That giant egg downtown? Just the center of Chicago’s Pokémon GO Fest

Pokémon GO is celebrating its fifth anniversary and is hosting in-person activities in 20 cities around the globe, including Chicago. The festival ends Sunday. Where to go.

SHARE That giant egg downtown? Just the center of Chicago’s Pokémon GO Fest
People take a photo in front of a large egg at the Pokemon Go Fest at Maggie Daley Park on Saturday.

People take a photo in front of a large egg at the Pokemon Go Fest at Maggie Daley Park on Saturday.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

If you pass Maggie Daley Park along Lake Shore Drive this weekend, you’ll spot a giant, 50-foot egg — the center of Chicago’s 2021 Pokémon GO Fest.

Pokémon GO — an iOS and Android game that augments reality by tracking the 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 globe.

Thousands of people in Chicago will be looking down at their cellphones as they try to catch more than 75 species of Pokémon in raids, with photo opportunities in Maggie Daley Park, Lincoln Park, Ogden Plaza, the Magnificent Mile and Navy Pier. Niantic, the game’s developer, will also have giveaways in Maggie Daley Park.

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People play Pokemon Go while waiting in line to register at the Pokemon Go Fest at Maggie Daley Park, Saturday, July 17, 2021. | Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Anthony Vazquez, Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Niantic handed out wristbands to the first 1,000 people at Maggie Daley Park Saturday to see the live event, which is also accessible virtually.

Some rare Pokémon characters will be projected onto the egg, exciting many of those attending, including Gordon Arkeketa of Fort Wayne, Ind.

“We’re ecstatic,” said Arkeketa, 37. “It’s our first time we’ve gotten to go to a Pokémon fest. Especially when we heard that they have a giant egg in Chicago, we were, like, ‘We definitely have to make a trip to see that.’ ”

Tiffany and Alex Mateo, 33, pose for a photo at the Pokemon Go Fest.

Tiffany and Alex Mateo, 33, pose for a photo at the Pokemon Go Fest.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Arkeketa, who came with his family, is a truck driver. He said it’s fun to play while traveling cross-country.

“We scan 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 ws there with his wife, said he’s been playing the game since it came out in 2016.

“We enjoy going out to the city or anywhere to walk around and catch Pokémon,” the Naperville resident said.

As for the egg, Mateo said he hopes “that there is some kind of special Pokémon that emerges from it.”

The festival wraps up Sunday.

People register at the Pokemon Go Fest at Maggie Daley Park.

People register at the Pokemon Go Fest at Maggie Daley Park.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

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