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Gaming enthusiasts of all ages converge on the Pomona Fairplex every January to share their love of gameplay during the Retro City Gaming Festival. The Pomona, California event brings visitors from far and wide who enjoy playing a large selection of classic games and compete in tournaments.


About the Festival

The weekend festival enables guests to recapture their childhood memories and create new ones with younger generations. The location has a console museum, which features more than 100 gaming consoles on which guests have the chance to play their favorite games.

There are also more than 200 arcade games and pinball machines. Food vendors are on hand to provide beverages, snacks and meals. A number of live bands provide additional entertainment throughout the event. The crowd enjoys hearing the theme songs and soundtracks derived from various games.


Festival Information

Purchased admission tickets enable visitors to have free access to the arcade and console game areas. All are typically thrilled to find and play the gaming system they once loved. A sense of nostalgia sets in as gamers spend time on systems dating back to the 70s and 80s. Some of the retro games offered were played on the iconic Super Nintendo Entertainment System, which many grew up at home or played in local venues.

Dozens of video game vendors stand in the middle of the complex floor and offer a wide variety of games, systems and character-themed memorabilia. One vendor who enjoys the event customizes handheld Gameboy systems.

Fans also have the chance to meet, greet and take photographs with the actors who created the characters in some of their favorite games. Daniel Pesina and John Parris were among the celebrity guests who attended the January 2018 event. The actors portrayed some of the characters in Mortal Kombat.


Many of the people who attend the event take the time to create unique costumes especially for the event. The imagination, effort and authenticity put into some of the outfits could easily be mistaken for costumes and makeup one might see on a Hollywood set.

Many enjoy competing in the NEOGEO World Tour, the Retro Cup and Tetris tournaments. Some of the tournament games included Samurai Showdown II, Fatal Fury Special and King of Fighters ’98 along with NBA Jam, Street Fighters 3: Third Strike and Marvel vs. Capcom 2.


Hal Abramson is a festival promoter based in Los Angeles who has a love of gaming and technology. Be sure to check out his other gaming blogs or follow his travels on Twitter!