1982 World's Fair 40th Anniversary Celebration
To celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the 1982 World's Fair, Downtown Knoxville businesses are creating specials that throw us back to the '80s! Explore some of the cocktails, beers, merchandise, and ice creams making appearance over the next several weeks.
Petro's Chili & Chips
Let's start with Petro's Chili & Chips! They began at the 1982 World’s Fair originally serving their famous fare in a sliced open Fritos bag piled high with chili and toppings. It was an instant hit with fair-goers. To tie in with the energy theme of the World’s Fair, it was initially dubbed a “Petroleum Belly,” then shortened to “Petro®” and used other energy-related terms like Regular, Premium, and Unleaded depending on the type of sauce you wanted. Now, you can visit one of Petro's locations on the corner of Market Square.
Museum Exhibit & Merch | Museum of East TN History
In celebration of the 1982 World’s Fair's 40th anniversary, the Museum of East Tennessee History invites you to an interactive, one-of-a-kind exhibition “You Should've Been There!” This exhibit looks back on—and revives the spirit of—when the world came to town! Plus, really cool merch. Now through October.
The Sunsphere | Merchants of Beer
Did you know: each pane of glass on the Sunsphere is layered with 24-karat gold dust. MOB is mixing up a cocktail with the same name and adding edible gold flakes! This sparkly, bright orange drink is made of peach and orange blossom vodka, pineapple juice, and sprite, with a swirl of luxury. ✨🌐✨
Merch & Toys | Mast General Store
Mast General Store has some really cool merch that takes us back to the '80s! Find keychains that look like the original 1982 World's Fair ticket, a sky blue retro t-shirt, 1980's vintage toys, like Cabbage Patch Dolls, Pac-Man, and Rubik's Cubes, '80s candy and more!
Little Red Corvette | Brother Wolf
Brother Wolf has revved up a delicious cocktail inspired by Prince's song, Little Red Corvette—which was recorded in 1982! It has Campari, Martini and Rossi Sweet Vermouth, Luxardo Maraschino cherry juice, and soda water with a cherry garnish. It'll leave you wanting more! 🏎️💨
Rubik's Cube Latte | Awaken Coffee
Did you know: the world's largest Rubik's Cube (at the time) stood at the entrance to the Hungarian Pavilion at the 1982 Knoxville World's Fair? Awaken has concocted the Rubik’s Cube Iced Matcha Block Latte, a colorful drink easier to sip than to solve the puzzle it's named after! Plus, Cherry Coke espresso soda, Flintstone push-pop iced latte, Rocker Barbie non-espresso creamy tea, and more. So much fun!
Cherry Coke Cake | Jig & Reel
Did you know? The Cherry Coke flavor debuted at the 1982 World's Fair! Savor the decadence of Chocolate Cherry Coke Cake, a classic flavor combo, while testing your Rubik’s Cubes skills at Boyd's Jig & Reel. They'll have plenty of cubes, so your whole party can race against the clock!
Merch Pop-Up | Bliss & Tori Mason Shoes
Bliss & Tori Mason Shoes has tons of memorabilia that remind us of times past, like mini Sunspheres, mugs, pint glasses, t-shirts, and more. Stop by to grab a souvenir!
'82 Expo Hard Lemonade | The French Market
Saunter over to The French Market for a Sunsphere Shanty, light fruity beer; the Fairest of the Fair TN Tea, an Arnold Palmer-style lemonade tea combo with whiskey; or the '82 Expo Hard Lemonade, in assorted flavors, like Lavender, Peach, and Watermelon. Sure to quench your thirst! 🍋🍋🍋
Sparkly Ice Cream | Cruze Farm
Order up Cruze Farm's traditional sweet cream and chocolate twist cone, and top it with edible sparkly sprinkles for extra '80s fun! We won't judge if you wear matching eye shadow. ✨✨✨
Merch | Nothing Too Fancy
Nothing Too Fancy is a family-run shop specializing in a variety of screen-printed items, including super comfy t-shirts designed and printed right here in Knoxville. To celebrate the occasion, they have t-shirts printed with the 1982 World's Fair logo (in all sizes), plus vintage pint glasses and post cards.
'80s Night | Knox Box Karaoke
Knox Box Karaoke is hosting an '80s-themed night on June 2, where they'll turn all things '80s up a notch, plus French Fried Vintage will have an '80s clothing pop-up. Warm up your vocal chords! 🎤🎶
Cherry Cola Slushy | Maple Hall
Pucker up for a delicious slushy to cool off this summer! Maple Hall will mix up several cocktails to celebrate the 1982 World's Fair, including Dickey & Cherry Cola Slushy, as well as Harvey Wallbanger with PostModern's Kore vodka, Galliano, and orange juice. Bowling and drinks to remind you of the '80s, not a bad way to spend an evening. 🍒🥤
Energy Express | Babalu
Inspired by the World's Fair theme, "Energy Turns The World," Babalu has crafted a caffeinated cocktail to keep you going. The Energy Express has Ketel One vodka, Café Borghetti espesso liqueur, vanilla simple syrup, and cream. You can also order up a Tequila Sunsphere or classic Budweiser!☕☕☕
Tall Man Toys & Comics
Tall Man Toys & Comics is full of '80s nostalgia, including Funko! Pops that take you back to your favorite shows and movies. Nothing says the '80s clothes and music like Crockett and Tubbs and Miami Vice!
The Phoenix Pharmacy & Fountain
The Phoenix Pharmacy & Fountain's specials are on the menu all summer long. So, if Nutty Buddy’s, banana popsicles, and push-pops are your thing, head on over to the soda fountain! Plus, kitchen sink sundae challenges, '80s music, and more.
Keep the groovy going!
In addition to all the rad things Downtown Knoxville businesses are planning, you can also celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the 1982 World’s Fair by visiting the newly renovated observation deck at the Sunsphere, 6-days a week for 360-degree views of downtown, the Great Smoky Mountains, World’s Fair Park and more. Get your tickets.