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Ideas sought for Spokane Expo '74 anniversary celebration

Courtesy Expo '74 50th Anniversary Celebration

The people planning next year’s events commemorating the 50th anniversary of Expo ’74 in Spokane are looking for ideas from the public.

The nine-week celebration will begin on May 4, 50 years to the day when President Richard Nixon officially opened the world’s fair. It will end on Independence Day.

“This is not a recreation of the 1974 World’s Fair,” said Kate Hudson from Visit Spokane, which is working with many groups to plan the commemoration. “This is just a celebration of something that was really profound and really changed the face of Spokane.”

Hudson says the anniversary events will honor some of the fair’s themes, including those that celebrated the environment.

“We’re using existing events like Bloomsday and Hoopfest and the Fourth of July celebration that we have every year in the park. But we’re also looking for new programming,” she said. “We’re looking for things that will tell Spokane’s story, that uplift the environmental aspects of Spokane that were so integral to the ’74 Expo. We’re looking for cultural celebrations, things that celebrate our tribes and the history of Spokane.”

Hudson and many of the others doing the planning were not alive when more than five million people came to see the fair.

“I’m kind of bummed that I missed Expo ’74 because it sounds like it was a really killer party,” Hudson said. “I feel like I’ve lived vicariously through so many people that I feel like I know the world’s fair, inside and out.”

Now she and her colleagues are planning events they hope will be equally exciting and they hope the public will contribute ideas and memorabilia. You can find out more about the celebration and offer your help at Expo50Spokane.com. The deadline for signing up is August 31.

Doug Nadvornick has spent most of his 30+-year radio career at Spokane Public Radio and filled a variety of positions. He is currently the program director and news director. Through the years, he has also been the local Morning Edition and All Things Considered host (not at the same time). He served as the Inland Northwest correspondent for the Northwest News Network, based in Coeur d’Alene. He created the original program grid for KSFC. He has also served for several years as a board member for Public Media Journalists Association. During his years away from SPR, he worked at The Pacific Northwest Inlander, Washington State University in Spokane and KXLY Radio.