Lehigh Valley

Pinfest underway at Allentown Agri-Plex

VIDEO: Pinfest underway in Allentown

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Pinfest has rolled into the Agri-Plex expo center at the Allentown Fairgrounds.

Friday and Saturday, 2500 people will pack into the space and pay one flat fee, to play hundreds of different pinball machines.

At a pinball show, you can count on certain things.

You'll have your enthusiasts...

"People come from all over the East Coast, they'll come from the Midwest. One guy comes from Australia," Pinfest Show Promoter Ivan Lysykanycz says.

You'll find all kinds of vendors. Take Gary Hecht, who proudly holds up his sign that says “Save My Marriage Sale.”

He tells us it all started when his wife said she couldn't take all the pinball machines he was stashing in the basement.

(The sale worked, by the way. He says he's still happily married. They just celebrated 23 years, in fact.)

It's a nostalgic event to be sure, but we found one player who proves, you don't just have to be young at heart to enjoy it - you can just be…young.

"Anything can happen," says Michael Schnoll.

Anything, like a 15-year-old, falling in love with a game that often reminds people of yesteryear.

"I practice a lot," says Michael.

Pinball rolls through his veins.

He says his Dad bought his first pinball machine when he was 13.

And Michael just won a tournament championship at the show Friday.

But why does he love it so much?

"That's a tough question," he pauses - intent on the game in front of him - then says "Because you need to be able to concentrate a lot to play well. (As he says this, we want to point out, there are 4 balls rolling around on the machine in front of him, and he's handling them like the champion he is.)

He says, while most kids are playing video games, he prefers this and don't tell him they're the same thing.

"It's not the same thing," he says. "Because a video game is computerized, but with this, you actually have to push buttons, and you're the one controlling the ball."

Most people go to the pinfest to revisit childhood memories but Michael is making them.

Well, at least until his Mom says, it's time to do homework.

Then, he says, it's game over.

Pinfest continues Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

General admission is $20 per day for adults 12 and older. Children under 12 are $10 and under five are free.


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