Events Pack National Mall on Saturday; Heat Ends Together 2016

Thousands of people braved the extreme heat Saturday for prayer, powwow dancing and Pokémon on the National Mall.

Starting at 9 a.m., PULSE, a student-led evangelism movement, gathered more than 1,000 churches nationwide to join in prayer. The event, “Together 2016,” featured dozens of speakers, singers, authors and leaders, including Pope Francis, who recorded a personal video message.

The event shut down at 4 p.m. -- five hours early -- due to the high heat index of 96 degrees.

Fire and rescue workers responded to 502 medical calls for heat-related injuries at Together 2016 and 35 people were taken to the hospital.

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian began celebrating the 7th annual Living Earth Festival at 10 a.m. The festival focused on native food and agricultural practices, a film screening and musical performances.

The celebration started with a cooking demonstration from Hopi and Navajo chef Terri Ami. Then from 1-4 p.m., visitors experienced traditional songs, instruments, powwow-style dances and traditional dances of Bolivia and the Andes.

But a day on the National Mall wouldn’t be complete without catching Pokémon with park rangers playing “Pokémon Go,” the latest smartphone game craze. After several controversies this week involving players catching Pokémon at memorials and the Holocaust Museum, rangers are helping participants play the game while teaching players about the significance of the memorials.

Rangers were stationed at the Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial and at the National Mall entrance to the Smithsonian Metro station for the "Catch the Mall" Pokémon hunt. A hunt is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sunday as well.

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