Minnesota takes important step in bid for World’s Fair 2023

Presidential backing means state will compete with Lodz, Poland.

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JIM GEHRZ STAR TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO

2015Mark Ritchie, a former Minnesota secretary of state, played a key role.

Minnesota’s bid to host a World’s Fair in 2023 took an important step forward last week when President Obama granted it federal recognition, issuing a finding that the proposal is “in the national interest.”

That presidential blessing clears the way for the Minnesota proposal’s delivery this week to the Paris-based Bureau of International Expositions, where it will vie with a competing proposal from Lodz, Poland, and possibly another from Argentina. Next November, a site will be selected to host the 2023 iteration of the three-month expositions staged between full-blown world’s fairs, which occur every five years.

Much credit is due the blue-ribbon Minnesota World’s Fair Bid Committee, headed by former Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, for advancing an ambitious idea this far. But it’s too soon for the committee’s civic visionaries to rest on their laurels.

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