World's Fair Park Yesterday vs. Today

In 1982, Knoxville hosted the World's Fair, bringing about the famous Sunsphere we all know and love.

But what was once the epicenter of world innovation and technology, has now become a quiet park with no sign of it's enriching past.

Music has also had a relationship with World's Fair Park.

"Rachmaninoff: The Last Concert" by Victor Bokarov

Writer and composer, Sergei Rachmaninoff performed his last concert at the University of Tennessee before his death in 1943. This statue, now hidden by trees and shrubs was made in his honor. Rachmaninoff is considered one of the most prolific and beloved composer in the last century.

Rachmaninoff's statue stands with the Sunsphere in the background.

In recent years, World's Fair Park has made a sharp transition to the political debates and rhetoric we see today.

Last year, President Donald Trump hosted a political rally at the Knoxville Convention Center. Even as an underdog, the Republican candidate filled the convention with thousands of supporters.

Three weeks ago, anti-abortion protesters held a rally at the World's Fair Park Amphitheater to participate in the nation's annual March for Life.

The amphitheater was built for the 1982 World's Fair in the spirit of sound and music, but it's uses have not been limited to just those two aspects. The March for Life rally held here drew in hundreds of people, filling almost every seat.

So the next time you walk your dog or meet a friend at World's Fair Park, remember that its initial purpose has evolved into a variety of social and cultural opportunities for the city of Knoxville.

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