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Queens Chronicle

Loved the Fair

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Posted: Thursday, June 26, 2014 10:30 am

Dear Editor:

Re “Readers tell us their memories,” June 19:

I sure do remember the 1964 World’s Fair. It was magical — especially at night with all of the beautiful colorful fountains and flashing lights beckoning you to come see each exhibit. Yes, the lines were long and there was plenty of walking and standing to endure along with needing a map to navigate the streets, but oh, it was so worth it!

I was 14 and 15 during the two years of the Fair, and my friends and I visited quite a few times and had such fun. We went dancing at the Peppermint Lounge with Candy Johnson, toured Bourbon Street with music playing nonstop, ate those delicious Belgian waffles while enjoying the water show in the Florida Pavilion at the Aquacade. The giant Goodyear tire ride gave you a beautiful view of the fair grounds while going around and around in a bucket giving you a first-hand view of the Unisphere, pavilions and people.

The General Motors Exhibit was the most popular and had the longest line but was worth the wait. You sat in your own car while riding through the past, present and future transportation with narratives that kept your eyes and ears glued to the displays. The Bell Telephone exhibit also was very popular, with a ride that explained the history of early communication to its present and future inventions.

Walking the cobblestone streets in the foreign exhibits and purchasing souvenirs from different countries was very enjoyable. I remember watching native dancers that included the Watusi and Pigmys from Africa in front of thatched huts, exotic birds and animals demonstrating their multi-tribal dances that made it appear as if you were in Africa.

I felt so sad when the fair closed. It was like saying goodbye to my best friend that I would no longer see. I work in Forest Hills, overlooking the Grand Central Parkway and former fairgrounds, so I can see the New York State Pavilion still standing tall through the trees and each day I remember once upon a time there was an amazing place to visit ...

Lorelei Sercia
Glendale
Editor’s note: This letter and the following one were sent in response to Managing Editor Liz Rhoades’ call for reader memories of the World’s Fair. Find many more, and the whole series on the Fair, by clicking the “’64 Fair” button at qchron.com.

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