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A World Exposition Like No Other

Starting in just three scant days, what may turn out to be the biggest World Exposition – or World’s Fair if you prefer – will be held in Shanghai, China. It has the largest global participation of any Expo in history, and there will be nearly 300 different Pavilions ranging from international pavilions (including the United States), provincial pavilions from all over China, international organizations like the Red Cross and United Nations and industrial giants like Coca-Cola, General Motors and Cisco Systems.

The Expo has received almost no media coverage in this country, which is partially due to its distance – it is no easy matter to fly literally halfway across the globe. However, that is just what my wife and I intend to do and we will be leaving on our own journey to explore the Expo in about three and a half weeks. Since we’re going to be in China, we thought we might stop off at the Great Wall, Forbidden City and other major tourist sights as well.

We’re only planning to be at the Expo for three days which is not even close to what we would need to see the Expo in its entirety but we will make a game try of it. The Organizers are expecting that for the six month life of the Expo some 70 million people will see it, which will make it the most attended event in human history. The lines are going to be rough, but we’ll manage. Hey, we’re Disney veterans…we know our way around a crowd.

Since the coverage is so sparse, I intend to do my own part in publicizing the Expo. Starting on May 1 which is the opening day for the Expo (there’s already been a soft opening or trial run in which nearly a million people came to see the Expo with many of its Pavilions not yet open) I will be running a daily profile describing what to expect at each Pavilion, including all the Provincial Pavilions under the Chinese Joint Provincial Pavilion (which is part of the China Pavilion, which will be the first one profiled here) and the mini-pavilions in the Joint Pavilions of Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, International Organizations and Central/South America.

Each of these profiles will be accompanied by a picture, whether an artist’s rendition of the Pavilion or an actual photogaph of the structure. When we return from our own trip to the Expo, I’ll be adding my own images to the profiles.

I intend to do one per day starting May 1 and continuing until May 14 (which is when I’m leaving) with updates resuming on June 4 and continuing until I run out of Pavilions.

I’m doing this not just to publicize this specific Expo, but to also bring to the attention of my readers that World Expos are important events that should be afforded more of our attention and should, in fact, return to North America where one hasn’t been held since 1986 in Vancouver. There are two more currently scheduled – Expo 2012 in Yeosu, South Korea and Expo 2015 in Milan. If I am able to, I hope to do similar Pavilion profiles for those World Expos as well.

I hope you enjoy what you see here in regards to my profiles, but I hope they also inspire you to want to visit one yourself. They are truly amazing events that everyone should check out at least once in their lives.


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