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Bill Capo / Eyewitness News
Email: bcapo@wwltv.com | Twitter: @billcapo

NEW ORLEANS -- You can still see mementos of the 1984 World's Fair, but it's the memories that count.

'We actually spent every day we could there,' Rosalind Green-Holmes said with a smile.

Rosalind Green was just 13 when I interviewed her and her mother on the fair's opening day.

'We've been looking forward to it since November,' her mom, also named Rosalind, said that day.

'Marvelous!' grinned young Rosalind on opening day. 'The best thing that ever happened to New Orleans, I think.'

Today, the younger Rosalind still remembers the fair with fondness.

'The chance to see the world, even at that small a scale, was thrilling to me,' she said, remembering the great times she had three decades ago at the fair.

The fair was a wonderland of rides and exhibits, pavilions from foreign countries and cuisine ranging from local staples to exotic dishes.

'The excitement of riding the gondola across the river, I mean that was death defying in many ways,' said Mark Romig, the fair's protocol and guest relations director. 'The Monorail, we brought things to New Orleans that our city had never seen before.'

Centennial Plaza is gone, now a parking lot. Bayou Plaza has been replaced by the Convention Center, and where the Wonder Wall stood is now Convention Center Boulevard.

'It's bittersweet. Thirty years ago, I think when the world came to New Orleans, and it left such great memories,' said Romig.

12 million people needed to visit the fiar between opening day in May 1984 and November 1984. That didn't happen, and the fair ended up in bankruptcy.

But 30 years later, the impact of the fair is still being felt, even as we compete for the Super Bowl.

'It brought the Warehouse District into the 20th century,' Romig said.

'It made New Orleans more of a national personality than it had been before,' added Rosalind.

'It knows it can pull together the resources to put on these major events like Super Bowls,' Romig said.

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