Arts & Life, Sports

Long Beach Grand Prix Lifestyle Expo creates family-friendly environment

Racing enthusiast families from across California came to enjoy the Acura Grand Prix lifestyle expo at the Long Beach Convention Center throughout the weekend.

The expo offered various games, raffles, trivia and shops for children and adults to enjoy.

Jerome Rodela, a racer with the Historic GTP Racing Group, brought his girlfriend, father, and two daughters with him to the expo before he raced in a Journey Eagle Mark III race car from the ‘90s.

“The expo is pretty fun. [My family] haven’t been here the last two days but they really wanted to get here today and hang out,” Rodela said. “[My daughter Kendall] is a black belt in Taekwondo. And she broke her toe at practice the other day. But she was like, ‘I don’t care. I still want to go.’”

A flight simulator was also offered at the expo, drawing the attention of USASA Border Cross silver medalist, Curren Gentry, 9.

“The simulator was really fun, it takes you upside down. In snowboarding when you are upside down, it’s hard to get right side up again, but in the simulator, it maneuvers by itself,” Gentry said.

The snowboarder visited the expo before, and was able to meet one of his favorite racers, Alexander Rossi, and sit in one of the race cars.

“To see all the controls and to see what they are actually able to do was pretty spectacular,” Gentry said.

Acura also offered a t-shirt making booth and an FI racing simulator. They also took the opportunity to promote their animation show and test fans’ knowledge of Acura vehicles with trivia.

Emma Rockbam, a third-year Pepperdine graduate student majoring in clinical psychology, brought her extended family to the expo as a yearly tradition. Most of her family travels from Texas to the expo.

“We are always able to get cool gear from the different teams,” Rockbam said. “Each year it’s interesting to see what [each team] brings to the table.”

Rockbam plans to return next year when the expo reopens in March with new and returning sponsors.

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