Super Hero showcase: Seventh annual Super Hero Day features local and global heroes

Courtesy photos Some fans dress up in costume at a previous Super Hero Day event, as do other characters in the background and below.

A policeman, a fireman, superman and batman — they may not appear to have much in common, but they do.

They all are intrinsically brave and their lives’ work is to battle evil and to keep the world safe for the good guys. These super heroes — and many more — will be on hand for the seventh annual Super Hero Day on March 24 at the Blair County Convention Center.

The event, intended for children, demonstrates that super heroes — real life and comic ones — come in all shapes and sizes even though they differ in the good they do.

“I think it’s so important that children see these people as heroes so they respect what they do for us each and every day. The kids get to meet and talk to them, see inside their vehicles and ask questions. It’s so exciting for the kids and it’s a memory that will stay with them,” said Madalyn McCaulley, event specialist at the Altoona Mirror.

Children are encouraged to wear their favorite super hero costumes to the event, which in the past has drawn between 1,500 and 2,000 people.

“Kids come dressed up. Not always as super heroes; we had some Elsa and Anna dress ups last year. It makes the kids feel even more like they are part of the event, which is fun for everyone,” said McCaulley.

In addition to the opportunity to meet their favorite super hero, there are plentiful activities at the event.

Sarah Jubeck, owner of Paint Party by Sarah, will be at the event providing face painting. This is the third year she will be participating and returns because of the magic the event brings to children.

“This is one of the most fun events we do all year. We love seeing the smiles on people’s faces. You can see the pure joy as we show them the mirror,” said Jubeck.

The event, she said, seems to be more fun and even her own children are anticipating the day.

“It seems like each year the event gets better and we’re so excited to be a part of it. Every year I bring my own kids to the event and they love it. I look forward to having a great time with them and making new memories with them,” Jubeck said.

Another group that looks forward to returning to Super Hero Day is Starkiller Garrison. The group is a volunteer organization which promotes interest in Star Wars. They contribute to the community through their volunteer work, such as visiting UPMC Children’s Hospital and providing gifts for hospitalized children. The costumes the group adorns are high quality Star Wars grade.

According to Gina Platzer, Starkiller Garrison public relations officer, the costumes are accurate to the films and are recognized by Lucasfilm and Disney. Their chapter goes to Altoona Curve and Pittsburgh Penguins games dressed as Star Wars characters and always anticipates this day as one of their favorite events each year.

“It’s a fun atmosphere. The kids are so excited. It’s a joy to talk to the kids and see their faces light up when they see the costumes. That’s what it’s all about, putting smiles on the kids’ faces,” Platzer said.

During Super Hero Day, Starkiller Garrison offers participants the opportunity to partake in blaster training, with all of the proceeds benefitting Make-A-Wish.

“We’re looking forward to raising money for Make-A-Wish and seeing what we can do for them,” Platzer said.

The event showcases the good real and imaginary super heroes. It is also a positive way for families to spend the day together.

“This event brings together people of all ages. It gives families a fun and positive outing to do together. As a parent, I too am always looking for fun outings to spend quality time with my kids,” Jubeck said.

Platzer echoed those sentiments.

She said, “It’s good for the community. Kids always look up to and admire what’s special about superheroes; there’s a mystique to them and kids want to be them. It’s a very positive event and kids need more positivity in their lives. This event is so important and is one of our favorites. We have people coming in from the Pittsburgh area just for this event because it’s so special. It’s a positive atmosphere and is just happiness and is just good.”

If you go

What: Super Hero Day

When: Sunday, March 24 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Blair County Convention Center, Altoona

Admission: Tickets are $3 for adults and $5 for children 11 and under. Children must be accompanied by adults and adults must be accompanied by a child.