50 years ago Spokane, Washington held the "International Exposition on the Environment Spokane 1974". Since that didn't quite roll of the tongue, it was shortened to "Expo '74". It opened May 4, 1974 and wrapped up months later on November 3,1974. According to History Link.org, there were over 5 million visitors to the event, even though it was the smallest city to "ever hold a world's fair".

50th Anniversary of "Expo '74" is Coming

This spring, Spokane is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of this historic event on Saturday May 4th, 2024 at the location where the event was held, River Front Park. According to a Facebook event they are looking to "reignite the nostalgia of this international milestone event in Spokane's history".

Lots of Montanans Made It to the Expo

There were a lot of people from Montana that made the trek over to Spokane for this historic event. My family was one of them. We went to 'Expo '74'. This was a huge deal for us, since there were 6 of us and we rarely ever went on road trips together. Especially for something as big as this. When I mean this event was big, for me being from Montana, it was huge!

Spokane, Washington Expo '74
Credit: EWU Libraries, via Youtube


For My Family, It Was a Bit Scary

There are few things that I remember from that trip, the first being the pavilion in River Front Park. The frame of the pavilion is still there all these years later. I remember being fascinated by the river falls that go through the park. One other thing I remember is that one of my sisters wandered off and got lost. This was a traumatic experience for our entire family. It was a huge crowd, bigger than anything we had ever seen in 1974 in Montana. After talking with security and the police, they took us to the security headquarters and there she was playing with some other kids. It was basically a lost and found for children. Some nice person helped her get there safely.

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Montanans Are Invited Again to Walk Down Memory Lane

A lot of my friends from Montana made the trek over to Spokane for the initial historic event. Looking at my social media recently, it looks like a lot of people that I know are interested in going back over to celebrate the 50th anniversary. I doubt the anniversary event will have as many people as the first event, but it will give a lot of Montanans a chance to take a walk down memory lane and see how much has changed since 1974.

If you want to remember what it was like. See the video below from Eastern Washington University libraries.

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