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Next 50 Opening Day April 21

The Next Fifty, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, Apr 21 – Oct 21, begins on Saturday, Apr 21 with a full day of festivities to mark this important milestone, 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., on the Center grounds.

The day begins at 10 a.m. with a ribbon cutting at International Fountain Pavilion for Celebrating Century 21, three exhibits exploring the 1962 World’s Fair and its impact today. The Opening Ceremony, 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., at the newly restored Mural Amphitheatre, features an exciting line-up of speakers and special guests highlighting the past, present and future of Seattle Center and the Pacific Northwest. At the ceremony’s conclusion, invited dignitaries will literally launch The Next Fifty with stomp rockets.

The afternoon offers live music and dance performances, children’s activities, mobile food vendors, beer garden, free zip line ride, NASA’s Driven to Explore Exhibit, Emerald City Search kick-off, skateboarding party, and many more free, festive, and fun activities throughout the Seattle Center grounds (a complete schedule follows at the end of this release).

Free parking is offered on Opening Day until 10 a.m. in three Seattle Center Garages, 1st Ave N Garage, 5th Ave N Garage, and Mercer Garage.

The Next 50 launch date and six-month duration correspond to those of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. Similar to the Fair, The Next Fifty looks to the future for much of its inspiration and programming ideas. Arts, culture and design and history tie together the celebration. The individual months focus on key areas of regional leadership and development including:  Sustainable Futures, Apr 21 – May 31; Science and Technology, June; Global Health, July; Learning, August; Commerce and the Innovation Economy, September; and Civic Action, October.

Seattle Center Foundation is heading up the 50th anniversary celebration, working with 19 volunteer committees to plan the events, cultivating partnerships to enable the programming and capital development, and reaching out to the region to ensure broad community participation.

Next 50 premier partners include:  Bartell Drugs, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Coca-Cola, Grousemont Foundation, Microsoft, Samsung, Seattle Center Monorail, T-Mobile, TPN (The Production Network) and World Vision. Funding and participating partners include: 206 Inc., 4Culture, City of Seattle, Global Health Nexus, Hill & Knowlton Strategies, KOMO 4 TV, KUOW 94.9 Public Radio, One to the World, Safeco Insurance:  A Liberty Mutual Company, Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, Sheraton Seattle Hotel and Washington Economic Development Commission.

The organizers of the World’s Fair left the legacy of Seattle Center to allow for a place in the core of our region for public gatherings, arts cultivation and family activities. In keeping with their vision, The Next Fifty challenges our community to engage in the critical discussions of our day, essential celebrations, and inspiring presentations. For more information on The Next Fifty and Seattle Center, visit or call 206 684-7200.