|PINBALL EXPO 2009|
Date: October 14th - 18th, 2009
The 25th annual Pinball Expo began on the evening of Wednesday 14th October at the Westin North Shore hotel in Wheeling, about 13 miles north west of Chicago.
Set up of the machines and vendor stands in the main hall continued all day Wednesday ahead of the hall's opening at 6pm the following day.
A few machines were already set up in the hall, mainly those from show co-organiser Mike Pacak.
In the recreational play room at the back of the main hall, around 40 machines were either set up or were being set up on Wednesday evening.
Each year The Korn brings something unusual to the show and this year was no exception with his Guitar Hero driven Guns N Roses machine, where the flippers were colour-coded to match the controlling buttons on the guitar.
In another nearby room, some of the machines to be used for PinBrawl were being set up and made available for public play.
Outside the main hall, work was also under way to get the Flip Out tournament machines ready for qualifying which starts tomorrow.
Next to the Flip Out area is the main registration desk where attendees paid their entry fees and received their badges, tickets and souvenir Expo bags.
Pinball Expo officially began with the Bumper Blast welcome dinner at 7pm which was held in the seminar room, next door to the main show hall.
Diners could enjoy food consisting of a mixed salad, pasta with two types of sauce, meat lasagne and cheesecake to finish, with assorted sodas also available.
Diners ate at large communal table which encouraged show attendees to mingle and get to know each other.
The movie Tommy was playing for the first hour of the Bumper Blast after which former game designer Jerry Armstrong showed off his current talents as a cabaret singer, starting his set with Pinball Wizard.
We'll be back with much more from Pinball Expo 2009 tomorrow, which begins with the factory tour of Stern Pinball.