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Craig Bavaro

50th Anniversary Gathering in New York

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As anyone who participates here on the board already knows, Bill Cotter is working closely with various parties in New York on their formal plans to commemorate the 50th. anniversary of the 1964 -1965 New York World's Fair. While I have offered to help him with those plans, I do know that I plan on being in New York either the week of April 13th or April 20th. depending on what he may be able to pull off given the short amount of time left till the anniversary.

That being said, I was thinking that some of us die hard world's fair enthusiasts (stop laughing, you know who you all are) might be interested in assembling for a day of sharing some fond memories and exploring our beloved park. I think it would be great to see some of you in person after all these years of reading your posts here. We can also fondly remember those who are no longer with us (such as Ray Dasher and David Oats), who I know wouldn't have let this special milestone pass without some sort of modest celebration. If this idea interests you, please either raise your hand here or send me an email through the board so I can gauge the level of interest. If it turns out that some of you are willing to make the trek to New York in April, I will then work on organizing an event for us to meet at the park.

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Craig, I will be there any day something is set up. I live just a hour and a half's drive from the fair grounds. If any help is needed please let me Know what I can do. Steve.

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Since Tuesday, April 22nd is the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Opening Day, that would be the perfect day (baring a very late snow fall). Can we get the ball (not a snow ball) rolling on this?

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There is talk of events on April 13 and something else on the 22nd. I have meetings with both groups this coming week and will post news if anything solidifies.

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I've noted your interest and will keep everyone posted once I hear back from Bill as to the possible events he is working on for the 13th and 22nd. Stay tuned!

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Haven't been back since our great Saturday In The Park event in June of 2001 so would love to attend on the 22nd or the previous weekend. Miss this great group and plan on getting active again. Looking forward to visiting from Atlanta.

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Bill Cotter just announced some more details on the formal plans for an event on April 22 in another post. So it does look like those of us who want to be in the park on the actual anniversary may have some events to attend. I'm sure Bill will be posting more details as they become known.

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Craig, I know you will be in New York for the 50th on the 22nd. Unless Rita tightens my chain, I will be coming out as well for the events of the 22nd. I was curious how many other people are planning to be in the Park that day? Are there any other out-of-towners planning to be there on the 22nd? If so, when are you coming in and where are you staying? I can get an early morning flight from MKE on the 21st and back out again on the evening of the 23rd. I see there's a $144 per night rate at the Clarion across from LGA which, believe it or not, isn't much more than what you'd pay to stay in Sheboygan! Who says NYC is expensive?!?

I had pretty much decided that coming out for any anniversary event was just not in the cards this spring/summer. Rita and I have a trip planned to The City in early November with two other couples and I had told myself that two trips to New York in one year just wasn't possible. But after having shared this bizzare interest in an event that happened 50 years ago with so many good people over the past decade or so, I think I would regret it forever if I didn't come out for one of this year's events. And even though I couldn't be at Flushing Meadows 50 years ago on the 22nd, I can at least say I finally made it to the Fair 50 years later. I do hope the weather is better this time around.

Bill Cotter ... we're finally going to get to talk after all these years. Do we let everyone in on the secret that we've produced three books together and have only met face-to-face for about a minute at the first Saturday in the Park? For anyone who was kind enough to purchase any of our books, it looks like you will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get them signed by BOTH authors which will make your books rarer than hen's teeth as we say in the Midwest!

So please anyone/everyone let me know if you're going to be in or near Queens April 21st to the 23rd. My flight would get into LGA around 9:30AM on the 21st and I probably won't leave until around 8PM on the 23rd so I'll have some time to re-acquaint or get-to-know! I hope as many of you as can make it will be there on the 22nd.

Looking forward to the Celebration, a walk in the Park, checking out Mitch & the Gang's hard work on our beloved NYS pavilion and visiting the inside of the NYS Pavilion without having to look over my shoulder to see if anyone from Parks is watching, a great presentation by Bill C. and good times with old and new friends.

Come to the Fair!

Bill

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Bill, it would be great to meet up again. I have told folks at prior events about our only meeting the one time, and how the Internet let us work with each other like we were seated at desks next to each other. I hope we will recognize each other!!

It will be fun to have you at the 4/22 event, although I'll have to stop blaming you for any problems people have with the books. ("Gee, I would have loved to have included a picture of that, seeing as how it was so special to you, but Bill Young just wouldn't let me."). Now I can stop forging your name to books to increase the value.

Seriously, I'm thrilled you changed your mind and will be coming. You should let the folks at Arcadia know in case they can arrange any press coverage/events to work with your schedule while we're both in town.

See you at the Fair!

Bill C

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Bill Y, I'm so excited that you have decided to come and we will get a chance to hang and geek out over the fair again. I'm arriving by way of JFK on Sat, 4/19 at 7:00am and I leave the following Sat, 4/26 at 3:15pm. I'm staying with a friend in midtown Manhattan, but that's what the number 7 trains for!

I do know from the above thread that 5 others (including Mary Ellen) are interested in being in the park on the 22nd. Now that you're coming, maybe some others will decide they have to meet the infamous Bill Young of nywf64.com fame. We may even have to hold back the throngs clamoring to meet the two Bill's! Bill C is right, you need to let the Arcadia people know, so they have the opportunity to plan something if they so desire.

I do hope the weather is good for us on that day. I was just saying to my parents on the phone that I hope the cold and rainy weather of 50 years ago is one thing that's not repeated on that day...lol.

I happen to be getting together with Bill C later today and hopefully we can all make some additional plans to be together while you're in town. Maybe Bill C and I can even convince some of the other west coasters to make the trek back east for the Celebration. I will keep you posted.

Flushing Meadows 50 years ago today....you should have been there!

Craig

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Yesterday I attended Queens Borough President Melinda Katz's press conference regarding events celebrating the 1939/1964 World's Fairs. Wow! She and other political officials along with many Queens institutions have come together to fully support events over the next 6 months - www.itsinqueens.com/WorldsFair. Ms. Katz and the Parks Department were also strongly committed to saving and enhancing the New York State Pavilion. This was a tremendous shift from the previous Borough President who had no interest in the fairs and wanted the Pavilion torn down. I am truly impressed how Ms. Katz and others got everything organized within a short period of time when it looked like the anniversaries would be mostly overlooked. The biggest events will be on the April 22 anniversary and on Sunday May 18th. The May 18th event will include everything from Belgian Waffles, Lego Pavilions, Concerts, perhaps fireworks and definitely Bill Cotter rain or shine. Great ready to celebrate! :D

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Actually, I will be there on April 22, and haven't decided yet about May 18th. Living in Los Angeles I can only afford to get back there so often.

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I'm excited to announce that I will be hosting a walking tour of the park on the morning of the 50th anniversary of the opening of the fair (one week from today, Tuesday, April 22). This event will coincide with the exact starting time of the opening day parade and the opening ceremonies. The plan is to assemble at the bottom of the ramp of the main gate (the entrance across from the subway) and set off on our little adventure promptly at 9:30 AM. We will cover the very same route that the parade followed with stops along the way to take in the various sites while I share some interesting facts I've assembled about the fair. The walking part of the tour will end at the Unisphere at 10:30 am. From 10:30 am till 11:00 am, there will be a chance for everyone to relax and ask me some of those burning fair questions you always wanted to ask (of someone who has studied the fair as much as I have) or even share some of your own fair experiences. As a grand finale to our tour, from 11:00 am till 11:30 am, I will be playing for the assembled guests an actual recording of the opening day ceremonies that were held at the Singer Bowl. This should leave everyone ample time to explore the New York State Pavilion that’s scheduled to be open to the public till 2:00 pm and to take in Bill Cotter's and Bill Young's talks at the Queens Theatre at 3:00 or 7:00 pm.

And just when you thought it couldn't get any better, it does. That’s because, I've also created a limited edition electronic "Press Kit" for this special event. This 25 page package contains some interesting facts about the fair as well as an original parade route map and press releases about the various opening day festivities that occurred 50 years ago to the very day of our tour. Plus I’ve included a couple of other surprises to transport you back to that exciting day when the fair was about to begin its historic run.

In order for me to get an idea of how many people are interested in joining this tour, you can post directly to this thread or send me a private message through the board. Once you do this, I'll email you your own personal copy of the press kit which you should bring with you to the event.

See you at the fair!

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