Expo Celebration Events

Join the city of Spokane as we recreate the vibrant spirit of Expo '74 during the Expo 50th Celebration. Businesses, organizations, and community members have come together to organize an exciting calendar of events, with each event falling into one of the five categories mirroring the original key pillars: Expo Legacy, Environmental Stewardship, Tribal Culture, Recreation & Sport, and Arts & Culture.

This Week's Events

Expo 50 Events Calendar


Event Pillars

Expo Legacy

In 1974, Spokane broke records by becoming the smallest city in history to host the World’s Fair. The spotlight was turned not only to the Northwest, but on the environment, as Expo ’74 was also the first environmentally focused World’s Fair. The World’s Fair changed the trajectory of this place and has allowed it to flourish. Millions visited Spokane and sparked its rise into the catalyst for the region’s sustainable growth.

There is much to learn from Expo ’74 and 50 years on, we see the impacts left on the city. Some physical, like a butterfly or a hungry goat, others you can feel when you walk through a place like Riverfront Park.

As we look into the future, this celebration aims to reignite the nostalgia of this international milestone in Spokane’s history. This event meant many things to different people and celebrating this anniversary allows for a reflection into the past and a showcase of what has changed since. It also invites new generations to carry on the mantle of creating a cleaner and brighter tomorrow and to show how important this event was to this area. The legacy of Expo ’74 is worth celebrating and is a powerful reminder to what this community is capable of.

Environmental Stewardship

Expo ’74 was the first ever environmentally themed World’s Fair. The questions and conversations Expo ’74 popularized – about sustainability and international environmental issues - continue today.

Celebrating the central theme of Expo ’74 allows us the opportunity to reflect on where we have been, while maintaining the goal of being careful stewards of the land we call home into the future. Together, we can continue exploring new ways to ground ourselves in better practices, and new opportunities to protect and care for the land we inhabit.

Spokane sits within a beautiful region, teeming with life. Our nearby lakes, rivers, mountains, forests and fields are both gorgeous and packed with wildlife, each native species vital to the region and its ecosystem. 50 years in the future, the lessons from Expo ’74 still ripple through the community and continue to inspire generations to protect this place we call home.

Tribal Culture

Spokane, sp’q’n’I in Salish, means “Children of the Sun.” Many aspects of this beautiful land are rooted in Native American history, telling the stories of original inhabitants and new generations crafting their own narratives. It is a responsibility to ensure that these stories can be shared.

As a centerpiece of Spokane, the magnificent Spokane Falls has been a focal point for Expo ’74 and for our downtown urban park, but its history is rooted as a tribal gathering place. The Spokane Tribe of Indians hosted large communal gatherings while chinook salmon ran the river. Their legacy, both past and present, continues to be a vital piece of Spokane’s future.

Each of the five pillars exemplify a piece of Spokane that truly makes this place unique; tribal culture sits as a focal point between them. Aspects of tribal culture are woven within each of the pillars, similar to how the legacy of Native American history is woven into the region. This pillar allows for the continued celebration and appreciation of the tribes in the area.

Recreation & Sport

The energy and excitement that put Spokane on a world stage in 1974 is very much alive and well in our city. We are active and passionate, pursuing connection, with a healthy dose of friendly competition. Our city continues to make a mark on the global stage with some incredible flagship events that bring the entire city together to compete and recreate multiple times a year. With Expo ’74 as a spark, Spokane has continued to build upon its outdoor events since 1974. Bloomsday was run for the first time, the Centennial Trail was established, and Hoopfest began in the 16 years following the fair. These events are staples of Spokane and have helped bring the community together through activity.

We push beyond the boundaries of what is known as intrepid explorers and outdoor adventurers. From the court to the campground, the track to the trails, we thrive upon resiliency and dynamism.

And it is not just large-scale events, the effect of outdoor activity on a smaller scale is something equally special. It can be as simple as a stroll through the park. There are spaces here in Spokane for activity, and a community around them that supports each other. This area’s beautiful landscape is the ultimate playground that is enjoyed by thousands every day. We live in an amazing place with a community that frequently reminds us, especially when we come together.

Arts & Culture

Spokane is a place where warmth, pride and kindness collide with ambition, creativity and community. It is these aspects that make Spokane stand out in the greater picture of not just the state, but the country and the world. There is a long history in Spokane of combining creative thinking with ingenuity that unlocks innovation. Spokane is home to artists who craft, weave, write, sculpt, paint, dance, perform, sing, play, cook and more. A fusion of ideas and formats can be found here, and we love it.

Our culture is vibrant, eclectic, expressive and interwoven with neighborly help and communal care. Around every corner in the region is support for not only local creators, but our community members in a way that is uniquely Spokane. The legacy of creativity and innovation that shone at Expo ’74 continues to push us forward into new ways of thinking, being and doing. This celebration allows us an opportunity to come together to appreciate each other’s craft and to showcase, yet again, what Spokane can do when its people converge together. Everyone gets the chance to be supported here and all contribute to the ever-expanding tapestry of Spokane’s history and culture.

Frequently Asked Questions

Events FAQ

Are the events family-friendly?
There are many family-friendly events and activities for children during Expo. Visit the Expo events calendar for more information.

Is there an admission fee for events?
While most of the events are free and open to the public, there are a select number of events that require an advance ticket purchase. Visit the Expo events calendar for more information.

Will there be food and beverages available for purchase?
Yes, there will be food and beverage available for purchase at events with local vendors throughout the park during the Expo celebration.

Will there be restroom facilities available?
Yes, restrooms will be provided throughout Riverfront Park.

Will there be season passes again?
Expo 50 is a celebration of the anniversary of Expo 74 and most events have been designed to be free and accessible to the public, with no season pass required. However, there is a Club 74 Member Pass, which gives you access to special deals, discounts, and memorabilia from select Spokane businesses. More information on Club 74 can be found here.

When are events taking place? Is there a calendar of events?
Events will be scheduled during the week and weekends throughout the celebration from May 4th - July 4th. Check the Expo 50 Events Calendar for a detailed schedule of events.

Where are the locations of the events?
While most of the events will take place at Riverfront Park including opening and closing ceremonies and the community stage, there are multiple events that will take place throughout the region. See the Expo Calendar for details.

Is there a capacity at the signature events?
If you are attending the opening or closing ceremonies at the Pavilion, please show up early as there are capacity limitations.

What can I bring to the Opening Ceremonies at Riverfront Park?
You can find a detailed list of accepted and prohibited items allowed inside the venue for Opening Ceremonies by clicking here.

Will there be fireworks every night like in 1974?
To bolster our environmental efforts under our Sustainability Pillar, Expo 50 will have a limited number of fireworks shows during the celebration.These include a free public show at the Closing Ceremonies in Riverfront Park on July 4th and another at the Spokane Indians EXPO Games on May 4. Additionally, the Opening Celebration will showcase a spectacular drone show in lieu of fireworks.

Expo 50 Souvenirs FAQ

Can I buy souvenirs?
Yes you can! Information on where to find official Expo ‘74 50th Celebration merchandise and gifts, designed by local Spokane makers, can be found here.

What is Club 74? What do you receive if you join?
Club 74 is a donor program that supports the the free, family-friendly events during the nine-week celebration and includes access to exclusive deals and discounts, a special edition Club 74 Member Pass, and a commemorative Expo 50 coin. Click here to learn more about Club 74.

Getting Involved FAQ

How can I volunteer?
Want to help? Click here to contact our team for volunteer opportunities.

How can I be a vendor or perform at Expo?
At this time, we are no longer accepting vendors and performers for the celebration. We received an overwhelming response from vendors and performers who want to join the celebration and at this time we are completely booked.

Who can I speak to about donating or displaying my original Expo 1974 memorabilia?
Thank you to the community for your generosity and excitement in sharing your Expo memories! We have received an overwhelming number of memorabilia donations and can no longer accept more at this time.

Parking & Transportation FAQ

Where can I find parking downtown?
Meters and paid parking lots are available throughout the downtown core. Click here for a detailed parking map. Free parking is also available for anyone taking the bus at all 14 of STA Park & Ride lots throughout the region.

Is transportation available?
During the nine-week celebration, enjoy free bus and Paratransit rides on Saturdays and Sundays across the downtown Spokane service area. Weekday fares for the Downtown/North Bank shuttle drop to 50 cents. Plus, Shuttle Park customers get a reduced pass price from $40 to $22 for May and June. And don't forget, free parking is offered at all 14 STA Park & Ride lots for bus riders.