Havre de Grace becomes Ground Zero for Harford Pokemon-hunting

Got some Shellders, Kabutos or even Goldeens? Then you've probably been playing Pokemon Go in Havre de Grace

As Pokemon Go fever sweeps the country, Ground Zero for the game in Harford County may very well be downtown Havre de Grace, especially the waterfront area.

With plenty of PokeStops and multiple "gyms" heavily clustered in the pedestrian-friendly town, avid Pokemon Go players – known as "trainers" – and amateurs alike have been flocking to the already-popular Promenade and Concord Point Park areas, near the Concord Point Lighthouse.

Different Pokemon, or "pocket monsters," thrive in different environments, with some "preferring" wooded or grassier areas while others only come out at night in the location-based, 24/7, "augmented reality" mobile game.

The Susquehanna River draws plenty of rare and maritime Pokemon, and, by extension, plenty of Pokemon "trainers."

Other waterfront sites have also been hotspots, like Joppatowne's Mariner Point Park, as have more urban settings, including downtown Bel Air.

On a recent weekday evening, the lighthouse area was packed with mostly-young people, after someone dropped Lures – special modules that attract the monsters – all along the PokeStops, which were everywhere from the various historic signs to minor landmarks like piers.

Lure-covered PokeStops were even in the water, prompting players to venture out in groups on the pier across from the lighthouse to search for characters like the clam-like purple Shellder, the chubby yellow Psyduck, the brown clawed Kabuto and the floundering, wide-eyed Magikarp.

One commenter on one of Harford's several Pokemon Facebook pages counted eight different Lures going off Sunday night. Another person wrote Saturday that "a mob of 30 people in [Havre de Grace] were seriously sprinting down the street to find" a giant blobby Muk.

Havre de Grace City Councilwoman Monica Worrell caught a rare, billowy Goldeen goldfish Pokemon, as she proudly announced at Monday night's council meeting.

"I have joined the Pokemon Go craze. I am hooked," Worrell said with a smile during the meeting, although she encouraged everyone to "look up" and avoid playing the game while driving.

"It's OK to catch a rare Pokemon but not at the cost of someone else's safety," she said.

"I am the first to admit I love it, and I got hooked when I was sitting on the Promenade," Worrell said, watching everyone in the throes of the game.

Some people on the waterfront Monday night were just walking or enjoying an unusually cool summer evening after a sudden thunderstorm, gazing warily at the groups of "trainers" around them.

An older couple sat on a bench pondering the scene and wondering aloud about something called a "Lure" they had overheard mentioned.

On the bench next to them, several young Pokemon players smiled before they looked back at their phones.

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