Ping Pong Pop-Up Coming to Vancouver

Photo credit: Dustin Baker | Flickr

Photo credit: Dustin Baker | Flickr

Hip ping-pong clubs (yes, ping-pong clubs) are all the rage in cities like London, Chicago and New York. Imagine a pool hall, but with a table-tennis theme. Enthusiasts get down to house music and sip craft beer and cocktails, while facing off at tables.

Now Vancouver is getting its first taste of the hip pong craze. A ping-pong pop-up called Thing/Pong is making its debut May 1 at East Vancouver’s Wise Hall. The brainchild of a local pong aficionado, the “social club style” event features a full day of laid-back table tennis, coupled with art, music and culture (and booze), in one of the funkiest venues in East Van. 

Things kick off with a family-friendly tournament for kids 13-and-under at 1 p.m. Competitors have the chance to play on customized mini tables, designed by local artists. Enjoy snacks and entertainment while vying for “prizes, trophies and eternal glory.”

But the action really heats up in the evening with the 19+ tournament. A full bar is open to keep players well hydrated, and local DJ Donne Torr will be spinning house, techno and club music. In keeping with the slightly tongue-in-cheek vibe, participants are encouraged to dress in ’80s-style athletic gear. Players of all skill levels are encouraged to partake. Pong gods can also pay to enter the night’s big tournament.

Photo credit: Norman Bailey | Wikipedia

Photo credit: Norman Bailey | Wikipedia

Thing/Pong is the creation of Vancouverite Shawn Parkinson, a talented amateur who turned down a possible table-tennis career to pursue graphic design instead. He envisions Thing/Pong as, “Great music, art and design in a playful atmosphere with friends of all pong abilities.” His goal is to find a permanent location for his unique new social club.

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 8.20.05 AMThing/Pong is Sunday, May 1, 1 p.m.-10:30 p.m., at the Wise Hall, 1882 Adanac Street, Vancouver. All proceeds from the pop-up will be donated to the B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation. Tickets (starting at $13) are available online. Kids 13-and-under get in free (donation encouraged) with a ticket-buying adult.  For more info, check out Thing/Pong’s old-school website, which has a nifty modulating colour scheme.

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