Pokémon has never been about enslaving a race of tiny animals and making them fight for you.
It’s also about meeting new people, and bonding with them, over a shared obsession. That’s why the Pokémon GO Fest, coming to Chicago on July 22, isn’t truly the first real-world Pokémon GO event. At the launch of the game, people organically descended on cities like Sydney, Australia to form their very own.
But it is the first real-life event — and thus the official place to celebrate Pokémon GO’s one-year anniversary. Yes, it’s true: Pokémon GO will have its first birthday this July.
While it’s not clear if there will be any notable in-game rewards for showing up at Chicago’s Grant Park – right now, Niantic is only promising “the chance to meet fellow players and engage in a variety of activities” and “a ton of exciting festivities” depending on which press release you read – Paul Tassi at Forbes makes a solid argument that this probably be where Niantic debuts the first legendary Pokemon.
Niantic says it intends to host additional real-life events globally over the next couple of months, including a “Pikachu Outbreak” event in Yokohama, Japan. If you’d like to attend the Chicago event, tickets will go on sale June 19th, 10a.m. PT at this website.