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In anticipation of the Simpsons Movie, 14 Springfields across America were nominated to take part in an Official content which would dub one of the lucky towns to be dubbed the real "Springfield" - a crowning glory that would render the town the official headquarters of everything Simpsons. Not only that but it would bring much tourism and attraction to the town, and so all 14 towns which had been previously unknown to the drones of Simpsons fans battled it out via city-created videos that were posted on the USAToday and Simpsons webpage.

The winner with an astounding 15,367 votes was Springfield in Vermont, followed closely by the Springfield in Illinois (14, 634) and Oregon (13,894). What is upsetting is that many (if not all) of these cities could not care less for the show, but rather see it as a cheap way to increase tourism and so each city created a video that showcased why they should be the real Springfield - and to be honest not one video showed the sincerity of the Springfieldians. If I were in charge of one of these campaigns, I would probably have just rounded up a few teenagers and just held some sort of trivia competition - a real test to show how cult like the city really was or perhaps re-enact an entire episode with the locals. But instead most chose to do a very poor satirical attempt in showing the similarities between the cartoon show and their own respective town.
Jokes fell flat, half-assed attempts were clear, and ultimately out of the many - the best was chosen. Vermont did the best job in my opinion, although it wasn't perfect or to my liking, I did end up voting for it.

So what does this all mean? The winning city (Springfield, Vermont) gets a pre-screening of the movie (July 21st) before the International screening on July 27th. Tickets are already up for pre-ordering by the way.

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I am one of 200 volunteer actors and extras who appeared in the now famous Springfield Vermont Simpsons video. On the day of the movie premiere, I talked separately with our two leading ladies outside the theater, about an hour apart. Both brought up how unfair it was that we as a group were not invited to any of the four premiere screenings scheduled for that day. One made the point, "They wouldn't have won without us." Ninety-eight percent of our fellow townspeople had declined to answer the casting call.

I asked the local coordinator for the big event why we weren't invited. She said they thought about it but there were just too many of us. Hard to understand when they had over 600 tickets to give away after the first showing for VIPs.

I also asked why not at least invite the few the public would recognize from their featured roles in the video to represent the group. "No," she said, "that wouldn't be fair to the others."

A number of local business and community leaders did get invitations. It wouldn't be fair to make that group compete with thousands of ordinary folks in the random drawings for free tickets. Less than 10 percent would have gotten seats that way. Some got extra tickets to quietly pass on to friends and associates.

It would have been nice if one of the community leaders who spoke in the public ceremony had taken a moment to acknowledge and thank us for our contribution. And maybe have some of us lined up down in front of the stage to turn and take a bow. But I guess they thought since they weren't inviting us to see the movie, it would look better for them if there was no mention of us at all. Getting attention off from us wasn't difficult for them. Any talk of the video itself could be focused on the two main stars, outside professionals from northern Vermont. Keep us off the yellow carpet and swept under the rug.

Quite a few out-of-towners who never did any volunteer work for our community won the honor of free seats at the big premiere while most of us in the winning video who gave up to four hours of our time to complete it would have to wait a week and pay to see the film. That's just not right.

The chairman of the Governor's Travel and Recreation Council says the heavy media attention Springfield has received and will continue to receive could bring in $3 million dollars in "tourism residuals" over the long term. Wasn't our part in all this worth 200 seats at the premiere, especially with 20th Century Fox making available all 600 plus tickets for free?

A special thanks to all the many thousands of you out there in cyberspace who viewed and voted for our video on the USA Today website. It seems we were better appreciated on the internet so I have created a website of our own. Please visit http://vtvid.110mb.com

Interesting account, but I guess that's sort of obvious since the politicians are obviously going to get first hands on those tickets. There's no point refuting it now since the date has long since passed, I just wonder whether your town actually has had an increase in tourism - which would be the biggest boon. Has the town changed to accomodate the Simpsons, maybe some Simpsons themed structures or signs to welcome tourists?

The Simpsons have now more or less faded away in my town. Bowling alley sttill has life-size cardboard Homer out front but other business owners no longer display Simpsons
images. No stores have gotten into stocking Simpsons merchandise, not even a t-shirt or greeting card. We do still have the giant donut-holding yellow hand out in front of the theater, mainly because no one has yet offered it free room and board indoors. Springfield was never a tourist town to begin with, so not any other special attractions here.
There was some talk of creating a small Simpsons museum but that seems to have fizzled out. But there is always my online museum to preserve the sights and sounds of the big time movie premiere in the small town for years to comem, and at no cost to local taxpayers.
The Simpsons Springfield Vermont

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