Happy Birthday Seattle Center

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From May through October this year, Seattle Center is celebrating its 50th birthday – April 21, 1962, the day the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair opened. Also known as the Century 21 Exposition, the ’62 World’s Fair opened well ahead of schedule – 38 years before the 21st century.

(image courtesy HistoryLink.org)

This Saturday, September 8th, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., will be the centerpiece of their celebrations: The Next 50 Birthday Bash. It will be a family-friendly community-wide daytime party, featuring live local entertainment, art, fresh local foods by the region’s top mobile food vendors, and lots of children and family activities.

Throughout the Center grounds, there’ll be four music stages, four hours of arts performances on stage, free Monorail admission for kids under 12, a vintage clothing booth, an outdoor ballroom, a grand birthday cake ceremony, Puget Sound Business Journal VIP photo ops, a skate boarding clinic & demos, SIFF’s red carpet screening of “It Happened at the World’s Fair,” free Experience Music Project admission for ages 16 and under, and a wall built out of Jello bricks. Visit Seattle Center’s website for details.

I find it interesting that a Seattle City Councilmember sparked the ’62 World’s Fair. HistoryLink.org reports that Councilmember Al Rochester (1895-1989) was so impressed by the 1909 Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition he witnessed as a teenager that after joining the City Council he began promoting the idea of a second World’s Fair. The Council asked the state legislature to support a second world’s fair for Seattle. Olympia responded by providing $5,000 to form a World’s Fair Commission. The rest, as they say, is history.


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