Springfield, Vt. Wins 'Simpsons' Contest Sponsored by 'USA Today'

By: Ay, caramba! Springfield, Ill., lost out Tuesday on the chance to host ''The Simpsons Movie'' premiere July 21.

Instead, the Vermont city of the same name was the winner in a national vote sponsored by USA Today and announced on the newspaper's Web site.

Fourteen Springfields across the nation had sought the honor -- and the hundreds of thousands of dollars in tourist dollars that will likely come with it. The cities submitted video presentations boosting their locales as the ''real'' Springfield in the animated TV series and thereby claiming the right to host the movie opening.

Springfield, Ill., ran a spirited campaign, with its mayor, Timothy Davlin, telling the competitors on national television, ''They can eat my shorts.''

Tourism officials here touted the city as the true home of the dysfunctional family. They claimed a resemblance between the city's power plant director and the TV series' nuclear plant owner, Montgomery Burns.

They said Homer Simpson's affinity for doughnuts was grounded in the city's homegrown Mel-O-Cream shops, that both cities have a Shelbyville nearby, and that particular episodes contained Illinois-related references, such as when a gravedigger threw dirt on the nearby resting spot of erstwhile presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson, who is buried in Bloomington.

According to USA Today, the 13 other Springfields that participated in the contest will be given small screenings of their own the night before the movie opens nationwide July 27.


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