. [Smallville SuperFest] should grow, like that.” “I like seeing the variety, and I want to see it continue to grow…[attract] more people…[become a larger festival],” said Romanov, “For [a] small town event…we have the Batmobile [at Smallville SuperFest], which is really cool. Definitely, if we could get…a Henry Cavill or Ben Affleck…to come, especially [Henry] Cavill, because he’s been [to Plano] before, when [‘Man of Steel’] was shot [in Plano]…[have him] come back…I think it’d be cool. [It would] be a great time.” “[I’ve seen] the ‘Arts On Fire’ [that] Miss Kelly does, and they’re having a paint-a-fence [event] that I think they’re [going to] do something with, and [one] can paint rocks and hide them around town. [Smallville SuperFest also has] a Petting Zoo, and then they have bounce houses,” said Elijah, “If they could [attract more comic book fans, and] bring more [attractions that are superhero-themed], so [one] could get toys, or get comic books, I think that would be great for [Smallville SuperFest’s] events list.” “[I’d like to see]…a few more [superhero] vehicles…[because] we [have] the  Batmobile,” said Kelly, “[I’d also like to see] Henry Cavill, definitely. That [would] be awesome, [because], being the Man of Steel…[that] is the main reason we’re [in Plano], so that would be awesome. Any other…Superman actors…or Batman actors [would be welcome]. [Aside from] Henry [Cavill], [Smallville SuperFest] could [have] Michael Shannon, for his [role as] General Zod [in ‘Man of Steel’].” “I would like to see…craft booths. If it’s on [a] Saturday, in the summertime, I would like to see [a] Farmers’ Market in with [Smallville SuperFest]. [People would] say, ‘I bought this in Smallville’, which would be pretty cool,” said Mulliner. “I [saw] Wonder Woman [on Saturday]. [That] was awesome. Now that they made [the new Wonder Woman movie], I bet if [Smallville SuperFest] had [someone dressed as Wonder Woman] out, the kids would love it,” said Duran. “That’d be fun to get some out [of] the movies,” said Lueken. “[I’d like to see] a lot of people having fun, and coming by, and talking to us,” said Bauer. “I’d like to see more people in costume. [I would like to see] Superman…I think they’re just great, for photo opportunities, and everybody loves [to] come out and see Superman. I think, just more people in costume, maybe a costume parade or some other special [event]…[for instance] if they wear a costume, get a free drink, or something [similar],” said Brown. “[Smallville SuperFest is] about Superman. Any major characters that were in Superman…[can] be a draw…[are going to] bring people [to Smallville SuperFest],” said Dan Carr. “[I would like to see] some more Warner [Brothers] production people…[some] people that [were] in the movie…[that] they [would] come back…and…just say a few words [as to] why they chose Plano,” said Williams. “I think it’d be a really good idea if [Smallville SuperFest] played the [‘Man of Steel’] movie, on, like, the side of a building. Play the movie, at night, while [Smallville SuperFest] is going on. I think [it’d] be great for the kids,” said Kelly Fahle, a vendor. “If [Smallville SuperFest could] get some of the actors who actually…played these superheroes, in…big blockbuster movies, that would be awesome, [because]…especially [the] kids…they’ll recognize that face. If, at all possible, that would be cool,” said Heery. “More superheroes. If [Smallville SuperFest] could get more superheroes [at the festival], I think it’d be good,” said Kush. “Superman flying,” said Serenity. “I would love to see Henry Cavill…maybe someone from the original Superman…maybe even the Superman TV show from the 1950s,” said Cooper. “The [people] that are walking around [Smallville SuperFest], dressed up [in costume]…that’s nice. I think that they should do more of that…maybe get some more kids down [to Smallville SuperFest], dressed up [as] different characters. That’s definitely [catching] everyone’s attention,” said Wilson. “[I’d like to see] pretty much [any celebrities] in the movies. I would stand in line, to meet Henry Cavill. I think there is something neat, about getting to [meet] anyone that has a major part, of any kind, in one of those kinds of movies. That would be an amazing opportunity, I think, for us…someone that played a significant role in one of those movies, or even an older actor. I remember, as a kid, thinking, ‘I would love to meet Adam West,’ as the [actor who portrayed] Batman from…TV. I just thought, that’s [kind of] cool. What a neat opportunity…if something like that could come [to Smallville SuperFest], and make it much more likely to be [able to] experience [it],” said Hager. “I [would] stand in line, for a few hours, to meet Henry Cavill,” said Davidson. “A lot of the CW [TV network] shows, right now, like ‘The Flash’ and ‘Arrow’…it would be amazing if Stephen Amell came, for instance, or any of the other characters, on the show. That would be so exciting,” said Davidson.
“If you’re willing to volunteer, or sponsor, or if you’re a local business, or even a surrounding local business, with an idea, and want to bring it to life, as an event, we would be more than happy to entertain ideas, or have you volunteer or be a sponsor. We just might have a couple [of] things, up our sleeves, already, that will be [included] for next year,” said Diaz. “If [you] haven’t been [to Smallville SuperFest], come on down,” said Egan. “I always come [to Smallville SuperFest]…it’s great, it’s fun…I love coming [to Smallville SuperFest]. It’s a blast all the time. We always have a good time…all the characters. [We] just [have] a good time…[that’s] always the experience [at Smallville SuperFest],” said Escorcia. “[Smallville SuperFest is] a great thing to take your kids to; I’m starting to see more kids, out and about, [at Smallville SuperFest],” said Elijah. “I’m glad [Plano is having Smallville SuperFest]…everybody should come out, and check it out,” said Kelly. “Come on out, and see the Smallville SuperFest, for a great time, for kids of all ages,” said Brown, “Come on out [to Smallville SuperFest]…it’s a lot of fun for the whole family.” “I have seen some of the [people] that have been dressed up, as superheroes. [It] was nice that the young kids are getting involved in the activity part of [Smallville SuperFest],” said Dan Carr. “I like the Batmobile; I think that’s really cool. I like the parade; they have a parade that goes through [Plano]…I think that’s really awesome. The Car Show’s really awesome. It’s a nice community event,” said Deanne Henle, who is “…one of the vendors…Paparazzi,” who initially became involved because, “I usually volunteer at [Smallville SuperFest annually]. This is the first year that I brought my home business in, to sell.” “We’re loving [Smallville SuperFest], so far…beautiful weather…we’re enjoying [Smallville SuperFest],” said Wyszynski. “Our grandchildren…we [brought] them [to Smallville SuperFest] the first time we came. They now live in New Jersey, but they were in Aurora at the time. They loved [Smallville SuperFest]. We took them to the [Smallville] Museum, we bought them a couple [of] things. I mailed a T-shirt to my brother in California…[we] just [have] good memories,” said Judy McMains Perry, who is originally from Plano, “Born and raised, [in Plano], my whole life.” “I think [Smallville SuperFest is] a great thing for the community, [to] get together,” said Minick. “See the [Smallville] Museum,” said Morello. “[It’s] an opportunity for us to get out in the public and show the public what we have to offer, whenever they call for an emergency. As long as little kids have fun, that’s good enough for me, for the day,” said Cihak. “I’m just glad to be [at Smallville SuperFest]. It’s great to be [at Smallville SuperFest],” said Cooper. “Come donate to [the] Christopher Reeve [and Dana Reeve Foundation]…it’s a great cause. [There are] a lot of people, in this world, suffering [from] paralysis. So, [it’s] definitely going to a good cause,” said Wilson. “[Thank you] to all [of] the volunteers, and all [of] the sponsors. We look forward to [having Smallville] SuperFest again, next year,” said Mayor Hausler.