June 29, 2021 — Today the U.S. Department of State presented a message to the 168th General Assembly of the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE) announcing that the the State of Minnesota intends to submit a candidature package to host a specialized Expo in 2027. The theme of the Expo would be “Healthy People, Healthy Planet: Wellness and Well-Being for All.”
If Minnesota is successful in its bid (there may be other bidders – Malaga, Spain has indicated an interest) it would be the first BIE-sanctioned Expo in North America in 41 years. A specialized Expo is a smaller world’s fair (usually of three months duration and hosted in a smaller city) which, under BIE rules can take place between the larger events (six months duration, larger city) (the next large Worlds Fair opens this October 21 in Dubai) which take place every five years. The last specialized Expo took place in Kazakhstan in 2017. Argentina had won a bid for 2023 but the project folded.
I reached out to Mark Ritchie, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Minnesota World’s Fair Bid Committee, for comment. He said, “Today’s announcement could not have come at a better moment. With our theme focused on health and wellness, the whole world literally has a stake in our success. We look forward to working with stakeholders across the United States to ensure that Expo 2027 is truly a national effort. Today we’ve came one step closer to being able to welcome the whole world to Minnesota, and to our dream of hosting the Next Great American World Expo.”
A Minnesota success would bring back American awareness of world’s fairs. There have been 11 international expos in the past 30 years in Asia and Europe drawing over 221 million visitors.