Festival

Minnesota is up against 2 countries to host the 2023 World’s Fair

We’re down to three finalists for the 2023 World’s Fair. And one of them is Minnesota.

The organization in charge of making the decision – called the Bureau International des Expositions – announced the three finalists Wednesday. The Twin Cities region will be going up against Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Łódź, Poland.

“Great news!” tweeted Expo2023, the local group behind the push to get the three-month expo here.

“We still have our work cut out for us in the competition, but the affirmation from the General Assembly of the BIE has brought Expo 2023 USA-Minnesota one step closer to reality,” said Marilyn Carlson Nelson, co-chair of Minnesota World’s Fair Bid Committee, in a news release.

The bureau will make a final decision in November of 2017. In the meantime, Expo2023 and the other two possible host countries will keep promoting their cause.

How Minnesota got this far

The World’s Fair is basically a “gathering of people from many parts of the world, at which they demonstrate their products and their arts, and promote their homelands,” an official website says.

Minnesota previously got support from former President Barack Obama and the official OK from Congress to pursue the 2023 World’s Fair. Then President Donald Trump signed that OK into law last month.

Expo2023 says the expo could generate more than 40,000 jobs in the state. They’ve previously estimated it would bring in 10-15 million tourists, generating $185.3 million in local tax revenue and generating $1.5 billion in total economic benefit.

Under the law, all of the funding for the World’s Fair has to come from private sources – so no tax money.

The World’s Fair is held every five years – the last one was 2015 in Milan. The 2023 event Minnesota is competing to host is actually a “specialized expo,” which usually comes with a theme, Expo2023 explains.

Minnesota’s pitch is centered around the idea “Healthy People, Healthy Planet.” You can check out their pitch here.

The U.S. hasn’t hosted a World’s Fair since 1984.

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