Steel and concrete surround us as we walk down the hot and humid street in Chicago. Excitement builds, we’ve arrived!
Arrived for what? The third annual Pokémon Go Fest in Chicago. Ha, nerds! Yes indeed, nerds from all over the country and even the world. Some had traveled from as far as Australia to enjoy the fest and capture special Pokémon. Using a phone app to capture and collect virtual critters, Go Fest is a celebration and gathering for players of the game and this would be my second attendance.
What can I say? I love the game! I’ve always hated getting my exercise, walking around the neighborhood had always been a bore, the same ol’ same ol’. But when Pokémon Go came out in 2016, I shunned my walks no more. The thrill of capturing a new Pokémon or a “shiny” has made exercise fun!
Tickets to the fest were available by lottery this year, and I happened to win the chance to purchase 4 of them. My husband, sister and brother-in-law were the fortunate recipients, and so the day came and off we Go’d.
The atmosphere was festive and uplifting, as one and all shared their love of the game. We were given special tasks to accomplish via the app, which included making new friends by entering an in-game code. It was a bit awkward going up to various people “Would you be my friend?” but enjoyable conversation about the game always followed afterward.
Some of the other quests we were given to complete, involved walking back and forth the entire length of Grant Park multiple times. We needed to capture various Pokémon in different areas of the park in order to earn our rewards. Amusedly, it was a bit hard to navigate the crowds with everyone looking down at their phone.
We were incredibly tired, but we were rewarded with special, regional and rare Pokémon, all while enjoying fresh air and beautiful scenery along the Chicago lakefront. The scenery, atmosphere, and temps had been perfect that day.
I highly recommend visiting the Millennium Park/Grant Park area, even if you have no event to attend. There are loads of things to do, bus tours, boat tours, concerts, Navy Pier, Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, not to mention shopping and fantastic dining choices. Bands played on various street corners, reminiscent of the French Quarter in NOLA. We enjoyed many of these activities while we were there, and I’d certainly love to go again later this summer. We were there three days and it wasn’t enough time to do all that we wanted to.
Go Fest was a wonderful time and if you haven’t tried the game and need motivation to get outdoors, download the app and get up and GO!