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Come Join in the Fun at the Frisco Convention Center For the Texas Pinball Festival

By Courtney Clark

Once a year, Frisco residents and visitors can get back to their childhood roots with the Texas Pinball Festival. For over a decade, this event has entertained family members of all ages with the diverse collection of games. The next Festival will be held in March of 2017.

The Texas Pinball Festival began in 2002. Co-Founder Paul McKinney explains that nine local pinball collectors decided to share their private collections with Frisco in an effort to keep pinball relevant and alive. When the Festival began, there were 60 machines; today, the show brings in more than 400. More than seven manufacturers attend the show, a significant improvement from the initial one (Stern) that used to be the only remaining manufacturer. The Festival also boasts more than 5,000 attendees throughout the weekend event.

Pinball fanatics can even bring their own machines to the show to share with attendees. In the past, games have ranched from the 1971 Gottlieb to a 1933 Bally Airway, and even a more recent 2015 Spooky Pinball. In addition to the joy of sharing a game, exhibitors even get in for free.

The Festival also features vendors for family-friendly fun. Previous vendors have included the likes of Double Danger, Game Over Video Games, and Flint's World. Double Danger provides accessories and pinball-themed apparel to those who want to spice up their games or wardrobe, while Game Over Video Games buys, sells, and trades video games. Game Over also sells collectibles, soundtracks, and more. Flint's World is the business name for William Bubba Flint, an artist and cartoonist who is can provide décor for gaming guests. These are just a few among the many and diverse vendors.

According to the Pinball Festival website, the event additionally welcomes hobbyists. Together, the vendors, collectors, and enthusiasts bring jukeboxes, slot machines, parts, and more. Attendees can enter to win door prizes, and the winner of the annual raffle gets to take home a new pinball machine. Further, adult and child competitors can enter tournaments to win trophies, ribbons, and cash. Of course, the Festival wouldn't be complete without food trucks and the large outdoor flea market.

For the nostalgic generation, the Texas Pinball Festival is a great way to relive your childhood and pass on the joy of the game to children. As Co-Founder Paul McKinney says, "Pinball is definitely alive!" The annual Festival in Frisco proves this, and the show only continues to grow.

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