Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE)

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January 30, 2015
Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE)

Celebrate the Centennial of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition

Feb. 20 marks the 100th anniversary of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE), the World’s Fair celebrating the completion of the Panama Canal and showcasing San Francisco—its recovery from the ashes of the 1906 earthquake and fire and its world trade potential.

Taking place Feb. 20, 2015–Jan. 10, 2016, the PPIE100, a citywide consortium of cultural, civic and historical organizations, including the California Historical Society, Maybeck Foundation, Innovation Hanger, and Recreation and Parks Department will host centennial programs to commemorate the PPIE’s historical significance and to reflect on its legacy.

Don’t miss these events taking place over the weekend:

PPIE100 Kickoff at City Hall
Begin the celebrations with Mayor Ed Lee on Feb. 20 for the launch of the monthly San Francisco City Hall Rotunda Dance Series, taking place on the anniversary of the opening of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. The free Rotunda Dance Series performances also starts the annual Ethnic Dance Festival and will include both local and international artists, including Gamelan Sekar Jaya, Hālau o Keikialiʻi, Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, Shinichi Iova-Koga and many others.

Community Day at the Palace of Fine Arts
Feb. 21, 12–5 p.m.
Kick-off a year of Centennial events with a variety of activities, exhibitions and entertainment, including a Uke-a-thon – bring your ukulele and play along with a local ukulele band and celebrate.

The celebration also includes the re-opening of the Palace of Fine Arts to the public. Explore the Innovation Hanger, which transforms the inside of the Palace, one of the few structures remaining from the fair, into a place where the curious can play, grow and learn. The space will host a collection of new inventions and prototypes and will have a special series of talks available through January 2016.

PPIE After Dark 
Feb. 21, 7:30–10:30 p.m.
This free and open to the public event at the Palace of Fine Arts will feature entertainment, food trucks and an indoor optic flare light show. Event specifics will be available closer to the event date at

Chinese Pavilion of Fine Arts
Feb. 21–24
Moscone Center - South Hall & Esplanade
To celebrate the PPIE100, the China Culture Art Global Propagation Committee has prepared a Chinese Pavilion of fine arts and cultural products in the San Francisco International Gift Fair at Moscone Center from Feb. 21-24, 2015. Many Chinese exhibitors at this International Gift Fair were award winners at the 1915 PPIE. This display intends to honor the spirit of the PPIE and to promote the cooperation and peace in the world.

City Rising: San Francisco and the 1915 World’s Fair
California Historical Society
Feb. 21, 2015–Jan. 10, 2016
In celebration of the Centennial Anniversary of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE), the California Historical Society presents City Rising: San Francisco and the 1915 World’s Fair. Two related exhibitions depict the PPIE as a critical event that shaped the San Francisco we know today: a city undaunted by tragedy, audaciously innovative, and rising to meet the challenges of the day. Explore this moment in history when the city stepped onto the world stage. Stroll through the Palace’s grand colonnade and rotunda and venture inside the exhibition hall to discover what this World’s Fair and iconic building means to the city. Vintage film footage, salvaged architectural fragments, and a new digital animation bring visitors closer to understanding how the fair entertained and enchanted millions of people from around the world.

Additional events are being planned at the de Young Museum and Oakland Museum. For a full list of events taking place throughout the year and around the San Francisco Bay Area, visit

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