It wasn’t quite a third New York World’s Fair, but Sunday’s anniversary festival left that impression.
Thousands flocked to Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the site of the 1939-40 and 1964-65 World’s Fairs, to honor the 75th and 50th anniversaries through a myriad of free activities, exhibitions and various food, sponsored by the Queens borough president’s office and the Parks Department.
People mostly from around the city, Tri-State area and Long Island came to relive the memory of the World’s Fair and pass along that feeling to the next generation.
“For me, just to come back and pay respects 50 years later is [great],” said Carlos Rios, a Harlem native who attended the 1964-65 World’s Fair. “It’s deja-vu.”
Surrounding the iconic Unisphere, there were inflatable rides for children, international food courtesy of LIC Flea & Food, free tours, exhibitions from Queens educational institutions, memorabilia from past Fairs, and music from various bands— including Beatles tribute band, the Liverpool Shuffle.
Despite the festivities, the celebration just didn’t compare to an actual World’s Fair, some said.
“This is not a World’s Fair, this is just a reunion-type thing,” Marc Cutler, a Brooklyn resident who collects World’s Fair memorabilia said. “There’s no comparison.”
But the festival triggered so many memories of the Fair, some people are now calling for a third fair, and politicians are already on board.
“We need conservation, preservation, and more economic development [in Queens], and I think a World’s Fair would do all of that wrapped up in one,” Public Advocate Letitia James said.
Many watched and listened as the band Raices and others performed in front of the Unisphere.
Learning the history of the World’s Fair is great, but for kids, bouncy houses are also fun.
International food vendors, such as Koso’s Korean cuisine, were available at the festival courtesy of LIC Flea & Food.
AT&T unveiled charging stations— a must-have in modern times.
A festival isn’t a festival without classic cars.
An original Batmobile from the Batman TV series in the mid-1960s. It was not part of the 1964-65 World’s Fair, but Autoseum added it to the classic cars selection because it is a fan favorite.
New York State Pavilion advocates were around to give tours and information on the structure as well as ask people to sign petitions to save it.