World's Fair Park History
This park is the site of the 1982 World's Fair. The theme of the exposition was "Energy Turns the World." It opened on May 1, 1982, and closed on October 31, 1982. Over 11 million visitors came to the event. Participating nations included Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, United States, and West Germany. Panama never occupied its pavilion space, which was eventually occupied by a group of Caribbean Island nations.
A TV station KM2XKA on Channel 7 was started especially for the event, broadcasting World's Fair info for Knoxville viewers. Today it belongs to DTV-only WMAK, an independent station.
The Sunsphere, the 266-foot steel tower topped with a five-story bronze globe, was built for the World's Fair. The Sunsphere's observation deck reopened to the public in 2007. It still stands and remains an icon for the City of Knoxville.