Seattle Center celebrates its 60th anniversary

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Six decades ago, the Century 21 Exposition, also known as the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, drew nearly 10 million attendees in its six months and put Seattle on the world map. This month, Seattle Center, the site of the World’s Fair, celebrates 60 years of growth as Seattle’s hub for the arts and community gatherings, commemorating what is “New, Now & Next,” the celebration theme.

The Seattle Center and its more than 30 resident organizations kick off the six-month celebration of its 60th anniversary beginning at 10:30 a.m. Thursday on the main stage of the Seattle Center Armory Food & Event Hall. The public event, featuring remarks from Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell, Seattle Center Director Robert Nellams, and Pacific Northwest Ballet Executive Director Ellen Walker, will honor the center’s history and provide insight into the future of the 74-acre campus.

The celebration will feature music from DJ Mike Steve and a spoken word performance by young poet-winning Zinnia Hansen, as well as some locals sharing a 60th anniversary with the Seattle World’s Fair – who will receive a special gift and be on hand to a rendition of Seattle Opera’s “Happy Birthday” with piano accompanist at 11 a.m., the exact time the doors opened to the world 60 years ago. Birthday cupcakes, from Trophy Cupcakes, will be served to attendees of the festivities – and as a throwback to the “World’s Largest Birthday Cake” unveiled at the Seattle World’s Fair in 1962, a giant cutout of the cake will be available for pictures.

Digital Photo Booth – A free green-screen photo booth featuring digital download souvenir photos will be available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at The Armory.

Children’s Coloring Contest — Children are invited to color the “world’s largest birthday cake” from the 1962 World’s Fair, as part of a competition to win a set of children’s prizes. The competition runs from Thursday to May 22. The coloring sheet and contest rules are available from the Seattle Center Customer Service Desk or for download at www.seattlecenter.com/connect/contests.

Seattle Center Scavenger Hunt – A self-guided scavenger hunt will be offered to Seattle Center visitors throughout June, offering attendees the chance to win a bounty of exclusive Seattle Center experiences, including a rooftop tour of the Space Needle, Seattle Center Monorail behind-the-scenes tour and free one-year VIP pass, and glassblowing experience at Chihuly Garden and Glass. Full details and rules for participating in the Scavenger Hunt will be available beginning June 1 on Seattle Center’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter channels.

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