From the Archives: Expo ‘74
2014 marks the 40th anniversary of Expo ‘74, when Spokane hosted the World’s Fair, drawing 5.6 million visitors. It was the first environment-themed World’s Fair and was generally considered a resounding success. Take a look back at that one glorious summer of exhibitions, concerts, rides, famous faces and international visitors. President Richard Nixon, Gov. Dan Evans and Congressman Tom Foley opened the fair with speeches and 50,000 helium balloons on May 4, 1974.
Related story: Expo ’74-era butterflies to be saved in Riverfront Park
President Nixon speaks at the opening ceremonies of Expo ‘74.
T.J. the Clown, resident merrymaker at Expo‘74, jokes with Kim Perier of Spokane, at the entrance to Canada Island. Joining in the fun are three hostesses representing the Canadian participation in Expo ‘74. From left, Hazel Love of Edmonton, who works for the Alberta Amphitheater, Pat Neil of Nanaimo, who works at the Bristish Columbia Pavilion and Mary Quigley of Calgary who works for the federal participation.
These Expo ‘74 visitors probably won’t strike it rich panning for gold in the Folklife Festival area near the north bank off the Spokane River. But at least they have the Western tunes of Expo host Utah Phillips, center, of Ogden, to sooth their souls if their pans turn up gold flakes instead of giant nuggets in one of the most popular of the daily Expo attractions.
Crowd files past exhibits in the U.S. Pavilion at Expo ‘74 after watching the film in the IMAX theater recently. The theater under the the huge canopy, is one of three parts of the pavilion, with examples of how Americans pollute their environment, and explanation of how environmental damage is being combatted compromising the other two parts.
Totem poles depict Canadian folklore.
Spokane’s sparkling world’s fair, was a special nighttime attraction for the six months. The fairgrounds are shown while the water ran high in the Spokane River bed.
Iran Pavilion at Expo prepares to honor Iran’s Ambassador. From left, Mrs. Faribandeh, Deputy Commissioner General K. Sheikh and Miss Fereshteh Malekzadeh.
The exterior of Korea’s Pavilion.
The Spokanes were a featured tribe recently at Expo’s Native American Earth, and Tribal members staged a mock wedding in the tribal tradition. The medicine man was Gibson Ely, left rear. The bride, center was Carol Sterns and the groom, right, was Mike Sayler. Several children took part in the ceremony that drew capacity crowds both times it was presented.
The many flowerbeds at Expo add splashes of color and beauty in every part of the grounds. Colors of the flowers are coordinated with the butterflies and directional guideposts to helpvisitors find their way around the fairgrounds. These yellow marigolds greet visitors at the nearby U.S. Pavilion and riders on the overhead Sky Float.
Expo grounds are seen from the 8th floor of the future Sheraton Spokane.
The flags in the photo include Republic of China (Taiwan), Canada, Washington State, Republic of South Korea, Montana, Republic of Philippines, Alberta, Federal Republic of Germany and Expo flags.
Children play in a designated play area at Expo.
And the site also offers tranquil perspectives—the Great Northern Tower and the Mormon Pavilion. July 19, 1974.
The Austrailian Pavilion’s special orchid display is in its final day today at the Expo ‘74 site. The flowers have been flown in to Spokane each day to keep the show fresh during the past several weeks. Shown admiring the blooms is Noel J. Flanagan, deputy commissioner general for Australia participation in Expo.
Mr. and Mrs. King Cole stand in front of flags at Expo ‘74.
Another of the many delights for Riverfront Park visitors will be this pedestrian bridge connecting Canada Island to the south bank of the Spokane River. During Expo ‘74, the footbridges on site gave fair visitors an unprecedented chance to look down on the water cascading over the rocks.
Mrs. Elsa Bryan points out flags on Primitive Art piece to Jack Geraghty, Expo official. Aug. 4, 1974.
A roller coaster at Expo ‘74.
As Expo workers frantically finish last-minute details prior to the Saturday opening, a preview shows towering totems adorning a section of the U.S. Pavilion. Apr. 30, 1974.
The clocktower at night with the U.S. Pavilion in the background.