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Pokémon Go Fest: It's on!

Pokémon Go Fest will let players in Grant Park, Chicago will get to unlock bonuses that players around the world can help extend — and unlock a mystery challenge back in Chicago!

Pokémon Go is holding it’s first real-world event — Pokémon Go Fest Chicago. Taking place Saturday, July 22, 2017. While tickets have long since been sold out, there are still plenty of opportunities to participate — around the world. That includes watching the live stream and helping unlock bonus extensions and the mystery challenge.

We’re here at the event, so check back often for all the updates!

July 22, 2017: New Special Boxes in the Poké Shop just in time for Go Fest!

Should you by the Pokémon Go Special Boxes: Are they worth your coins?

Pokémon Go Fest is about to kick off in Chicago and new Special, Great, and Ultra Boxes have appeared in the Pokémon Shop to go along with it. Inside are Premium Raid Passes, so you can battle in more Raids, Pinap Berries, so you can get double Candy for your catches, and Lures, so you can attract more Pokémon to PokéStops to catch. That’s a lot of stuff for a few little boxes but, the big questions remain: are they worth your Poké Coins? And which box is best?

Read: Should you buy the new Poké Shop Boxes: Which ones are worth your coins!

July 21, 2017: Pokémon Go Fest will be broadcast live on YouTube!

I’m on the ground in Chicago and will be covering the event as it happens, but if you want to watch the full stream, Pokémon Go Live is making it available on YouTube.

Happy catching!

What’s Pokémon Go Fest?

Pokémon Go Fest Chicago is the first major real-world event for Niantic’s incredibly popular augmented reality, geo-hunting game. It takes place this Saturday, July 22, at Grant Park. Players on location in Chicago will be able to unlock bonuses that people around the world can then help extend for longer periods of time.

From Pokémon Go:

Pokémon GO Fest (Saturday, July 22 taking place in Grant Park, Chicago, IL) is fast approaching, and we hope you’re all as excited as we are. We wanted to share some details about how Pokémon GO Trainers everywhere can participate in a global challenge with Trainers at the event to unlock special rewards worldwide.

During the day, there will be three Challenge Windows in which Trainers everywhere will work alongside those in Chicago to unlock global rewards. During the Challenge Windows, Trainers in Grant Park will attempt to unlock perks for Pokémon GO players around the world by catching certain types of Pokémon. Each Pokémon- type will be tied to a different perk, so Trainers at the park will need to carefully choose which Pokémon they catch. Will those in attendance try to catch Electric-type Pokémon to reduce the distance required to hatch Eggs, or Grass-type Pokémon to increase Stardust bonuses, or other Pokémon- types to secure a variety of other bonuses? Join in the action and find out!

Meanwhile, Trainers outside of Chicago will attempt to catch as many Pokémon as possible during the Challenge Windows to extend the duration of the bonuses unlocked by those attending the event. If Trainers around the world catch enough Pokémon, a mystery challenge will be unveiled in Grant Park that, once completed, will unlock an extra-special bonus across the globe. Trainers everywhere will want to grab their friends and family to help make this the biggest celebration in Pokémon GO’s history!

The game has provided a helpful infographic with the details:

Can you text that up for us?

Trainers at Pokémon Go Fest in Chicago will have three half-hour challenge windows where they can:

  • Catch Fire types to unlock a Candy bonus.
  • Catch Water types to unlock an XP bonus.
  • Catch Grass types to unlock a Stardust bonus.
  • Catch Electric types to unlock an Egg hatching bonus.
  • Catch Ground types to unlock a Buddy distance bonus.
  • Catch Normal types to unlock an encounter rate bonus.

So, um, which ones are best to catch?

Grass types. Stardust is seriously hard to get and, while there have been several XP and Candy events over the last year, there’s only been one Stardust event.

What can players outside Chicago do to help?

Players around the world can then catch Pokémon to extend the duration of the bonus by:

  • Bronze: 24 hrs.
  • Silver: 48 hrs.
  • Gold: Mystery Challenge unlocked.

What’s the mystery challenge?

We don’t know yet — it’s a mystery! And it’ll be unlocked back at Pokémon Go Fest in Chicago from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday. If it’s completed, a global reward is unlocked for everyone.

So, it’ll be catch-a-palooza on Saturday and, hopefully, a lot more to follow over the weekend.

Has Pokémon Go said anything else about Pokémon Go Fest?

Here’s the original announcement from Pokémon Go:

We’re also excited to announce our first ever real-world Pokémon GO event coming your way: Pokémon GO Fest Chicago! This event will take place in downtown Chicago, Illinois, USA at the beautiful Grant Park on July 22, 2017. Join us as we celebrate the Pokémon GO community with a ton of exciting festivities. Tickets and more information for Pokémon GO Fest Chicago will be available at PokemonGoLive.com/Fest on Monday, June 19 at 10:00 A.M. PDT, so make sure to mark your calendars and follow our social media channels to be notified when tickets go live! European Trainers can look forward to Pokémon GO celebrations hosted across the continent from June through September in partnership with Unibail-Rodamco shopping centers. We’ll be posting a complete schedule for these events very soon. Also, The Pokémon Company is organizing “Pikachu Outbreak”, a Pokémon event in Yokohama, Japan, in August where they’re exploring a unique Pokémon GO experience. Stay tuned for even more details surrounding each of these events in the coming weeks.

And from Pokémon Go Fest:

Catch a wide variety of Pokémon, including some that have never been seen before in Grant Park. This is a great chance to fill in some gaps in your Pokédex.

Work together with thousands of Trainers in the park and millions around the world to complete challenges throughout the day and unlock amazing in-game rewards globally. More details about these challenges and rewards will be revealed in the coming weeks.

See above for more on that!

Unlock an exclusive Pokémon GO Fest Chicago medal for your profile page—the first of its kind!

Lace up your most comfortable walking shoes and get ready for the Pokémon GO Fest walking course, lined with PokéStops that award special 2 km Eggs which can only be obtained in Grant Park.

What about Legendary Raids?

That could be what gets unlocked — the first Mew or Mewtwo Tier 5 Raid Battle. Either way, both Legendary Raid Eggs and Legendary Raid Passes have been rumored, so we’ll have to wait and see!

How to prepare for Legendary Raids in Pokémon Go

What do you need to take with you for Pokémon Go Fest?

Sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, shoes, batteries, headphones, water bottles, and more! That’s what’ll save you from the sun burns, the bugs bite, the heat parches, and the kilometers blister.


Like Superman, we’re powered by the rays of our strong yellow sun. But what makes us stronger can also burn us. That’s why really good sun screen is an absolute must for anyone spending any time outside this summer.

The Sweethome recommends NO-AD Sport SPF 50 or Coppertone Oil Free Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30.

A hat

It could be for your favorite sports team. It could be for your best-loved geek franchise. It could be from the latest fashion line or simply surplus. Whatever the branding — or lack thereof — the important thing is that it keeps the sun off your head and provides shade for your eyes.


Sunglasses aren’t just about looking cool. OK, they’re a lot about looking cool, but they’re also about protecting your eyes. Anything and everything from particulates to UV light can get into and damage your eyes while you’re out and about, especially if you’re out an about at velocity on a bike, board, boat or skates.

The Wirecutter likes the Ryders Sevent and the Julbo Aero. For a less sporty, more budget pick, try ZeroUV Longhorn.


Pounding the pavement is as brutal on your feet as it sounds. Cement and asphalt are hard and, the latter especially, can get HOT. If you’re on the trails, there are rocks, thorns, and trash to worry about as well. So, if you want your feet to last, and with a minimum of blisters and strain, get good shoes. For most activities, I love Nike Free.

Battery pack

No drain, no gain! It’s goofy but it’s true: Many outdoor activities demand a lot of power. If your Apple Watch is in workout mode, the heart rate monitor is firing. If your phone is being used to battle in Pokémon Gyms or navigate through a national park, the screen is lit and the GPS is hard at work. If you have a backpack with you, I like the mophie powerstation XX because it can charge multiple devices multiple times. If you’re sticking strictly to pockets or fanny packs, the TravelCard is great. If you have an iPhone but want it to be more like an iPhone Plus when you’re out and about, Apple’s Smart Battery Case has an efficiency that simply can’t be beat.

Water, water, water

It’s critically important to stay hydrated when you’re out, especially in the heat. That means drinking water regularly. You can find a fountain or Apple Pay for a bottle whenever you need it, but by the time you’re thirsty you’re already late. If you have a backpack or even a decent-sized pocket or pack, keep some water with you and sip regularly. Otherwise, make sure you stop regularly to refresh. Set a timer if you have to.

What else do you need to know about Pokémon Go Fest?

As the event approaches, we’ll hopefully get and share more information. Until then, let us know if you have any questions!

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