King County leaders kick off World’s Fair anniversary celebration

March 9, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 2 p.m. March 9, 2011

King County Council members offered some World’s Fair nostalgia in recognizing Seattle Center as host to the 1962 expo.

The council issued the recognition Monday to kick off the celebration leading to the World’s Fair’s 50th anniversary in April 2012.

“Seattle Center has a special personal connection for most King County residents, as it serves as the region’s gathering place,” Councilman Larry Phillips said in a release. (Phillips’ district includes Seattle Center.)

“One of my fondest connections to the center is watching children play in the fountain that my father originally designed,” he continued. “The center’s 50th anniversary commemoration is an opportunity to reminisce about the rich history of Seattle Center and the World’s Fair, as well as envision the center’s future.”

The gates to the World’s Fair — theme: Century 21 — opened April 21, 1962. By the time the expo closed on Oct. 21, 1962, 10 million fairgoers passed through the Seattle Center grounds. The fair beget the Space Needle and the Pacific Science Center

Nowadays, 12 million people trek to Seattle Center each year, generating $1.15 billion in business activity and $387 million in labor income for King County.

The center’s 50th anniversary celebration focuses on imagination, innovation and involvement. Leaders intend to engage the community in exploring, debating and defining a collective vision for the next 50 years.

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