After much deliberation, the unfortunate news is that the Saratoga Pinball & Arcade Show will not be taking place again next year, or likely in the foreseeable future.
A big thank you to everyone who attended and participated in the show—it has been a really fun 3 years. I greatly appreciate everyone who was able to bring games for free play, bring great stuff for the flea market, organize and participate in the tournament, and volunteer their time to help with various aspects of the show. And of a course, a special thanks to the YMCA for hosting the event, which would not have been possible without them.
For me personally, putting on this show was satisfying accomplishment—it was no small feat to organize, and the important thing was that hundreds of people each year were able to have fun and enjoy some pinball at this family-friendly event; many had the chance to revisit a favorite pastime, and others were seeing it for the first time. A total sum of several thousand dollars was also raised for charity, which went to help local members of the community in need.
I had been wrestling with the possibility of closing down the show for a few months. Even though attendance increased each year, increasing the amount of participation & staffing has been a bit of a challenge. Plus for me personally, the show took up a lot of my spare time, energy, funds, and storage space.
Recently, the YMCA decided not to host the event again for 2020, which was the final deciding factor for closing down the show. I did briefly consider a change in venue, but since there aren’t too many viable options available for a good price, I’m going to let the show roll to a stop here rather than double down on a big shift to another location. I’m glad this show was able to bring so many of us together, but sorry that it also has to come to an end.
Since the show has essentially been a continuous year-round project for the past 3 years or so, I’m looking forward to a well-deserved break. After that, I may consider a small pinball gathering at one of the local comic con or retro gaming shows in the future if the show dates line up. A few of the show organizers expressed interest at one point or another in having pinball machines at their shows. So, feel free to speak up if you might be interested in participating in something like that, and maybe we can coordinate something at one of the Saratoga/Albany area gaming or comic con events in 2020 or 2021.
Again, thanks to everyone for helping to make this show possible and a success each year. I couldn’t have put this show together without the support of the local pinball community. I have really enjoyed getting to know many of you better during the course of these shows, and I hope to see all of you at Pinfest in Allentown, PA on May 1-2 and Pintastic New England in Boxborough, MA on June 25-28, 2020! For small local gatherings and tournaments throughout the year in the capital and upstate NY regions, also be sure to check out the Pinball 518 facebook page!
Lastly, if anyone wants to grab vintage t-shirts from the show, I still have a few on-hand: https://pinside.com/pinball/market/classifieds/ad/81006