Flushing Meadows Corona Park

The Daily Plant : Monday, October 27, 2014

Thousands Celebrate The World’s Fair Anniversary Season Closing

Photo by Malcolm Pinckney

On Sunday, October 19th, park lovers of all ages turned out to celebrate closing day of the World’s Fair Anniversary Season at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Queens Borough Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski, Flushing Meadows Corona Park Administrator Janice Melnick, Assembly Member David Weprin and Queens Theatre Managing Director Taryn Sacramone joined Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Assembly Member Margaret Markey, co-chairs of the World’s Fair Anniversary Committee, to welcome the public.

It was a full day of free activities. The park’s cultural institutions – the New York Hall of Science, Queens Museum, Queens Zoo, Queens Theatre, and the neighboring Queens Botanical Garden -- offered free hours of admission. Over 500 people lined up for NYC Parks’ “Hard Hat Open House” inside the Tent of Tomorrow at the New York State Pavilion. The historic carousel offered 50-cent rides. NYC Parks Director of Preservation John Krawchuk delivered a slide lecture on the park’s unique history at the Queens Museum. And a live concert by the band “Yesterday and Tomorrow” offered a musical tribute to the Beatles.

Hundreds of people signed up for the park’s first “World’s Fair Scavenger Hunt” at the Queens Theatre (itself a World’s Fair structure built as the “Theaterama” in ‘64). Participants received complimentary t-shirts and tote bags and were given a sheet with 39 World’s Fair-related clues. The Hunt drew a diverse crowd of people of all ages – families, co-workers, and friends formed teams. In addition to sponsorship by Delta Air Lines, the day was supported by Borough President Katz and Assemblywoman Markey, the Daily News, scavenger hunt advisors Digital Natives, Con Ed, NYC Parks, and NYC & Company.

The clues were difficult and intriguing. Clue 7 said “Find a room that contains a city” (Answer: The Panorama at the Queens Museum). Clue 26 said “Even when I lost Sri Lanka in a storm I weighed 700,000 pounds” (Answer: The Unisphere). Participants gained bonus points if they uploaded requested photo snaps to Facebook and Twitter with hashtag #WFScavengerHunt. One team received 2,000 hits within hours when they uploaded a shot of the “Rocket Thrower.”

At the end of the day, judges tallied up the number of tokens, written answers, snapped photos, and uploaded social media mentions to determine the winners.

First place went to “Team Focused. “It was a fantastic experience,” said team members Kirstyn Lovillo, Tracey Frazano and Juan Diaz, “and it was a lot harder than we thought it was going to be.” They prepared the night before by “Googling a lot,” capitalized on Kirstyn’s extensive experience volunteering in the park, and one team member rented a bicycle to get around more easily.

Second place went to “Team KPK,” whose members strategized a plan before setting out to the sites. “Our only mistake was sitting in the shade instead of the sun while we figured it all out – it was cold,” said team member Katherine Edmond, who began a new job last week at NYC Parks.

Third place went to Ellen McNamara and her daughters on “Team Turtles.” “We split up to cover more ground,” said Ellen McNamara. “And we were fast.”

Fourth place went to “Team Waffles,” named for the treat made famous at the ’64 Fair. And four teams received honorable mention in a tie for fifth place.

Prizes included subscriptions or entry packs to park and borough venues as well as tickets for New York Ranger and New York Knicks games, a gardening gift basket, a gift certificate to Astoria’s Italian eatery, “Sac’s Place,” and signed copies of Joseph Tirella’s 2014 book, Tomorrow-Land: The 1964-65 World's Fair and the Transformation of America.

Participants captivated judges with team monikers like “Mah Jong Dragons,” “Amazing Race,” “Star Trek,” and “Ashes to Ashes,” and generously shared – or expanded – their knowledge of the park’s extensive World’s Fair treasures, from the “Candelas” on the Flushing Bay Promenade near the park’s World’s Fair Marina (which once housed the Coast Guard and boating supply exhibitors) to the “Panorama” scale model of every building in New York City, circa 1964 (on permanent display at the Queens Museum).

“Can I have an extra copy of the World’s Fair Clues for my parents?” one scavenger hunter asked at the end of the day. “I want to see how many they can remember on our next visit to the park. You better give me the answer sheet, too.”

-Submitted by Vickie Karp


"Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened."

Dr. Theodor Seuss


Directions to Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Know Before You Go

Recreation Centers
Flushing Meadows Corona Park Pool & Rink

Flushing Meadows Corona Park Pool & Rink remains closed to the public until further notice. Some recreation centers are being used for COVID-19 testing and vaccination services, the Learning Bridges program, and critical seasonal training. Please visit our Recreation Centers page to find an alternate recreation center.

World's Fair Marina

Due to a major planned reconstruction project, Pier 1 at the World's Fair Marina is currently closed. Limited transient dockage is available for smaller recreational vessels - please contact the Dockmasters office at 718-478-0480 or VHF Ch71 for more information. There is no dockage available for larger vessels or commercial vessels, including passenger pick-up and drop-off. We apologize for any inconvenience. Please check back with the World's Fair Marina in the future for updates.

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