By Christopher Medina
For many residents of San Antonio, memories of the San Antonio World’s Fair – HemisFair ’68 – stem from direct experience with the six-month long event, or from stories shared by family and friends over the past 50 years. For me, my story has a different start, and has taken me down a unique road.
Having first moved to San Antonio as a young kid from Wisconsin in the mid 1980’s, I remember visiting the Tower of the Americas a few times, along with the museum shaped like an upside-down pyramid that had an exhibit about it. My first real interest in the history of HemisFair ‘68 came almost 20 years later when I began collecting a few souvenirs and watched the KLRN documentary.
In the 12 years since collecting my first item (a Tower-shaped decanter), the light interest I held has grown into a passion; not only to collect the history of HemisFair ’68, but to preserve and share it with others. In 2011, at the suggestion of a friend, I took the idea of telling the story of the Fair onto the internet, and launched my own website: www.worldsfair68.info. The site shares my growing collection of artifacts as well as my knowledge of the 1968 World’s Fair. I have expanded the scope of this project in recent years, and now chronicle the park’s current revitalization efforts.
In researching the history of HemisFair ‘68 I am continually amazed that during a decade of conflict and social change, the city came together with positive energy to host a World’s Fair in celebration of the city’s 250th anniversary. The ongoing revitalization of the site, including the restoration of historic structures, makes me excited to be part of the next generation of San Antonians who are coming together with the same positive energy. Together, we are reawakening the site, transforming it into a 24/7 urban park, in the heart of our downtown, for all to enjoy.