June 14, 2010 | | 1 Comment Did you know there are still World’s Fairs? I had no idea until I ran into a piece of information detailing the opening of the 2010 Word’s Fair in Shanghai, China. In fact, this year’s exhibit is billed to be the biggest ever. Ever. They will take up an impressive and record breaking 1305 acres for all scheduled entrants. Now how did I miss that? Makes me wonder, do I just live in a box, or is all the media attention going to the closing scenes of Lost, more Obama coverage or replacing Simon on American Idol? Apparently, and perhaps not surprisingly, there was a lot of red tape to participating at this function in China. The day before opening was scheduled to occur many booths were behind what you might expect for 8 years of planning. The only nations or sponsors moving along with a hope of being set up in time each had someone along to show them the ropes of making things happen in Shanghai. It helped to really know the ins and outs of the system in China, fair participants commented. It seems there were more hoops to jump through for this shindig in Shanghai than most other exhibitions combined. When I think of these fairs, I picture everyone attending in the garb of early 1900’s. Why, you ask? Probably because that’s about when I thought the last one was. Shows how out of touch I’ve been. But they have been ongoing since their beginnings in 1851 in London. For good or for ill, the U.S. has not hosted one for 26 years. Apparently this will be a year to remember, and a good time to refocus on the event. Besides taking up more acreage, another way this is being billed as the biggest fair ever is that, if they all come through, almost 200 countries are setting up booths or some form of exhibit. The 2010 Fair has been forecasted to be visited by70 million. If they reach that mark, or the 100 million guests others predict, it will be the world’s largest fair in a third sense as well. Here is a bit of trivia about World’s Fairs in history. Like the Olympics, each one has a theme. This year’s is “Better City, Better Life.” The slogan for the 1904 version sounds like an anti-utopian novel, “Looking Back at Looking Forward,” and came about as they commemorated the Louisiana Purchase. The ice cream cone was introduced at this celebration, hosted in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. Keeping in mind that often the fair lasts 2 years, and each year may have a separate location, this celebration was held in Paris, France, 8 times. In 1855, 1867, 1878, 1889, 1900, 1925, 1931, 1937, had you been around you could have attended in this famous home of the Eifel Tower and Arc de Triomphe. It is said that the Ferris Wheel made its first appearance at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. How fitting that the city that started it all, London, should now have its own version, The London Eye, becoming more and more sought out by tourists. About the Author Margo Smith graduated with a B.S. degree from BYU. She draws from her experiences as a modern day children’s governess, her time spent in New England, her years in college and an author’s perspective on life when compiling articles about a variety of subjects from cloning to online colleges to, well, world’s fairs.