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Obama agrees that Minnesota should host World's Fair 2023

He endorsed the expo in memos to the secretaries of state and commerce.
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It's possible that in 2023, Minnesota will be hosting a major international fair – and Obama likes the idea.

A group known as Expo 2023 has been campaigning to get the Twin Cities selected as the host of a world’s fair in 2023. The committee – headed by Former Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie – believes the three-month event could draw million of visitors in summer 2023 and put Minnesota in the global spotlight, Capitol Report said.

And on Friday, President Obama endorsed the state's bid, granting official recognition to the exposition.

"I have reviewed the reports and recommendations presented to me by you and the Secretary of State that recognition be given to the "Minnesota World's Fair 2023: Wellness and Well Being for All," and find that such recognition will be in the national interest," Obama wrote in memos to the secretaries of state and commerce.

What the heck is a world's fair?

There's no doubt that Minnesota knows how to throw a fair. But a world's fair, aka "expo," is a bit different than the 12 best days of summer.

It's 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. The expos are registered by the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE) in Paris.

Basically, it's an opportunity for a nation to show off the best of what they have to offer – world’s fairs have introduced many groundbreaking inventions like the elevator, the telephone, motion pictures, the Ferris wheel, and even the ice cream cone.

The next world's fair is Expo 2017 and is to be held in Astana, Kazakhstan. The world expos are held once every five years and may last up to six months, while smaller international expos (three months long) are held in between – Minnesota is vying for one of those.

“Minnesota World’s Fair 2023: Wellness and Well Being for All”

The proposed expo's theme is health and wellness, since Minnesota is a leader in medical technology and healthy living.

Ritchie told the Pioneer Press he's working with developers with a vision to build a structure large enough to have about 100 exhibit spaces – the location has not yet been decided. The site needs to be near the airport and light rail and convenient for park-and-ride, Ritchie told the paper. His suggestions did not include the state fairgrounds.

“The State Fairgrounds are not available from March until November — the estimated time it takes to set up and then take down our Minnesota Expo," Ritchie said. He expects to find out if the Twin Cities is selected by the Bureau of International Expositions in June 2017.

If Minnesota does get chosen, it would be the first time in 30 years that the United States has hosted a world's fair, the Star Tribune noted.

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