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Popeye-Palooza! (Popeye Week!)

2 Apr

April 2, 2013

This Friday, the all-new Imponderable features a real-life Popeye. And Saturday? We’ll meet a Popeye who hails from that hotbed of Popeye fandom, China. But today we get to check in on a real-life hotbed of Popeye fandom from right here in the good old US of A. And you will also get a peek into my travel plans, as the 2013 Popeye-Palooza is scheduled for, um, well so far they have not yet scheduled it, but I am sure it will be big. Last year it was held September 7th to the 9th and featured- hold on to your hats!- a salute to the troops. Don’t forget he is Popeye the Sailor.


From July 22, 2010

I’ve got my summer vacation all set and I cant wait until September!

September? Doesn’t summer vacation end in August?

No way baby! Summer vacation doesn’t even begin until the annual Chester Illinois Popeye Picnic!

Popeye was created in 1929 and was originally a bit player in the comic strip “Thimble Theater.” When passed on the dock by Castor Oyl (brother of Olive Oyl, and that gag wore thin fast) and asked “Are you a sailor?” Popeye, showing the humor and wit that would soon make him a household name, answered by punching Castor through a hull. Sorry, no, his answer to “Are you a sailor?” was the HE-ES-TERICAL “Ja think I’m a cowboy?” HA HA HA!

Yet he still became popular.

Anyway, the creator of Popeye was E.C. Segar and I’ll give you three guesses where he lived.Was it:
 A- Sweet Haven? WRONG
 B- Popeyeville, N.C.? WRONG
 C- Chester, Illinois? OBVIOUSLY

So every year Chester hosts an annual Popeye picnic and celebration. While the 2010 events are still being keep under wraps, here are some highlights from the 2009 gala, which began on 9/11 in, I’m sure, some fit of patriotic fervor, because I am dead sure the entire town of Cheater (population 8,400) was also free the following weekend.

  • Goon Island Sand Sculpturing
  • Castor Oyl’s Carnival Rides
  • Popeye Film Festival
  • Popeye’s Parade
  • One Man Band
  • Poopdeck Pappy Presents: Magic & More
  • Smorgasbord
  • Swee Pea’s Petting Zoo
  • Horseshoe Tournament
  • Wimpy’s Wiener Dog Derby

As you can see, this is the Popeyepalooza! Nowhere else can you find such a concentration of small town sawdust, er, Popeye themed kiddie rides. C’mon, Weiner dogs, a smorgasbord, and a one man band? How come this thing isn’t as big as Ozz-fest? (Right, Weiner dogs, a smorgasbord, and a one man band. That’s why.)

Anyway, how can I pass up a chance to travel to the Popeye center of the world? I’d be silly not to go, especially as I already have travel plans for the summer of 2011, to travel to the other side of the state, Metropolis Illinois, for their annual Superman celebration, featuring a costume contest and a Lex Luthor look-alike contest!

Now if only some small town would celebrate The Herculoids I’d never leave Illinois!

I think the Olive on the left likes me!

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