In order to ensure the popularity and the economic success of the exposition, its directors made certain to provide a generous programme of entertainment, but like the "Midway Plaisance", the entertainment quarter of the exhibition in Chicago, this was to be concentrated on a clearly demarcated area. This pleasure district, known as "The Pike", was 1,600 metres long and extended from the right hand side of the main entrance up to the administration building. The visitors were invited to take a fantasy voyage around the world which started by crossing the Tyrolean Alps, based on a design by Hermann Knauer. Even from afar, the visitors could perceive the silhouette of the mountain with its snow-tipped peaks. A mountain railway led into the somewhat solidly-built mountainous country and the picturesque illusion was enhanced by painted backdrops and folkloric scenes such as Corpus Christi processions, rambling scenes and fairytale grottoes draped with nymphs. The journey took the visitors through tunnels hewed through rock, dark forests, past mountain lakes and into the Zillertal whose mountain peak could be scaled by taking a lift. A slide took the visitors back to the valley while they enjoyed a view of Königsee. The picture was rounded off by dioramas of Bavarian palaces and castles, mountain villages where the visitors could walk through streets where products of the region were being sold or a village church where the Oberammergau passion plays were being performed. The highlight of this tour was an inn decorated in the style of King Ludwig II where 3,000 visitors could be served beer simultaneously to the sound of Bavarian folk music.
Other highlights were an Eskimo village, an Egyptian bazaar, an Irish village with a haunted castle, the lion's court of the Alhambra and a trip to "mysterious Asia" on the back of a camel. Elaborately presented visions of the future where sinners were shown what awaited them in the shadow of Hades, helter-skelters and underwater journeys, trained animals and acrobats and scenes from the lives of the Red Indians offered unusual attractions, while in another part historical events were reconstructed with the aid of the most modern technology to strengthen patriotic feelings. Thus the visitors could marvel at the American victory over Cuba through a battle at sea or the flood at Galveston which claimed 5,000 victims in 1900. The uncontested climax in terms of illusions was the journey into time called "Creation”, where the visitors were taken back thousands of years in a water channel to the beginnings of humankind – depicted by an actor in the guise of one of Adam's ribs. The crowds were particularly thick in front of the huge Ferris Wheelwhich had already been erected in Chicago in 1893 and from whose highest point the visitors had a view over the entire exhibition. Particularly in the evenings when the palaces were closed, the visitors had a marvellous view of the colourful sea of lights, which was set in motion by cascades and fountains. Chains of bulbs in three different colours illuminated architectural lines. Waterfalls were lit green from below and halls of pillars glowed in the reflected light.
|Year: 1904||City: St. Louis||Country: USA|
|Duration: 30th April - 1st December 1904|