If you walk past Maggie Daley Park along Lake Shore Drive this weekend, you’ll spot a giant 50-foot egg – the center of Chicago’s Pokémon GO Fest 2021.
Pokémon GO, an iOS and Android game that increases reality by tracking user’s location and making Pokémon appear on the phone screen, is celebrating its fifth anniversary and hosting in-person activities in 20 cities around the world.
Thousands of people in Chicago will be looking at their cellphones trying to catch more than 75 species of Pokémon in raids, with photo opportunities at Maggie Daley Park, Lincoln Park, Ogden Plaza, the Magnificent Mile, and Navy Pier. Niantic, the game’s developer, will also be offering gifts to Maggie Daley Park.
Niantic presented bracelets to the first 1,000 people at Maggie Daley Park on Saturday to witness the event live, which is also accessible virtually.
Some rare Pokémon characters will be egged on, exciting many participants including Gordon Arkeketa from Fort Wayne, Ind.
“We are delighted,” said Arkeketa, 37. “This is our first time going to a Pokémon festival. Especially when we heard they had a giant egg in Chicago, we were like, ‘We absolutely have to take a trip to see this.’”
Arkeketa, who came with his family, is a truck driver. He said it was fun to play while traveling around the country.
“We’re scanning a lot of the country, which is fun for Pokémon,” he said. “You can go out and see the different regions and see new Pokémon there.”
Alex Mateo, 33, who was there with his wife, said he has been playing the game since its release in 2016.
“We like to go out in town or anywhere to walk around and catch Pokémon,” said the Naperville resident.
As for the egg, Mateo said he hopes “there is some special kind of Pokemon emerging from it.”
The festival ends on Sunday.