Anyone who has ever played pinball knows that it’s never the same game twice. It requires, skill, finesse and technique to truly master. And over the weekend, pinball lovers will converge at the Dixon May Fair grounds to play some pinball, teach pinball skills, and sell pinball machines and parts.
The three-day event is called Pin-a-Go-Go and is designed to connect pinball enthusiasts with the machines they love playing.
“Pin-a-Go-Go is a pinball show and a pinball show is not like a gun show,” said event organizer Brad Grant. “A pinball show is more like a place where a bunch of people who have pinball machines bring them (out) and show them off.”
Over 100 pinball machines are expected at the 16th Annual Pin-A-Go-Go – everything from the latest hi-tech games to classic machines – all of which will be on free play mode. Pinball lovers will have the opportunity to visit Pin-a-Go-Go beginning Friday at 1 p.m., until 10 p.m., and for an admission fee of $10, play all of the machines.
The show is not just for fun however, as proceeds from the event will be donated to the and Boys and Girls Clubs of the greater Sacramento area, Grant said.
Opening day will be flush with pinball machines, vendors selling pinball machines and parts, and food. On Saturday, the gates to Pin-a-Go-Go open at 10 a.m. and close at midnight, and organizers have scheduled pinball tournaments for youths and adults. Admission on Saturday is $15.
Sunday morning is dedicated to what Grant called Silverball Church, beginning at 8 a.m., and lasting until 11 a.m. Instead of going to church, the pinball lovers will gather Sunday morning to play some pinball. Then from 12-2 p.m., instructors will provide pinball clinics, teaching both amateur pinball players and pros some essential pinball skills.
“The first thing you want to do is keep the ball going,” Grant said. “But after you get used to that there’s actually goals to reach in every game, certain targets to hit at different times. Classes are going to have six people in them ... (and show) how to control the ball and stop it. And an intermediate one … (will show) how to hit specific targets, what to do if it’s going to come down the drain. And then the advanced class, it’s more on strategy. Pinball is very deep, I don’t think people realize how much goes into it.”
Space is limited for the Sunday classes, Grant said, and admission on this day is $10. Gates on Sunday close at 5 p.m. Grant, who himself owns over 80 pinball machines, said pinball is unlike a video game because the pinball machine cannot be programmed.
Read more about this event at pinagogo.org