What if something as culturally shifting, as technologically revolutionary, as WOW as the World's Fair happened in your city?
The World's Fair did take place in our town, and in six months in 1893, visitors came to see exhibits packed full of artifacts, machinery and even people on display. That moment in our city's history is big, not just because of the art and culture and advent of chewing gum, but because it built up a city that, only 22 years before was ravaged into ashes by the Great Chicago Fire.
Chicago loves the World's Fair. My son has studied it in school twice and was a lead in a play at Lookingglass Theatre, where his drama camp performed an intricate depiction of mystery and wonder of the White City -- right in the original Water Tower, one of the only buildings in that area to survive the fire.
Today, 120 years later, Chicagoans and out-of-towners still want to retreat to the fair, playing tourist in the Field Museum's Opening the Vaults: Wonders of the 1893 World's Fair exhibit, open now through September 7, 2014.
We pushed back on the packing, cleared the busy kid schedule and decided to be tourists in our own city, fair-goers nearly a sesquicentennial later. Here's what to do and see if your family hits the fair, too.