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The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition

Step back 100 years and experience a piece of Seattle’s past in Seattle’s Forgotten World’s Fair: the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (AYPE), a new documentary by award-winning filmmaker John Forsen. This film is one part of the many events celebrating the AYPE’s 100th anniversary. Watch the AYPE documentary and other AYPE videos now

It’s 1909. Seattle is on the cusp of success, shedding its rough frontier past, and embarking on a journey that will make it a city of innovation, of vision and of breathtaking beauty. It is at this juncture that the young city decides to host a World’s Fair. The city’s leaders dream big, aiming to put on a grand fair in the spirit of Chicago and St. Louis before it. And the organizers succeed in realizing their ambitions. The fair is held on the burgeoning University of Washington campus against the stunning backdrop of Mount Rainier. Here, Seattle welcomed the world and the world responded. Visitors walked among palaces fit for an empire, saw new inventions that would change the world and mined for mirth on the Paystreak, AYP’s Midway. Seattle staked a claim at AYP on trade to the North and across the Pacific. The city successfully marketed itself as a sophisticated metropolis eager to further America’s opportunities across the nation and around the world. The film is told through thousands of historical images, rare archival footage and contemporary interviews. Seattle’s Forgotten World’s Fair: the Alaska-Yukon Pacific Exposition integrates past and present by documenting the fair’s reality while exploring its historical reverberations.

Filmmaker John Forsen has been producing documentaries since 1983 with KCTS, KIRO and Magic Hour Films. He is a partner in Decathalon Films and produced the 2005 feature film Expiration Date that won numerous Best of Show awards at film festivals around the country. He is also the winner of seven regional Emmys.