Meet the Show Organizers



Website and contents ©2011-2018 Northern California Pinball Association. 




Frequently Asked Questions:

1.  Why did the NCPA show move from Dixon to Lodi, CA?

The Northern California Pinball Association is the charitable organization that hosted our pinball show in Dixon, CA. The people who support this event have done such a great job we are bursting at the seems! Since 2014, we have had more pinball machines coming to the show than we had space for. In addition, for the last several years we have also been turning away vendors that would like to display and sell merchandise and services at the show. Above all, Security, Safety and Comfort rule! Also, many people bring their RV, tent trailer, or trailer to the show with the intent of camping. In 2017, those spaces were all filled a day before the show started. We wanted to be able to comfortably accommodate the folks who come from near and far with more elbow room for everyone's enjoyment! The fans voted and overwhelming gave us a thumbs up at the 2018 show!

2.  Why did the name of the NCPA show change to Golden State Pinball Festival?

With the change in location, we (the Northern California Pinball Association- the 501(c)(3) charity that manages this show) had an opportunity to change the name. In short, the show's founder and past organizer gave us push back on a move with the old name, so we changed it. We wanted something that would feel more inclusive of the entire state of California, since many of this show's attendees come from areas in Southern California. We also really like the idea of a "festival" since it closely aligns with the idea of a fun, interactive event that has a sense of community and family.

The first Northern California pinball show we know about was Pinathon in Roseville, CA. Once that torch was moved to Dixon, it was called Pin-a-Go-Go. In 2018 we took the NCPA show to Lodi, and it's fitting and deserving of a new name! Same fun, same people, same flavor as our show had in Dixon. We remain a vital chapter in "The Longest Running Annual Pinball Show West of the Mississippi".

3.  Do you accept credit cards and do you sell tickets in advance?

We don't sell tickets in advance but we do take credit cards and there is a conveniently located ATM at the fairgrounds office nearby.

4.  Will there be beer and wine?

The Lodi Grape Festival affords us an opportunity to consider the sale of beer and wine. At this point in time, we have a thumbs up on this as the vendor who will offer on-site meals plans to also offer beer and wine, much of which will be donated! Proceeds from the sales will be going to the World of Wonders Museum. UPDATE: the 2018 show had beer and wine and everyone acted responsibly!

5.  What about hotels and is parking free?

Info is usually released in the event newsletter first, sign-up for it on the right side of this page. The festival parking lot is free, see map on the home page. HC parking is in front of the main gate entrance on E. Lockeford St.
Hotel deal, first come, first serve:
1337 Kettleman Lane
Lodi, CA 95240
(209) 210-0150
Group code "PIN" (must mention when making reservation)
Minimum 2 night stay. $159 night
Reports are in that these are booked. There are still rooms available though in surrounding areas to Lodi like in the towns of Galt and Stockton and likely in other properties in Lodi.

6.  What is the Lodi Grape Festival Grounds? (LGF)?

The LGF is part of the State of California fair system and is overseen by the California Department of Food and Agriculture Division of Fairs and Expositions. This is the same governing body that oversees the Dixon May Fair (both are agricultural fairs).

7.  Why was the Lodi Grape Festival Grounds selected as the new location?

The LGF has over 30,000 square feet of indoor space in several well maintained (and more secure) buildings as compared to the 16,000 square feet of maximum space that we were using at the Dixon May Fair. Unlike May Fair, the built-in cooling of these buildings are better aligned with their size. One of the things we are excited about is that we now have space to hold workshops to teach people about the different details (playing, repair, design, etc.) of pinball. The Lodi facility also offers covered areas we use for the Flea Market, dining and hanging out with pinfolk. In addition, the LGF is right off of a major (and less crowded) freeway, has the same "feel" as the Dixon May Fair, and has value-priced rental rates (they are non-profit) which allows us to be inexpensive and maximize our donations to charity.

8.  I own a business or I am an individual that would like to donate a raffle or auction item, how do I do that?

That's great, thanks! Contact us here.

9.  I want to bring my pinball machine, what do I do?

We like that! Read this.

10.  What's the deal with RV spaces?

There are many spaces that have varying levels of hookups including water and power. Check out Camp Silverball here! 

11.  Where does the admission money go?

The show is supported by pinball enthusiasts from all over the state both as exhibitors and as volunteers. The Golden State Pinball Festival is presented by the Northern California Pinball Association, a non-profit organization that is state and federally recognized as a 501(c)(3) entity. Our focus is on educating the community on the science, art, and history of pinball. There are no employees and none of our six board members receive any compensation. After our bills are paid for each show, we put some money in the bank to help with necessary advance payments for the following year's show and the rest is donated to youth charities. From 2012-2017 while holding the show in Dixon, CA, NCPA was able to donate over $100,000.00 to the Dixon Teen Center. Read more about it on the home page. We are now proud to be working with WoW; the World of Wonders Science Museum which we think offers amazing synergy between our two organizations. At the 2018 show, we raised over $32,000.00 and presented a check to the WOW on August 1, 2018 at special presentation at Lodi City Hall.

12.  What can I do to help?

Bring a pinball machine to share or donate something nifty to the auction or raffle (see above)! You can also sign up to volunteer by writing to us on the contact page.  Tell your friends about the show, too and send them a link to this website! Pinball is really fun and helping out a charity like this one gives you excellent Pinball Karma. 

13.  How do I get to Lodi, CA?

Lodi is about 45 miles from the Sacramento International Airport and about 90 minutes from San Francisco. Go to the Home page and half way down on the left see the section "Location".

14.  Where can I stay nearby?

First choice: Camp Silverball!

Lots of options are available from bed & breakfasts, hotels, motels, campgrounds, and RV parks. Among the recognizable names are Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Days Inn, Motel 6, Microtel Inn, Econo Lodge, and Best Western. Announcements go first to the Event Newsletter list (see upper right). If there is a hotel deal, it will be listed above in #5 

Pinball Links:

Tutorials to help you Play Better 

Local Pinball News Blog 

Sacramento Pinball Group

Game Repair in Northern California

Sacramento Area Pinball Map

Solano Pinball League 

Monterey Flipper Pinball 

Capitol Corridor Pinball League 

Eastbay Pinball League

Bay Area Pinball Association (League)

San Francisco Pinball Department  (League)

Belles & Chimes  (Women's Pinball League, Oakland) 

Gentleperson's Pinball Society  (Oakland League)

Hella Heart Pinball  (Oakland Events)

Internet Pinball Database

Mr. Pinball Classifieds

California Extreme Arcade & Pinball Celebration

Pacific Pinball Museum & Exposition

Pingame Journal 

Pinside - Collector & Information Site

Pinball News 

International Flipper Pinball Association

More great pin restoration how-to info

PinWiki Info & Repair Guides


Above, NCPA presents proceeds from the 2016 show to DTC at a Dixon City Council meeting. 

The paparazzi visits the 2012 show LIVE!