GRANITE CITY — On March 25, people all over the country were looking forward to watching “Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice” in the movie theaters.
The film became a box-office hit as it grossed more than $870 million.
And it also gave Belinda Bahn, gymnastics and program director for the Granite City Park District, an idea for a theme for this year’s Winter Carnival at April 12 at Memorial Gymnasium in Granite City High School. The theme was “Calling All Superheroes.”
“It was one of those things that sounded neat,” Bahn said.
For three hours, children from preschool to high school levels did performances in cheerleading, gymnastics, hip-hop dance, tumbling, ballet, tap and jazz.
“It’s a long event, but we worked hard to showcase all kids in all levels of gymnastics, the dances and the tumbling,” Granite City Park District Director Dave Williams said. “It’s a culmination of a year’s worth of work through our program that is held at Brown Recreation Center. We do a smaller show in the summer, but this is obviously the biggest show of the year.”
Bahn was the director of the carnival, which is held at GCHS every year.
“I do most of the choreography and the production end of it and I have 15 to 20 of the high school kids who are the coaches who work for me,” Bahn said. “We all worked together to make it all fit together.”
Now, Bahn is figuring out what’s going to be the theme for next year’s carnival.
“Every year, I have a different theme,” Bahn said. “I always thinking, ‘What’s the next theme is going to be?’ I had cowboys theme and space themes. This year, it’s the superhero theme. It depends on what’s popular at the time. Who knows what next year’s theme will be on.”
Bahn has been the gymnastics and dance director at the Granite City Park District since 1985. She also works as a teacher at the Cahokia School District.
“I’ve been at the Granite City Park District for so many years that it was something that holds true to my heart,” Bahn said. “I was always a gymnast. I was a gymnast in college and it’s something that I could never let go of. It’s one of my passions in life. I loved to share my gift of gymnastics and dance with the kids.”
This year’s carnival was dedicated to Tom Shipley, a longtime park district employee who died Nov. 25. On the program, it said, ‘Tonight is dedicated to Tom Shipley, Our Superhero.’
“He was very active with the park district as well,” Bahn said. “He was one of the baseball coaches. He’s also the husband of the recreation supervisor (Shelly Shipley). We were all one big family when he died. It kind of hit home when you lose someone that close in our work family. I wanted to dedicate that whole night to him.”