A small city in Vermont has declared victory in a race against 13 other cities, despite impassioned campaigns by the likes of skateboarder Tony Hawk and Senator Ted Kennedy.
Springfield, Vt., population 9,300, has been named the "official" Springfield, which has the honor of hosting the world premiere of "The Simpsons Movie" on Saturday, July 21, reports USA Today. Springfield is the name of the fictional town where the animated Simpsons family and their wacky neighbors reside.
As part of a promotional stunt by Twentieth Century Fox Studios, "Simpsons" fans were urged to cast their vote online for one of 14 Springfields, each of which submitted a video stating why they were most like the imaginary Springfield.
"We're so excited," says Patricia Chaffee, VP of the Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce. "We came in at the last minute, and for us to win, we feel like the underdogs, which makes this so big and so great for us."
The Vermont town won with 15,367 votes, just pulling ahead of Springfield, Ill., which had 14,634. Sad Springfield, Fla., brought up the rear with just 1,386 votes.
Many of the other video entries pointed out the similarities between the real-life locations and people to the fictional locations and characters in "The Simpsons." The Massachusetts entry featured Senator Ted Kennedy, on whom "The Simpsons" Mayor Joe Quimby character is supposedly based, while Oregon's entry had a cameo by Tony Hawk. Illinois showed parallels between their own citizens and Chief Wiggum, Moe, Apu, Marge, Kent Brockman and Comic Book Guy, among others.
In contrast, Vermont's entry, which took two days to film, was set up like a mini "Simpsons" episode with Tim Kavanaugh playing Homer, who chases a large pink donut (a specially designed inner tube) throughout the town, enraging the residents of Springfield whereever the goes.
"Today, I congratulate the entire community of Springfield for their Herculean efforts to overcome tremendous odds and bring 'The Simpsons Movie' world premiere to Vermont," Vermont Gov. James Douglas said in a statement. "This is an exciting, exhilarating moment for Vermonters. Perhaps more importantly, it proves there's really nothing a giant donut can't do."
The premiere will include a yellow carpet at the entrance of the 100-seat Springfield Movie Theatre as well as a host of celebrities. The 13 other Springfields will get to host special sneak preview screenings the night before the film officially opens on Friday, July 27.