Still playing “Pokemon GO?” You might as well join one of the biggest anniversary events this year and have a blast. Come July 22, the much-anticipated #Pokemon GO fest will happen in Chicago, and #Niantic Labs has prepared a slew of fun-filled activities all for the smartphone sensation’s first birthday. Apparently, everyone can participate in the event no matter where you are in the world by working with the partakers at Grant Park during three Challenge Windows happening throughout the day.

The Pokemon GO Fest is but one of the numerous events that started in late June, with an overhaul to several key aspects of the augmented reality game of local discovery.

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Although Niantic was so careful not to overshare details about the event, it mentioned participants are up for exciting surprises. Word is that, if players around the world catch enough Pokemon, Chicago Fest attendees will get themselves a mystery challenge. Should this challenge be completed, and “extra-special” bonus will be unlocked across the globe.

Niantic wants you back

At its peak, the highly-rated mobile app filled neighborhoods and parks with people pacing quite cautiously, all glued to their smartphones. It’s a hit not only with kids – adults have been enticed as well, partly due to nostalgia, mostly just for the fun of it.

To say that “Pokemon GO” is a success is an understatement, but the hype started to dwindle months later following Niantic’s slow pace of development on the game.

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It reached the point where spoofing and other cheating tactics were so rampant, Niantic had to implement restrictions and bans en masse.

Regardless of everyone’s reactions to the prohibitions – good and bad – Niantic’s iron fist had received enough attention and was mostly praised, seeing it still cared for the game after all. It then threw a series of updates and improvements on the game, such as the big Gym overhaul and the Raid Battles [VIDEO]. Since the Gym updates made obtaining in-game currency easier and decreased the cooperative aspect of Gym control, Raid Battles were added to balance these out, and at the same time gave Trainers the opportunity of catching the rarest and strongest Pokemon.

The improvements proved quite a hit, and now folks are finding themselves revisiting the game. The upcoming first-year anniversary celebration has contributed to the reclaimed hype as well, considering Niantic has planned a series of activities not just in the U.S., but for the rest of the world, too.

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PoGO global events

Starting with the UK, there will be a Big Heritage partnership that will allow players to walk around the historic city of Chester and Chester Castle, using a special PoGO explorers map. Mainland Europe get to have the Safari Zone events, where the chance to catch region-exclusive Pokemon like Corsola and Kangaskhan is at stake. Meanwhile, a Pikachu Outbreak is set for Yokohama, Japan this August, which Niantic says we should all stay tuned for.

Pokemon GO’s” first-year celebration already looks larger than life. For those still stuck with the game, year two should be even better. #Pokémon GO