First Lois Skaretka of Forest Hills got in touch with us. Here's some of what she wrote:
“I remember the Queens Festivals. They were a giant outdoor event at Flushing Meadows Park similar to a street fair with food, vendors selling all kinds of items, and local businesses like banks, the utilities, hospitals, etc., advertising themselves. I think there was different types of entertainment also.
“They were held from the mid-1980's (like pictured in your article) until sometime in the early or mid-1990's in late June over a weekend. There were always big crowds in attendance. I'm surprised more people didn't contact you about it.
“Former Borough President Donald Manes died in March of 1986, so by the time the Festival was held that year in June he was no longer with us. Sad.”
And Don Fedynak, the past president of Chapter 32 of the Vietnam Veterans of America recalled attending the festival with the group and sent some photos. Here's some of what he remembered:
“For as many years as the Queens Festival existed, Vietnam Veterans of America Queens Chapter 32 was a participant. It was a great way for Vietnam veterans to make the public aware of their service to the country and to give the general public an appreciation of the sacrifices made on their behalf.
“Here are two photos from the Queens Chapter 32 archives circa the 1980’s. The first is with former Borough President Donald Manes from the1985 Festival. The second is with our members in front of an Army tent provided by the Fort Totten Army Reserve unit. The third photo is from the 1991 Festival.
“It was always a great occasion for Chapter members to get together and 'show the colors.' It was a combination fundraiser, picnic and all around good time.”
And one of the men in the photo, Ronald Cox, also got in touch:
“The Queens Festival was a celebration of all that was good about Queens County. In its heyday the event drew more that 1 million people each day to the park. I was Festival Chairman in 1985.”
Thanks to everyone for shedding some light on the festival. If more of you out there have memories or photos from festivals past, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.