Saturday is opening day of "The Next 50," Seattle Center's six-month celebration looking back at the 1962 Seattle World's Fair and ahead to Seattle Center and Seattle's next 50 years.

Share story

Saturday is opening day of “The Next 50,” Seattle Center’s six-month celebration looking back at the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair and ahead to Seattle Center and Seattle’s next 50 years.

Opening ceremonies at 10:30 a.m. in the Mural Amphitheater include speakers and the Seattle Men’s Chorus, kicking off a day of entertainment by local marching bands, choirs and performers, and concluding at 4:30 p.m. with “The Chair Spectacle”: 200 community members in procession to the International Fountain with movement performed on and around chairs, accompanied by music related to the 1962 World’s Fair.

Festivities throughout Saturday include a skateboarding party, a beer garden with trivia games, and a variety of food trucks and carts.

Displays include “Celebrating Century 21” featuring “The Future Remembered” artifacts from the 1962 World’s Fair, and a traveling history exhibit, “Centuries of Progress, America’s World’s Fairs, 1853-1982,” open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, Saturday through Oct. 21.

Other exhibits opening Saturday include “Our Sustainable Futures Experience” and “Earth Portal: A Guided Tour of the Universe,” in the Next 50 Pavilion, and NASA’s “Driven to Explore” exhibit, in the renovated Armory/Center House.

The Next 50 celebration continues through Oct. 21, the closing date of the World’s Fair in 1962. Major upcoming events include opening of the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibition in late May and the May 25 debut of the Seattle Center Playway inflatable rides.

Continuing events include Century 21 Walking Tours exploring the legacies of the World’s Fair, hosted by the Museum of History & Industry, on the first and third Saturdays and second and fourth Thursdays of each month through Oct. 20.

Include some of the fair’s most famous attractions as part of your day: The Monorail departs about every 10 minutes, 8:30 a.m.-11 p.m., from Westlake Mall Station; and the Space Needle Observation Deck opens Saturday at 9:30 a.m. (closing early for a private party at 4 p.m., with last admission sold at 3 p.m.).

Madeline McKenzie: 206-464-8245 or mmckenzie@seattletimes.com