It has been 30 years since the 1982 World’s Fair took place in Knoxville. Many look back on it as a magical time “when the world came to Knoxville.” All in all, it was a good thing for the city and most people have fond memories of Expo ‘82. Celebrations of the event are planned for the upcoming months.
Bill Landry visited the Sunsphere and World’s Fair Park on May 1st in preparation for an upcoming event to be held on Wednesday, May 16 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. in which he is the featured speaker as the Sunsphere is honored on its 30th year. Tickets are on sale for $16 each or $120 for a table of 8.
Landry said that he worked at the fair as an actor. “I was a fake captain on a riverboat,” he said. He worked on one of the barges that took guests on a ride up the river to points of interest. Landry said that he gave a lecture 4 times a day about the history along the river to a group of approximately 75 that was seated inside the barge in a theatre.
He said that he remembered working long hours and that it was hot, very hot. “There was no air-conditioning on the barge and that summer was one of the hottest on record,” he said. Landry said that he did visit the fairgrounds and view the exhibits, the pavilions, and watch the parade, but, he was so tired every day from the work and the heat that all he wanted to do when his shift ended was to go home and rest.
Prior to the 25 years he spent working on the Heartland Series, Landry was employed by TVA and spent two years after the fair closed traveling the river visiting ports of call all along the way. He said that it was during those years that he met many of the people who would later become topics for some of the 1,900 shows he hosted.
Performing at the Sunsphere will be one of many places Landry has been booked during his latest book selling and signing tour.
Landry’s book, Appalachian Tales & Heartland Adventures includes:
100 of Bill’s favorite stories, people and adventures
Available in hard ($49) or soft copy ($27)
10 X 9 inches
Landry said that he always knew he would write a book because his life had been full of stories. As a writer, actor, speaker and entertainer in general, Landry said that he was always looking for the story. Working on the Heartland Series provided him with the opportunity to hear thousands of mysteries, comedies, ghost stories and the ones“told to him as the truth.”
Landry said that he has been pleased with the success of his book and plans to write a second book.
Tickets for the event on May 16 can be purchased by calling 865 951 0319 or by e mailing Sunspherebook@aol.com. Make checks payable to Sunsphere Account and mail to Landry Luncheon, 939 Chickamauga Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37917