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Old 10-18-2018, 06:19 AM
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10-17-2018 07:50 PM
Wednesday is really set-up day for Pinball Expo, but it is also the day for the Bumper Blast welcome party held at 7pm to mark the official start of the show.

We got to the Westin hotel around 4pm, checked-in and checked-out what was happening in the show halls.

The Westin Chicago North Shore – home of Pinball Expo 2018In the vendor hall, things were only just starting to get set up.

The vendor hallEscalera stair-climbing trolleys are hereMachines probably destined for one of the show’s tournamentsOne of the many parts standsA bunch of EM machines hiding in the cornerBall bowlers are here tooCircus Maximus’s Kingpin project is here as wellLots more boxes of pinball parts on another vendor’s standNext door, the Game Hall was filling up nicely.

The Game Hall is located behind the Vendor HallInside the Game HallThere has been a special effort this year to get more games to ExpoThe evidence so far is that there will be a nice turnoutMore machines in the Game HallEveryone in the Game Hall was working hard to set up their machinesA few last-minute adjustments are always neededAcross the corridor, Rob Anthony has his usual room with assorted pinball parts, add-ons and other merchandise.

The bouncers at Rob’s room seem to get younger every yearRob Anthony’s roomAt around 5:30pm the registration desk opened so guests could collect their registration packs.

The line at the registration deskAt 7pm, the Bumper Blast welcome party began in the room used for the seminars.  Guests who had registered and had name badges could help themselves to a buffet meal – sponsored by Deeproot Pinball – before entering the room to sit down and eat it.  In addition to the buffet, there were soft drinks and an apple crisp dessert course.

The front of the queue for dinnerThe salad coursePasta and sauces were available along with chicken pieces and soupThe chicken dishThe soft drinks availableThe apple crisp dessertThe Bumper Blast crowdAfter the meal, Pinball Expo organiser Rob Berk introduced the team who have been helping him with this year’s show, before thanking everyone for coming and hoping they have a wonderful next three days.

Rob Berk welcomes guestsRob addressing the Bumper Blast crowdWe left soon after to write this report, pausing on the way to check on how the tournament area was shaping up.  The machines were in place, and Tournament Director, Trent Augenstein was looking relaxed.

The tournament area at the front of the hotelThat concludes our look at Wednesday’s events.  We’ll be back tomorrow with the first full day of Pinball Expo, which includes the Stern Pinball factory tour, the start of the seminars, and the opening of the Game and Vendor halls.

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