Fifty years ago, the 1962 World’s Fair did more than just celebrate global culture. It put Seattle on display, inspired world leaders, and erected a certain needle-shaped tower.

And there are many, many locals who have never been to the top of that lovely tower. Quote one such local: "$20 is way too much for an elevator ride." But that's about to change this weekend, when the Space Needle puts "retro pricing" into effect. On October 21—the day Seattle's World's Fair ended a half-century ago—tickets to the Observation Deck will cost $1. And who wouldn't ride to the top of the city's icon for a buck? Try your luck (and expect a line) anytime from 9:30am to 11pm. Now, if only they could guarantee a clear sky...

The Space Needle discount is part of a Seattle Center-wide celebration marking the close of the fair's golden anniversary. Here's a rundown of free events this Sunday:

Noon–6 Food trucks on campus (pay as you order)
Noon Women Acting Out, featuring performance artist Laurie Anderson (Intiman Playhouse)
1:30pm Closing Ceremony (Fisher Pavilion)
2pm Seattle Symphony concert with the International Contemporary Ensemble, conducted by Ludovic Morlot (Fisher Pavilion). On the program: Gershwin's Cuban Overture, Cage's Variations III, Beethoven's Leonore Overture No. 3, Debussy's "Fetes" from Nocturnes, and Berlioz's Roman Carnival Overture.
3:30pm Land of Pines concert (Fisher Pavilion)
4pm Extraordinary Futures student break-dancing showcase (Fisher Pavilion)
4:15pm Seacats concert (Fisher Pavilion)
4:30pm The Chair Spectacle, a modern dance performance choreographed by Pat Graney (International Fountain)

Read on for our Insider's Guide to the 1962 World's Fair.

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