Venice will be buzzing with people of all ages walking around with mobile devices in hand on Sept. 8, as they play the popular mobile game, Pokémon Go. Venice MainStreet Inc. is hosting the Pokémon Go Walk from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in historic Downtown Venice. The after-party—including games and prizes—will be held at AMF Venice Lanes from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.


 “We thought this would be a fun way to bring the community and local businesses together,” said Erin Silk, CEO of VMS Inc. “The event is completely free and there are so many prizes from our partners to give out to players throughout the day.”


You can sign up for one of three teams in the game and there will starting locations available for each. Team Valor will be at Made In Italy, Team Instinct will be at Daiquiri Deck and Team Mystic will be at DP Fitness and Wellness. You don’t have to start there, but doing that allows you to play with your teammates and earn bonuses in game.


Gulf Shores realtor, Luanne Wood has donated water bottles so players can go inside, cool off and grab a bottle for free. The water will be stationed at Ciao Gelato, Tea & Spice Exchange, Venice Wine & Coffee Co. and Island Organics Smoothies & Juice Bar.


And a lot of the restaurants and businesses are having exclusive deals for Pokémon Go players just for the day.


“We’re also having a giant Pikachu running around downtown throughout the day,” Silk says. “If you find him, snap a photo with him and tag us on social media, you’re automatically entered for a chance to win a prize.”


There will be prizes handed out throughout the day, including Pokémon toys and accessories; and bigger prizes will be rewarded at the after party, including two $150 gift certificates from A Living Canvas, two $20 gift certificates from Café Venice, Ciao Gelato, Dockside Grill, Chaz 51 Bistro and Island Organics Smoothie & Juice Bar.


The Sprint Store in Venice and Magician’s Forge in North Port will be at the after party with exclusive swag and giveaways as well.


“Our local businesses are really coming together to create a fun day for the community,” says Silk.


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