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Meet an Expo Enthusiast: Joey Patapas

Updated: May 31, 2023

Joey Patapas is an Expo Enthusiast from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.


An Expo enthusiast does not have to be someone who has attended lots of Expos. Take Joey, for instance. His first Expo was the most recent: Expo 2020 Dubai, which of course will always hold a special place in his heart. The point is: your first Expo can set you on a path to desiring to explore and learn more about this wonderful world of ours.


Joey at Expo 2020 Dubai

Seeing the world in one place at a World Expo opens your eyes and introduces you to the many cultures and landscapes across the globe. One taste of an Expo can result in a lifetime of attending future Expos to continue to learn how the many countries on the Earth can work together towards a goal. Joey is an example and considers himself an Expo Enthusiast now, enjoying the architecture of an Expo and seeing countries show the best part of themselves.


For his first Expo, Joey attended alone. He is energetic and, in true enthusiast style, would arrive at opening and stay until closing, intent on visiting every pavilion. Attending an Expo alone allows one to truly delve into the nooks and crannies of an Expo and see it at your own pace. Joey needs someone who can keep up with him. Luckily his partner Owen will be traveling with him to attend Expo 2025 Osaka, Japan, with their 5-year-old son. They may be chasing their son around the grounds!


Joey’s first active Expo to attend was Expo 2020 Dubai. However, he does have a history of visiting an Expo. His earliest Expo memory would be seeing the site of Expo'67 Montreal as a child (would have been in the early 80s). He was in Old Montreal, and he could see these amazing-looking buildings on islands out in the river (he later learned he was looking at the Man the Explorer pavilion). He started asking questions about his family, who attended Expo'67 years earlier, and that started his love affair with everything Expo. Years later, about 1990, he was in high school and discovered a huge book detailing everything about Expo'67 in the school library. He learned that a few of his friends were as enthusiastic about Expo as he was, so one Saturday, they decided to do some urban exploration at the site. They had recently begun to demolish many of the pavilions, so it truly felt like they were exploring an archaeological site.


Joey at the site of Expo 1967 Montreal

But his most memorable experience from an actual Expo would be the first time he stepped into Expo 2020. After his long flight from Canada, he checked into his hotel. After a very quick shower and change of clothes, he took the metro to the site and got to the gates five minutes before they stopped letting people in. He had made it! His reaction was somewhere between the excitement of the boy in the ball cap and the wonderment of the Muslim lady at the end of the “This is Our Time” music video. The best feeling to have finally made it!


As with others, Joey has to have his souvenirs. He isn’t too picky: T-shirts, toys, books, and drinking glasses. He just has to make sure he doesn’t clutter up the house too much! His favorite souvenir is his Expo 2020 Dubai keychain. He sees it every day, and it is a constant reminder of his wonderful experience at Expo.


Joey visiting pavilions at Expo 2020 Dubai

Aside from the fact that he looks forward to attending Expo 2025 Osaka, he feels it would be an honor to one day represent his home country as one of the hosts of the Canadian pavilion at a future Expo. A great way to live in another country for a few months!


As longtime Expo Enthusiasts, we welcome Joey to the Expo community and look forward to bumping into him in Osaka… if he isn’t tired from chasing his son around the Expo grounds!

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