updated 07/10/2007 AT 3:00 PM ET
•originally published 07/10/2007 AT 3:20 PM ET
After an online vote, the town of Springfield, Vt. – population 9,300 – has earned the right to host the world premiere of The Simpsons Movie on July 21, leaving 13 other Springfields across the U.S. saying, “D’oh!”
The contest, held by Twentieth Century Fox and hosted at USAToday.com, invited people to vote for one of the 14 Springfields, each of which submitted a video making its case for being the host town. The Simpsons cartoon takes place in a fictional Springfield.
“We’re so excited,” Patricia Chaffee, VP of the Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce, tells USA Today. “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, narrowly beating Springfield, Ill., which had 14,634. The town of Springfield, Fla., was last among the 14 Springfields, with just 1,386 votes.
Voting ended at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time on Monday.
The premiere will be a major event for the rural Vermont village, located in the southeastern part of the state. The movie’s filmmakers will be on hand to walk the yellow carpet at the Springfield Movie Theatre.
The 13 other Springfields will each be given small screenings of their own the night before the movie hits theaters nationwide July 27.
The contest is part of a wide-ranging and unique promotional campaign for the movie. Also as part of the campaign, some 7-Eleven stores are being transformed into Kwik-E-Marts.