From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday night, the Kauffman Museum hosted Pokémon Night, an event which drew in a crowd of Pokémon enthusiasts – both children and adults.
Pamela Pancake, academic and community engagement coordinator for the museum, said Pokémon Night was designed to draw in new visitors – as a third Thursday event.
Through the use of the Pokémon GO app, the museum hosted a tournament, a lure party, a memorabilia exhibit and contest, films, a scavenger hunt, face painting by the Bethel College Cheer Squad and more. Admission was free to the public and the museum sold refreshments.
The championship battle (tournament), which began at 5:30 p.m. was entitled "Battle Night at the Museum: Omega Red and Alpha Sapphire Pokémon Tournament."
Garrett Lindley won first place in the tournament. His prize was a $25 gift card to GameStop. Second place went to Justin Haflich, whose prize was a game player "Shiny Magikarp," donated by Bethel College student Ryan Fritz.
As the Bethel College campus has 14 Pokémon GO stops and three gyms, the museum also hosted a Pokémon GO Lure Party, where participants could explore the college grounds and strengthen their teams.
Additionally, the museum hosted a Pokémon Scavenger Hunt, which encouraged children of all ages to explore the exhibits in the museum and search for Pokémon "artifacts."
During the scavenger hunt, Cole and Leah (last name not provided) found 80 round objects in the museum. The object of the game was to look for Pokeball-shaped objects throughout the museum's artifacts.
The prize for the hunt was a $15 gift card to GameStop.
As part of an event entitled "Pokémon Through the Ages," Kauffman visitors were able to explore the museum's Pokémon memorabilia exhibit and speak with Team Instinct members.
The winner of the Pokémon memorabilia contest was Abby Dater with her Pokémon Ex trading card, a "Gardevoir - Despair Ray," which is considered a legendary card. As a prize, Dater received a $15 gift card to GameStop.
In order to prepare for the event, Pancake said the Kauffman Museum formed a committee, including museum director Annette LeZotte, Bethel College professor of education Allen Jantz, Bethel cheer coach Joseph Gogus, Bethel students Storm Meyer, Justin Haflich and Garrett Lindley, as well as Wichita State University museum studies intern Alexis Terrill.
Prior to the event, Pancake told The Kansan that the museum's original founder, Charles Kauffman, had once carved a set of wooden figures, as well as constructed a hand cranked diorama for children. Pancake noted that children around that time often had metal toys.
In total the event saw 38 children visitors, 58 adults and four Kauffman staff and volunteers.