Wednesday, January 19, 2022
Jan. 19, 2022

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Animatronic dinosaur exhibit continues at Clark County Event Center at the Fairgrounds

Children enjoy a Jurassic party

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:
20 Photos
Julio Riscajche and his son Julian, 3, take a selfie on Saturday with Jojo the Deinonychus, with minder Brendon Grimes of Jurassic Quest at right. Families and dinosaur fans of all ages converged on the Clark County Event Center at the Fairgrounds to see a variety of life-size animatronic dinosaurs this weekend.
Julio Riscajche and his son Julian, 3, take a selfie on Saturday with Jojo the Deinonychus, with minder Brendon Grimes of Jurassic Quest at right. Families and dinosaur fans of all ages converged on the Clark County Event Center at the Fairgrounds to see a variety of life-size animatronic dinosaurs this weekend. (James Rexroad for The Columbian) Photo Gallery

On display this weekend at the Clark County Event Center at the Fairgrounds is a glimpse at what your Thanksgiving turkeys may have looked like in the distant past — 65 million years ago, to be exact.

Jurassic Quest, which runs from Friday through Sunday, is an exhibit featuring over 100 life-sized animatronic dinosaurs from various eras and environments. From triceratops to the infamous tyrannosaurus rex, dinosaur enthusiasts of all ages could see their favorites on display.

The event is also among the first large events since a statewide mandate went into effect Nov. 15, requiring all guests to show proof of vaccination upon entry. An additional mandate requires all attendees over the age of 5 to wear a mask while indoors, and in outdoor gatherings of 500 or more people.

Kirstin Troyer, who brought her young son Indiana, was taken aback by what Jurassic Quest had in store for visitors.

“This is a really impressive event. I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect,” Troyer said as she and Indiana, who emphatically added that his favorite kind of dinosaurs are the raptors, waited in line to ride the triceratops. “We’ve just loved every second of it.”

If you go

What: Jurassic Quest animatronic dinosaur exhibit

When: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today

Where: Clark County Event Center at the Fairgrounds, 17402 N.E. Delfel Road, Ridgefield

Cost: Tickets are $22 to $39; for $41, children can have full access to the variety of rides and attractions inside.

COVID-19 restrictions: Visitors must show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within the last 72 hours. Masks are also required.

On the web: www.jurassicquest.com/events/ridgefield-wa

Troyer said Indiana’s passion for dinosaurs came from a children’s YouTube series called “T-Rex Ranch.” With over 2 million subscribers, it’s likely the program has instilled a love for the ancient creatures among the younger generations — just as movies like “Land Before Time” and, of course, “Jurassic Park” did in years past.

Matt Stover, a Jurassic Quest employee manning a table that taught visitors how dinosaur fossils are carefully excavated and analyzed, said he loves seeing children’s initial reactions to some of the exhibits.

“So many kids that come here have this moment of confusion and amazement when they see the dinosaurs,” Stover said, mimicking the eyes-wide-open look he’d see from many young visitors.

“When they interact with the baby dinosaurs, you can tell the kids are thinking, ‘Is it real? I know it’s not real, but … is it?’”

Stover added that lots of times, children will wind up teaching him about the fossils they see on display, instead of the other way around. “They all know so much,” he said.

The event, which was held indoors at the Clark County Event Center, also features an arts and crafts center where visitors can create dinosaurs out of paper and feathers, a number of inflatable bouncy houses and rides, food and drink concessions, and an informative puppet show featuring a life-sized utahraptor every hour.

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