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Delay doesn't diminish dinosaurs' appeal; Jurassic Quest prowls Allentown Fairground this weekend

Jason Addy
Scores of families visited Jurassic Quest on Friday, July 5, at the Allentown Fairgrounds Agri-Plex.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Blazing heat didn’t stop hundreds of families from flocking Friday to see dozens of dinosaurs at Allentown Fairgrounds Agri-Plex.

The venue is hosting the traveling dinosaur show Jurassic Quest this weekend, with the prehistoric exhibit on display through 7 p.m. Sunday, July 7.

But the event got off to a rocky start, with doors opening almost half an hour late Friday.

Many had long been in line by that point, with more than 200 people — including scores of young dinosaur fans — baking as they waited in the Agri-Plex parking lot.

“I understand that it’s hot and it’s humid. I made that point very, very crystal clear with the promoter."
Allentown Fairgrounds security officer

Temperatures were in the mid-80s, though it felt much closer to 100 degrees on the dark and unshaded paved surface, according to weather reports.

A “velociraptor” and its handler did their best to entertain kids before a security apologized and pleaded for just a little more patience from families.

“I understand that it’s hot and it’s humid," the security officer said. "I made that point very, very crystal clear with the promoter.”

The opening of Jurassic Quest was delayed because officials still were inspecting rides, he said.

The line that snaked through the parking lot eventually started moving inside, a huge relief to many parents and kids who were growing frustrated.

‘Larger than life’

But the long wait in the parking lot was worth it, according to several parents.

An almost-arctic blast of air at the doorway to the event certainly helped.

“The kids had fun. The whole dinosaur experience was really cool with the lights and the real-life-sized dinosaurs.”
Elizabeth Jernagen

Casey Brosious and Elizabeth Jernegan explored Jurassic Quest with their sons, who are both fossil fans.

Six-year-old Vaughn Brosious and AJ Jernegan, 5, said they enjoyed digging up bones buried in sand pits, one of many kid-friendly activities inside the Agri-Plex on Friday.

“The kids had fun,” Elizabeth Jernagen said. “The whole dinosaur experience was really cool with the lights and the real-life-sized dinosaurs.”

Matt Ryan and his family chose to beat the heat at Jurassic Quest instead of driving to the beach. He said his son is “in a dinosaur phase right now” so they wanted “to see the big guys in action.”

“They’re just larger than life, and there’s nothing like that, outside elephants,” Ryan said of people’s enduring fascination with the prehistoric creatures

General admission tickets for Jurassic Quest cost $22.

Upgraded tickets for kids are $36 each and include general admission; unlimited access to dinosaur rides, Jurassic Jeeps, fossil dig and most dinosaur-themed inflatable attractions; as well as a visit to the excavation station.

Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. Entry is free for those younger than 2.

Jurassic Quest runs from noon-8 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday.

LehighValleyNews.com readers can use the code JURASSIC15 when ordering tickets to save 15% — or $3.30 to $5.40.

Dinosaurs are among the summer stars in Allentown, with the downtown Da Vinci Science Center hosting the Dinos Alive interactive exhibit through Sept. 8.