By Shelby Lea Miller, Correspondent
Pokémon debuted in Japan, 1996, and quickly took over the world reaching America by 1998. Still going strong, the franchise launched the Pokémon GO application in 2016, becoming a piece of pop culture to span the gap between older and younger generations. As Chicago hosted their one-year anniversary event on July 22, Sweet Confections Café offered local Pokémon fans the same opportunity.
“I did this because, you know, they’re having an event today in Chicago and not a lot of people are going to be able to go to Chicago,” said Christina Elser, owner of Sweet Confections Café. “The tickets sold out within the first day or two.”
Sweet Confections Café opened at 11 a.m. welcoming people of all ages and walks of life through their doors. Every person had the opportunity to buy three cupcakes in hopes of finding a winning Pokémon character inside and, though every cupcake had a character hidden inside, only six of them meant you were a winner.
“I really want the big Squirtle,” said Natasha, as she looked through her cupcakes. Once she was finished with hers, she excitedly helped her little sister search through her cupcakes as well.
As you sat there enjoying your delicious treats, you could watch the original Pokémon Indigo League season playing on the TV. After finishing your cupcakes, you could head over Christ the King church to catch some Pokemon with the Pokémon GO App on your phone.
“We don’t have a lure in the building so we’re having lures, which are supposed to help spawn more Pokémon, set up over there at the beginning of every hour,” said Elser. “There’s going to be this competition that’s going on worldwide. There’s going to be specific times in the day where, if you catch a certain amount of Pokemon, you’re more likely to lock a bonus. We’re all really hoping it’s a legendary Pokémon.”
Pokémon GO has offered an opportunity for people to meet who normally would not have met in any other circumstance. It’s been around for so long that people from all walks of life and all ages can seamlessly start a conversation that can quickly turn into a long term friendship.
“I really love Pokémon,” says Joshua. “I have tons of cards at home because I don’t have a phone yet. I really love the holographic ones; they’re like special rare Pokemon. I make a lot of friends playing.”
Pokémon GO also encourages people who may normally spend most of their days inside to go outside and be active.
“You get to go outside, it’s very hot, but it’s the competitiveness that has to do with it,” said Elser.
“Yeah, it’s pretty hot today, but at least I’m having fun,” Nikkholai agrees.
Just like a classic book or movie with a large following, Pokémon means a lot more than just a game and cartoon to these fans. Every episode has a lesson to teach and a lot of people feel like their lives have been changed for the better because of Pokémon.
“It’s something I grew up doing with my brother,” said Elser. “I just kinda got back into it because, you know, it’s a really cool thing whenever something from your childhood suddenly has an app for it. You get to go out; me and my boyfriend go to Houston and Austin and San Antonio, just trying to go to different places. It’s fun.”
Sweet Confesctions may be all sold out of Pokémon stuffed cupcakes, but they still have plenty of sweet treats and sandwiches for you to enjoy.
Give them a call at 254- 933-7101. They put on a great event that many enjoyed and, regardless of whether they won or not, many had smiles on their faces. After all, you don’t always catch the Pokémon.