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Gaming EXPO brings virtual fun to the fair
Gaming pic1
Four future drone pilots go through flight school while the Drone Zone crew prepares their ships for takeoff. - photo by RYAN MCLAUGHLIN/The Journal

Ferris Wheels, fried foods and video games, one of these is not like the others. If you’ve attended the Stanislaus County Fair any of the past several days, you would realize all three have become synonymous with people enjoying the fair.

 Of all the new and exciting exhibits and shows included in this year’s fair lineup, the Gaming EXPO has been generating lots of excitement from kids of all ages as well as the kids at heart.

The Gaming EXPO includes exhibits from three separate companies, all with their own entertaining twist on fun at the fair.

Bringing hands-on puzzles, games and all kinds of optical illusions, Super Science included more than enough entertainment for all ages. Being a traveling company, Super Science has been to venues and fairs all across the U.S.

Also included in this year’s Fair EXPO is Interactive Game Experience or IGX for short. With 17 screens and gaming consoles ranging from classic Atari to the modern Xbox, the IGX experience lets fairgoers travel through decades of gaming in one convenient location.

“It’s been a while since we’ve had an exhibit here at this fair but it’s good to be back,” said Adam Sawicky, IGX tour manager. “This year’s fair has been a great turnout (…) we even are having kids of all different ages come in to play these games and battle each other and even their parents sometimes.”

The third and final portion of the Gaming EXPO has created quite the buzz around the fairgrounds. CNE Creations’ new drone exhibit gives kids the chance to pilot their very own drone (after proper training of course).  

Nicknamed “The Hive,” the drone course allows for up to four people to sit in the captain’s chair and fly a miniature drone around an arena with all kinds of obstacles to fly around and through.

“We’ve had a steady flow of kids coming through The Hive all throughout the fair,” said Elaine Everett of CNE Creations. “The kids really seem to enjoy it and it’s just great to give them the chance to try something completely different.”

As you wait in line to grab a hold of the controls, participants can take a simulated flight that mimics the real life drone’s flight giving the soon-to-be aviator practice flying the drones before taking to the air for real.

These unique and surprisingly challenging games have brought fairgoers of all ages out to fairgrounds for a somewhat less than traditional, but all together incredible experience.

“I think this EXPO has been a great way to include all these different kinds of hands on fun for kids to come out and play with,” said Patrick Wood, Super Science Company.

The Gaming EXPO is included in the price of admission to the fair. The Stanislaus County Fair will run 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. tonight and noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $12 for adults, $5 for seniors 65 and up and children ages 7-12. Children ages 6 and under are free.

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