When I moved from the Washington D.C. area to the Georgia Coast (known as The Golden Isles) — there were no pinball shows in the entire surrounding region to speak of.
Forget about it…
The South has finally risen, as we have witnessed a number of new pinball shows sprout over the years.
But of all of these shows, there is one that takes the fried Oreo. The not to miss show in The South is The Southern-Fried Gaming Expo.
Southern-Fried checks off all of the boxes you are looking for…
- Lots of games to play
- The new pinball machine releases are available for trying
- A good spread of pinball & arcade parts vendors
- A great vibe & energy filled with good folk
- Extra entertainment value (outside of arcade stuff) for those in your party that are not pinball geeks.
Nothing Like The South
Pinball shows in The South are different from what I recall from my Allentown visits.
Down here we are famous for hospitality and this show has it in spades.
People are not as rude down here.
- Those playing four-player games all by themselves.
- Players restarting new games as they see you behind waiting to play next.
- And not to be crude…but the nasty art of crop dusting seems rarer as well.
I was violated by constant crop dusting so badly one year in Allentown, I was hesitant to go back.
Plenty of Classics
Last year at the show I got plenty of time on the latest games such as Houdini and Dialed In!.
There were also plenty of classic games to play.
Last year I especially enjoyed playing:
These old Bally’s and classic Sterns don’t show up much at shows.
These old Bally’s are a special treat I enjoy at Southern-Fried every year. Cool pinball people like John Schlarb bring these beautifully restored games that play just right.
Speaking of bonuses, I have not even mentioned the great differentiator of this show.
In an inspired display of outside-the-box thinking, the folks at Southern Fried added real wrestling to the event. It does not cost extra and getting a front-row seat with my son was easily secured.
My son had never witnessed the primordial joy of watching beefy dudes in tights smack one another up. Thanks Southern-Fried!
Where else can you play pinball and experience live wrestling I ask you?
Crazy sidebar: Since you can even bet on things like eSports, it would be hilarious if we could get an app for some side action on future wrestling matches. That would make it easier for me to know which wrestlers to root for. Last year I struggled with figuring out who the bad dudes were vs. good.
And yet there is more…
Southern-Fried also has a large board game area. Another unique touch I cannot recall seeing at other pinball events.
They also had live bands playing music — this show is one big giant arcade party.
While Texas Pinball Festival has always been my go to pinball event…. Southern-Fried is my new mainstay.
It is much less crowded than TPF, which equates to more playing time, the people are great, and did I mention live wresting yet?
Who can beat that?
For ticket information & more on the Southern-Fried Gaming Expo check out their site at https://southernfriedgameroomexpo.com.
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