By Mark Hallum
A three-day expo showcasing the food and culture of Flushing and the surrounding neighborhoods will be kicking off next month, evoking the spirit of the 1964 World’s Fair with a modern twist that reflects the worldliness of the borough today.
Flushing’s World Fair — scheduled for June 15-17 — has received over $1 million from the city’s Small Business Services and will feature workshops on how businesses can capitalize on the growing tourism industry in Queens and the best practices for roping in customers through social media.
“Whether you’re looking for amazing food, meaningful history, or world-class shopping, Flushing has something for everyone. Flushing’s World Fair will be a great opportunity for visitors to get a first-hand look into the emerging industries our community has to offer,” City Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) said. “We also invite those who already know us to rediscover Flushing and explore a neighborhood that is constantly evolving.”
The first day of the expo will be held at the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel with a forum discussing the future of tourism in Queens moderated by Rob McKay, director of PR for Queens Tourism Council.
“Strong neighborhoods are the backbone of our city, and the $1.15 million in investments to Flushing is going a long way towards revitalizing key commercial corridors,” Gregg Bishop, commissioner of the SBS, said. “By working with Asian Americas for Equality and the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce, we are responding to local needs to support small business growth and build more vibrant neighborhoods for all New Yorkers.”
The program also includes several walking tours of Flushing with Queens historian Dr. Jack Eichenbaum leading the explorations. Food writer and author of “111 Places in Queens That You Must Not Miss” Joe DiStafano, will lead a tour of the local cuisine.
“People from around the world have been coming here for decades to make Flushing, Queens, the most vibrant and dynamic community in the United States,” Taehoon Kim, president of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce, said. “The attention and admiration this expo will generate for our amazing community is more than past due.”
Asian Americans for Equality is also organizing the event, which is expected to draw about 500 visitors from beyond Flushing.
“Flushing businesses offer an incredibly rich and diverse mix of culture from around the globe in one convenient location,” Doris Koo of AAE said. “We want to share this jewel of the city with the rest of the world and give local businesses the support they need to tell their engaging stories.”
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall