80ºF

Hundreds lured to catch 'em all in Eustis

'Pokemon Go' mania remains hot as a Charmander

EUSTIS, Fla. – Ferran Park and downtown Eustis were filled with hundreds of people walking around in hopes of advancing to the next level in their "Pokemon Go" app Tuesday evening. 

Players from teams Instinct, Valor and Mystic all came out to play and make a few new friends. 

Despite the heat, people were still walking around and getting exercise. 

"The kids are having a blast. They're out walking and getting exercise and so am I. We are just hanging out and having fun together," mother of two, Heather Reiter said. 

Reiter has driven as far as 45 minutes away to get the best catches, driving from Astatula to the Villages.  

Most players were hoping for their chance to catch the highly sought after Pokemon: Charmander, Magikarp and Pinsir. 

The 20 lures created and maintained by sponsors and businesses helped each player get one Pokeball closer. 

In the game, lure modules are used by players to attract Pokemon. Players obtain lure modules through certain level ups. With a lure, players attach them to "PokeStops," or locations where players collect items such as Pokeballs. 

While some were just beginning on lower levels such as level 3, others were advancing to level 14 in the app in less than a week. 

"Almost every night when I have been here (Ferran Park) or in Mt. Dora I have talked to at least 10 or 15 people looking for things and helping each other out," player Emily Sullivan said.  

One thing is for sure from the smallest player we interviewed Lorelai,6, gave us this advice:Have patience, as sometimes the app freezes when the game servers experience high traffic.

When the servers are jam-packed, the app reads, "Our servers are humbled by your incredible response. We are working to resolve the issue. Please try again soon!" 

"It might take a little while and if the app is telling you to sign into an account because it is not working, then just don't do it," she said. 

The event hosted by the city of Eustis was created less than a week ago by employees who wanted to bring the community together. 

"Our city staff went wild and came up with this idea, so it is outstanding. I love seeing these people (Pokemon players) use this beautiful park," Michael Holland, city of Eustis mayor told News 6. 

One downtown business also participated in the event by creating an opportunity for players to beat the heat with a Pokemon inspired game called "Pokecone." 

A player would come to the ice cream shop and select a fishing bobber, created to look like a Pokeball, with a number on it. If that number corresponds with a Pokemon they have captured in their Pokemon library or Pokedex, the player would receive a free ice cream. 

The owners of Strawberry's Ice Cream and Treats shop, Lori and Clark Pittsley, said this many people in downtown Eustis on a Tuesday night is a bit unexpected. 

“People go to normally go fishing are like, 'Oh there's 100 people in the park looking for Pokemon', so yeah it's kind of ... it's fun actually," Pittsley said. 

The Pokemon concept was still alive and well to some players that have been playing with the collectors cards and reliving their childhood by watching Pokemon episodes on Netflix. 

"Pokemon has never died at our house for sure. It has always been a thing at our house and now its like come back full force," Amy Cassella said.