The most famous superhero to come from Gotham City — and Walla Walla — gets his day in the spotlight next month.
Adam West Day celebrates the late Walla Walla native, Whitman College graduate and actor who starred as Batman in the TV show of the same name from 1966 to 1968.
The third annual celebration takes place Sept. 21 — the first weekend date since the creation of Adam West Day in 2017, destination marketing organization Visit Walla Walla announced.
Another first: This year the Batcycle will come to town, along with the return of the Batmobile and Batcopter.
As with previous years, the celebration includes the screening of documentary “Starring Adam West,” along with a panel Q-and-A with VIP guests and friends of West, and activities downtown to commemorate the occasion.
“We celebrate Adam for all that he has accomplished for not only his 50-plus year career in film, television, stage, and radio, but also for his numerous charities and communities to which he gave back,” said Jonathan Grant, front office manager at the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center and the event’s co-organizer.
“His legacy will continue to inspire his fans throughout the world.”
The “bright knight” born Sept. 18, 1928, in Walla Walla as William West Anderson, died June 9, 2017, after a brief battle with leukemia.
Famous for his role as Batman in the 1960s series, he was also beloved for his work on the contemporary cartoon “Family Guy,” where he was the voice of cheeky Mayor Adam West.
Having spent his early years in Walla Walla, he moved to Seattle at 15. Upon graduation, he returned to the community to attend and graduate from Whitman College. He changed his name to Adam West in 1959 and launched his acting career, all the while periodically returning to the community of his roots.
After his death, super fan Grant helped feverishly worked to put together the celebration, timed around West’s birthday each year.
Hallmarks of the event have included the annual lighting of the bat signal at the Marcus Whitman. Downtown businesses have also gotten into the spirit, offering activities and specials with a Batman theme.
This year’s event opens with an 11 a.m. ceremony at First Avenue and Main Street. The celebration includes the song “Adam West Blues,” written and performed by local musician Daniel Minteer — dubbed the official song of Adam West Day.
On Saturday and Sunday of that weekend, the Marcus Whitman will have a selection of booths selling superhero memorabilia and comics. Free admission will be offered that Saturday to the Adam West Exhibit at the Kirkman House Museum. Live music, superheroes and kid-friendly fun will also be offered at the plaza at First and Main, in addition to the documentary viewing at Gesa Power House Theatre.
“Adam West Day is a tradition that will continue for years to come,” said Visit Walla Walla CEO Ron Williams in the announcement. “The local community has come out each year to celebrate this wonderful event, and they have been joined by Adam West fans that come from near and far to celebrate his life. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. West — he was a kind man, soft spoken, and he never lost his affection for his hometown. It is a wonderful event that no fan would ever want to miss.”