When We Were There – Part 1

December 22, 2006 at 9:18 am 2 comments

I’m preparing to post a number of photos we took during the World’s Fair. Click on the thumbnails for larger versions.

As always, if you were there sometime during the 6-month run in 1982, please post a memory in comments.

Saudi Arabian pavilion
Saudi Arabian pavilion – if we knew then what we knew now…

Some awnings I believe near the Panamanian pavilion. Panama was the last nation to join, actually not arriving and opening their pavilion until after the Fair opened.

View of Tennessee Amphitheater from the skybuckets
View of Tennessee Amphitheater from the skybuckets

Federal Republic of Germany
The West German pavilion, or the pavilion of the Federal Republic of Germany. Interesting from an anachronistic point of view, but in reality one of the weakest of all the World’s Fair pavilions in terms of quality of show. No real artifacts or cultural presentations to speak of, but lots of boasting about energy progress.
The Mexican Pavilion
The Mexican Pavilion

The French Pavilion
The outside of the French Pavilion. On the whole, the pavilions from what they then called the EU (European Union) were fairly boring. Even for a techno geek like my 15-yr-old self, there was only so much an electronic diagram of energy consumption in the outlying surburbs of Nice could hold my attention…

Sheila outside the Fruit Stand, with US Pavilion
This is our family friend Sheila in front of the US Pavilion. Behind the photographer is the fruit stand where her son Tim worked, that was sponsored by Kroger foods and Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

My brother and I outside the Kroger Fruit Stand
My brother and I outside the Kroger Fruit Stand. This stand sold fresh, cool fruit that was a Godsend on hot summer days and my traditional first stop when arriving at the fair in of my 42 trips. It was located on the deck just beneath the Sunsphere and inside the Henley Street Gate. There was an intricate neon mural on the wall above the Fruit Stand that stayed up and lit for a while after the Fair was over. I miss it.

I’ll leave it to you to guess which one is me and which is my brother.

Performers at the Elm Tree Theatre
The Elm Tree Theatre was nestled between some of the European pavilions, near the site of where today stands the Knoxville Museum of Art. The Elm Tree had stood for many, many years in that spot and rather than chop it down to build the Fair, they built around it and made it into a cool outdoor theatre. One of the many innovative approaches the designers made. Notice the Buddy’s BBQ stand in the back – you can imagine what it smelled like sitting there watching a show…

I saw Jimmie “J.J.” Walker perform there one night where he made his famous “Falkland Islands” joke. Ask me.

The top of the Elm Tree Theatre
View from the top of the Elm Tree Theatre. Mmmm…smell that barbecue!

Windmills outside the Australian Pavilion
Ah, the famous Australian windmills. The Aussies had one of the coolest pavilions at the Fair and there was even a “back door” pub serving Aussie beer. The specific memories have faded about what was inside – what I wouldn’t give to go back and walk through it all again…

American Flag at the US Pavilion
One of my favorite shots. The Sunsphere framed by a giant hanging American flag from the US Pavilion. Just gorgeous.

Outside the EU Pavilion
A generic catch-all pavilion for the European Union. I’m not sure what this person is doing in front – probably the traditional, “Oops!” duck when someone walks in front of a camera taking a photo.

Outside the Candy Factory
Walking outside the (then) newly renovated and restored Candy Factory. One of the several restoration projects on old buildings at the Fair site, the Candy Factory still remains. It’s getting ready to be re-re-renovated into condos now.

Funny, this view’s not much different than it is today. Except for the giant mutant lollipops, of course.

Cloggers on the Court of Flags
The 1982 World’s Fair meant Knoxville, and Knoxville means cloggers. Can’t have one without the other, so here they are on the Court of Flags – the central performance space of the Fair. This area hung around for several years after the Fair, before it was finally torn up and rebuilt into…well, nothing really.



Entry filed under: Remembering the World's Fair.

Tennessee Amphitheater Repair Update For The Cause

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. jerri wells  |  September 12, 2007 at 6:20 am

    for sale: 1 can worlds fair beer 1982 ..full never been opened.

  • 2. lena de matos  |  October 11, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    I was wondering if you had any pictures of the americans gymnastics perfromances in the 1982 worlds fair? I was a gymnast who perfromed in the fair and I have no pictures left in regard to this. I would love to see if you took any please let me know if you did and would you be willing to send to my email thanks so much for your time Lena


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Remember the Date

The 25th Anniversary of the 1982 World's Fair is on May 1, 2007. Mark your calendars!

Email Me

lasthome (at) gmail . com



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