Dinosaurs alive and well at Eastwood Expo Center




Dinosaurs are extinct, but inside the Eastwood Expo Center it seemed otherwise.

Families posed for photos with replicas of the prehistoric animals, and children pushed buttons to make the arms, legs and heads move. The animals were set in lifelike foliage and emitted loud roars, making them seem more realistic.

Pennie Poly, of Salem, surprised her grandchildren with a visit to the show Saturday.

Ben has “always liked dinosaurs, and [Olivia] was excited about it, so it worked out well,” Poly said.

“I like it,” her grandson, Ben Shasteen, 9, said excitedly. He wore a Tyrannosaurus rex T-shirt, which is his favorite type of dinosaur, though he doesn’t really know why.

He enjoyed pushing the buttons to make the dinosaur replicas move. They

looked like he imagines dinosaurs did when they roamed the Earth, he said.

His sister Olivia’s favorite dinosaur is the Parasaurolophus.

“He kind of reminds me of Ducky,” she said. Ducky is a character in the movie “The Land Before Time.”

She liked seeing the replicas. “It’s kind of scary but awesome at the same time,” Olivia said.

The exhibit features more than 60 animatronic dinosaurs in realistic settings. Other activities include a scavenger hunt, inflatable slides and bounce arounds, Triceratops and T. rex rides, gem- and fossil-panning, miniature golf and face painting.

Susan and Jacob Kaltenbach made a special trip from Vowinckel, Pa., for the show.

Jacob, 10, is very interested in dinosaurs and getting to see them up close, Susan said. “We enjoyed it,” she added.

Jacob agreed. His favorite dinosaur also is Tyrannosaurus rex.

He liked making the dinosaurs move, saying he thinks they moved somewhat like that.

He also had a chance to pan for fossils and gemstones.

“We had to shovel to get rocks,” Jacob said.

They were a little hard to find, but it was fun, he said. He came away with a small bag of colorful gems and a tip sheet on identifying them.

The Jones family of Howland also enjoyed the exhibit.

“The kids are having a great time. They enjoy it,” said Mary Jones. “I think it’s really nice.”

Her husband, Dennis, agreed.

Their daughter Madison, 7, likes the Brontosaurus best.

She had plans to go on the bounce-around and the inflatable slide.

Her brother Evan, 4, also said he was having fun.

He saw a T. rex, his favorite, in the exhibit.

“But all of [the dinosaurs] weren’t real,” he explained.

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