Happy 1st Birthday Pokémon GO! One year ago, this mobile augmented reality game hit the App Store, and the rest remains history. With over 750 MILLION downloads in its first year, it’s no wonder that this game became a beloved pop culture phenomenon.

In celebration of it’s first birthday, The Pokémon Company International and Niantic, Inc. have created in-game events and, for the first time, LIVE events that will bring trainers physically and digitally together.

RELATED: Pokemon GO Coming to Apple Watch Because Why Not

LIVE EVENTS

The first official LIVE Niantic Inc hosted event, “Pokémon GO Fest”, will take place at Chicago’s Grant Park on July 22nd, 2017. No specific details appear about the event, which has a lot of fans wondering what the event will entail. What we do know is that it will be a day for trainers to meet other players, participate in an assortment of activities, and celebrate the world of Pokémon GO. Tickets for “Pokémon GO Fest” will be available for sale on June 19th at 10:00 AM PDT at PokemonGoLive.com/Fest. And while this festival may be the highlight event of the summer, Niantic notes that there will be future events across various cities in North America.

But for those who don’t live in North America, do not worry! Trainers in Europe can expect festivities June through September in conjunction with Unibail-Rodamco shopping centers. Additionally, Japan will receive a region-specific event, “Pikachu Outbreak”. This event will take place in Yokohama during August 2017. 

IN-GAME EVENTS

This June, Pokémon GO introduces their first in-game event of the summer – the Solstice Event. The event begins Tuesday June 13th at 1:00PM PDT and will run until June 20th at 1:00PM PDT. The Solstice Event highlights fire-type and ice-type Pokémon. Trainers can expect heightened encounter rates for Charmander, Cyndaquil, Lapras, Swinub, Sneasel, their evolutions, and more. Additionally, trainers can earn bonus XP for Nice Throws, Great Throws, Excellent Throws, Curveballs, and other in game actions. Even more XP can be obtained when trainers discover and catch the event’s featured fire-type and ice-type Pokémon. 

Hopefully in this next year, we will see more themed events and even more game updates. In-game trading and trainer battles are two features that fans have requested for some time. Maybe we’ll receive these additions, along with Generation 3 Pokémon in 2017. Pokémon GO remains a creative and unique augmented reality mobile game. It took the world by storm in 2016, and with any luck and future updates, it will continue to do so. 

Emily Rose Jacobson
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