If you are not familiar with Paintball Explosion, the field has quickly become recognized as one of the world's premier fields. Located 45 minutes west of Chicago, the field attracts people from all over Northern Illinois and surrounding states. The field used to be the old Santa's Village Amusement Park, which has now been converted to an indoor and outdoor paintball park, petting zoo, and they still operate some of the rides from the old amusement park. The park also has an amazing turfed indoor field that was converted over from the old hockey rink (Plexiglass, boards, and grandstands included!), a lot of themed fields and a tournament field outside, a fully stocked bar, proshop, and concession stand. Multiple vending machines are scattered throughout the staging area and there are even locker rooms to change in, lockers to lock up your gear, showers, and free WI-FI.
On to the fun part! We arrived at 7:45am and quickly grabbed paint, wristbands, and proceeded to head outside to suit up. The weather ended up being in the mid-50s and sunny all day which lent for perfect playing weather. At 10am, we were introduced to our General's and the owners of the park as Journey from Paintball Explosion took us through the rules and safety briefing for the event. Shortly thereafter, the zombies and clowns took to the field and battled it out for the first mission. Both teams met head-on mid-field and paint, rocket launchers, and smoke and paint grenades started to fly! By the second mission, Blue and Skeletor took an early lead in points and were able to hold off the zombie attacks most of the morning. Most of the players took a break for lunch around 1-2 and proceeded to play out missions 3 and 4 after they were done. One thing to note was around mid-day an amazing group of skilled young players from Chicago Voltage and PaintcheckPB were able to drive back the clowns to secure an important bomb the zombies needed to blow up some buildings. The clowns rallied after the zombies grabbed the bomb and the clowns were able to push back the attacking zombie force. The Voltage and PaintcheckPB kids were able to score the team some much needed points to keep the zombies in the running.
The final battle was EPIC, to say the least. Both teams started out on either side of the fields in the parking lot where two swing flags were placed. Points were scored based on how long a team could keep their flag up in the air. Local team Sockjobs decided to try a secret maneuver called the "Flying V" where they threw a bunch of smoke bombs off the break and came running out of it in a V formation, "quacking" the entire time. Yes, hilarity ensured and it was one of the funniest things I have seen on a field in a while! There were some amazing moves made by players to get their team's flags up in the air and after everything was said and done, the killer clowns came out on top. After the final battle, everyone met by the air fill station for the prize giveaways, where thousands of dollars in prizes were raffled off.
As my cousin and I were driving home from the event, I was going over the entire day in my mind and couldn't believe how much fun everyone had. The event ran smoothly, ref's did an amazing job of getting in the action and ensuring everyone stayed safe and followed the rules, and the objectives were fun and realistic to achieve. If you haven't been to Paintball Explosion, I would highly recommend checking this field out. Hope to see you at a field soon or at next year's Clowns vs. Zombies big game!