Opening Day Ceremonies Will Be Held May 20

Storm Gave Exposition a Set-Back and a Postponement Was Deemed Advisable
Gates Will Open May 1, As Originally Planned

The Buffalo Evening News April 22, 1901

Friday and Saturday's snow storm was a decided set-back to the Exposition, and after a meeting of the executive committee yesterday afternoon, it was decided that the public must know the facts officially.

May 1 will be Opening Day, but it will be an informal opening - no noise, parades or exercises. It has been decided to merge the Opening Day program with that of Dedication Day, which is fixed for May 20.

Instead of May 1, moving day, therefore, May 20 will be a civic holiday and the noise and enthusiasm which Buffalo is storing up will be that much stronger by reason of 20 days additional accumulation. The statement is made that the Exposition, as far as sights goes, will be practically complete when the gates open. It is expected that most of the exhibits will be in place and all of the Midway attractions. The exact nature of the plans of officials is made clear in the following statement which was issued by Director General Buchanan after yesterday's meeting:

"After careful consideration on the part of the board of directors, it has been found advisable to postpone the exercises already planned for Opening Day until May 20, and merge them with the exercises outlined for Dedication Day. This must not be misconstrued by the people. It does not mean the postponement of the opening of the Exposition, for the gates will be thrown open to the public on May 1, as was originally intended. There will be plenty of attraction for the most exacting, and the grounds and buildings will be in fairly good shape. It simply means this: We do not care to have an army of people swoop down on us the first day and find things incomplete; a condition over which we have no control because of the caprices of the weather. If the original plans were followed out, thousands of people would come, see and return and would not paint the glowing picture of the Exposition that it deserves.

"Strenuous efforts will be made to have the grounds and buildings in first class shape by May 1. We will immediately, after the storm has ceased, place at work two shifts, a day force and a night force, and if it is necessary we will work 10,000 men. I believe they are available and that we can secure their services if we need them. I feel safe in saying that the May 1 visitor will leave the Exposition pleased in every particular and will a feeling that he has seen the greatest triumph of art and industry. All this amounts to a simple postponement of the plans that had been outline for Opening Day, a course which I believe will be practical and for the best interest of the Exposition in particular and for the city of Buffalo in general."


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