Minnesota, Poland and Argentina compete to host World's Fair In this June 9, 2017, file photo, world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, pose for a photo with others as they attend the opening ceremony of the Astana Expo 2017 exhibition in Astana, Kazakstan. (Mikhail Metzel/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File/Victorgrigas/Wiki Commons)
Minnesota, Poland and Argentina compete to host World's Fair

Minnesota is hoping to host the first World's Fair on U.S. soil in nearly 40 years. But it will have to overcome bids by Poland's third-largest city, Lodz. And it is challenged by the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires. That is where a winner will be selected in the coming days.

World's Fairs introduced the Eiffel Tower, Space Needle and Ferris Wheel. But they have lost some of their cultural relevance in an age of globalization and cheap air travel. World's Fairs are now referred to as World Expos. They are the largest events held every five years and as specialized expos for smaller ones in other years. The events still draw millions of visitors and allow hosts to show off.

The Bureau of International Expositions will choose the site of the 2022 or 2023 specialized expo on Wednesday in Paris. Minnesota's theme is health and wellness. Lodz's theme is the reinvention of cities. Buenos Aires' highlights creative industries in the digital era.

Here's a closer look:


Expos are global events aimed at "educating the public, sharing innovations, promoting progress and fostering cooperation." That's according to the BIE. They're meant to bring the world together to find solutions to some fundamental challenge of humanity. Visitors tour pavilions where participating countries and organizations showcase their contributions on the theme. Experts and diplomats attend conferences on the sidelines.

Six-month-long world expos are held every five years. Smaller, three-month "specialized expos" on specific themes, which are what the BIE is currently considering, fall in between. World leaders often visit.

"Expos remind us that there is much more that binds us together than separates us." That's according to Jim Core. He is director of the international exhibitions unit at the U.S. State Department.

Many Americans have lost sight of how big these events are. That's because the U.S. hasn't hosted one since New Orleans did so in 1984. But the Milan World Expo in 2015 drew around 20 million visitors. This summer's specialized expo on Future Energy in Astana, Kazakhstan, drew 4 million people. The 2020 Dubai World Expo is expected to draw about 25 million. That's according to BIE.


Minnesota has proposed a specialized expo for 2023 on the theme "Healthy People, Healthy Planet." It would trade on the state's reputation as a center of innovation and excellence in health and wellness. That’s according to the leader of the bid committee, former Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie. Minnesota is home to world-class health care institutions including the Mayo Clinic, medical device makers such as Medtronic, and insurers such as UnitedHealth.

The site would be near the Mall of America, one of the country's biggest shopping centers. It is located in the Minneapolis suburb of Bloomington. The committee projects that it will draw around 12 million visitors, including nearly 220,000 international visitors. It would have a total impact on the local economy of $1.5 billion.

The State Department is vigorously lobbying on Minnesota's behalf, a bigger diplomatic effort than Poland's or Argentina's, Ritchie said. It has hosted events in Washington, Paris and other cities, while its embassies and consulates around the world are promoting the bid. It also brought foreign ambassadors to Minnesota. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan will be in Paris to cast the U.S. vote.

The U.S. left the Bureau of International Expositions in 2001 as congressional interest waned following the end of the Cold War, said Matthew Asada, the State Department's expo program officer. But President Donald Trump signed a bill in May. He wants the "U.S. Wants to Compete for a World Expo Act," to rejoin and put the U.S. back in the game.


The bid theme of the central Polish city of Lodz for 2022 is "City Re: Invented" and focuses the revitalization of post-industrial cities. The city's expo website says the event would kick-start a second wave of modernization and share Poland's expertise in "urban regeneration" with the rest of the world.

"Lodz is writing an extraordinary story of how to successfully combat a permanent social and infrastructural crisis," the website states. The city expects about 8 million visitors.

Lodz is Poland's third-largest city, an hour away from the capital Warsaw. It became a thriving industrial city in the 19th century but lost momentum after communist rule ended in 1989. The demise of its big textile plants fueled unemployment and decay. But the city says it has undergone a rebirth lately. This includes the restoration of many of the inner city's richly decorated tenement houses from the late 1800s and revitalization around the main railroad station.


Buenos Aires has offered a 2023 expo on "Creative Industries in Digital Convergence." If approved, it would be the first expo in Latin America under the auspices of the BIE, which began operations in 1931. Several were held in Latin America before then, though.

"It will be a celebration of human creativity, in which no one should be left out," Argentine government minister Gabriela Ricardes said last month in a presentation to the Organization of American States.

Buenos Aires expects over 6 million visitors, including 250,000 international tourists. "They will be able to discover the latest innovations in the technological industries, the newest proposals from the world of creativity, and multimedia, artistic, scientific and technological content from Argentina and the participating countries," its expo website says.

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Why would any city or country want to host a world’s fair?
Write your answers in the comments section below

  • IsabellaM-del
    11/27/2017 - 05:29 p.m.

    This article is about different countries that are helping in the world fair. I thought this story was not interesting.

  • ElvinaI-del
    11/27/2017 - 05:55 p.m.

    Minnesota is wanting to host the World's Fair on U.S soil in 40 years. IT will have to overcome Lodz, Poland's third largest city. It is also challenging by Buenos Aires, the Argentine capital. The winner will be selected.

  • EvanC-del
    11/27/2017 - 05:57 p.m.

    All these countries are going against each other because they the most fans so they will come back. They also want the money involved in this. These countries want to tell people about our history and architect. This will tell us a lot about how we formed our world and every thing in it.

  • AnnabelleA-del
    11/27/2017 - 06:11 p.m.

    Basically, the article was about expos. Expos are meant to educate everyone (a lot of people) about important matters, and things that are coming up. Expos often have certain topics or purposes. The article, basically summarizes exactly why expos are necessary, and which ones might be coming up.

  • NathalyP-del
    11/27/2017 - 06:30 p.m.

    The main idea of this article is that the city of the country was hosting a world's fair. It also overbid's by Poland's third largest country for the country fair and is challenged by Argentina Capital Buenos Aires.

  • SamanthaM-del1
    11/27/2017 - 06:45 p.m.

    Minnesota is hoping to host the first Worlds Fair on US soil in nearly 40 years. It is challenged by Argentinas capital and will have to overcome bids by Poland.

  • JaredI-del
    11/27/2017 - 07:02 p.m.

    so they could show off what they have and be the best city or country

  • SarahT-del
    11/27/2017 - 07:04 p.m.

    Minnesota wants to be the first to have the world fair on the Untied States in over 40 years. Yet they have Poland and Argentina. All have interesting factors that convince people to have the fair there. Minnesota as healthy soil, Poland is very revitalized and Argentina is creative. The reason why any country would like to be the host is because it attracts more visitors which means more money.

  • EsmeraldaV-del
    11/27/2017 - 07:04 p.m.

    This article was very interesting. Countries and cities are hosting a world's fair. I think thats absolutely amazing! In the article, it says "It will be a celebration of human creativity, in which no one should be left out. - They will be able to discover the latest innovations in the technological industries, the newest proposals from the world of creativity, and multimedia, artistic, scientific and technological content"

  • EmilyN-del1
    11/27/2017 - 07:51 p.m.

    I think that it is strange that these 3 countries all want to host the world's fair. This fair has introduced us to some of the greatest buildings today so it is kind of nice that many people want the spot.

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