The third annual Find Waldo Local promotion, sponsored by Candlewick Press and the American Booksellers Association, ended on a particularly high note for indie booksellers with TV cameras and an upcoming MSNBC broadcast thanks to the bookstore that held the very first event on which the national Waldo event is based, Eight Cousins Bookstore in Falmouth, Mass.
At the beginning of July, when MSNBC’s Lisa Everson, senior producer for Your Business, was vacationing on the Cape, she took the Find Waldo Local challenge with her two small children. She liked it so much that she returned to tape the bookstore's end-of-July Waldo party and sent a separate crew to tape a different party at Octavia Books in New Orleans.
For Judith Lafitte, co-owner of Octavia, the Find Waldo promotion – and the taping for the Your Business segment – “is a great way to remind people what shopping local means.”
According to Tracy Miracle, senior publicist at Candlewick, the MSNBC broadcast, which airs in September, will include one-on-one interviews with Candlewick, Eight Cousins, and Octavia staff, as well as brief interviews with some of the participating local businesses. The show will be part of the program’s fall coverage of the Shop Local movement, which culminates with a story on Small Business Saturday in November.
But it didn’t take TV cameras to generate excitement at most independent bookstores throughout the month of July as kids and their parents searched for Waldo and Woof (Waldo’s canine companion). Kids as young as age two enjoyed finding Waldo at businesses throughout hundreds of communities across the country.
Here’s a selection of photos of Waldo celebrations, hiding places, and parades from around the country.
The first child to win a button at Square Books Jr. in Oxford, Miss., for finding Waldo in 26 stores.
Gabriel Zlotnik (age five), Norah Zlotnik (age seven), and Waldo (Ed Leonard) at the kickoff parade and craft event for finding Waldo, hosted by The Library Shop at the San Diego Central Library in San Diego, Calif.
Celebrating Waldo at Auntie’s Bookstore in Spokane, Wash.
A Waldo party at the newly opened Carmichael’s Kids in Louisville, Ky.
Waldo runs the distance for Bay Books in Bay St. Louis, Mo., at the 2014 Crab Fest 5K.
This is the third year that Valley Bookseller in Stillwater, Minn., has hosted a Where’s Waldo? hunt. “This young man has made an appearance every year and has become our ‘Waldo model,’ ” says manager Kathleen Eddy. “He loves dressing the part and always come to the finale party and hands out the prizes.”
Waldo visits Boswell Book Company in Milwaukee, Wis.
Bookshop West Portal in San Francisco, Calif., handed out 260 passports and received 170 completely filled out passports. Because there weren’t enough prizes for everyone, and the story didn’t want any child to go home empty-handed, Sonia Doty Lewis made 103 stuffed owls to give to every child who didn’t win a raffle prize.
Kids around Lexington, Mass. have been on the hunt for Waldo. Here’s Wenda and her bike at Ride Studio Cafe as part of the Where’s Waldo? search hosted by the Elephant’s Trunk Bookshop.
The sign from Hansel and Gretel Kids, which is participating in the Where’s Waldo event sponsored by BookPeople of Moscow in Moscow, Idaho.
Waldo at the Book House, which was Find Waldo headquarters in Maplewood, Mo.
The first group to find all 25 Waldos plus his dog Woof at BookPeople of Moscow in Moscow, Idaho.
Waldo (bookseller Rob) made several appearances, including Fourth of July festivities and the Brockport Sidewalk Sale. More than 25 merchants participated in the event, sponsored by Lift Bridge Book Shop in Brockport, N.Y.
The Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, Mass., decided to take Waldo (Ryan Mihaly) around town and hide him at some of the participating locations. As part of the fun, the store asked its Facebook followers to try to identify the business for a chance to win prizes. Here he is at Children’s Garden.
Waldo hides among an assortment of finger puppets at the Ten Thousand Villages store, which is participating in this year’s Find Waldo, sponsored by Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tenn.
“Bookbug (and participating businesses in Kalamazoo) was thrilled to participate again,” says co-owner Joanna Parzakonis. Waldo (co-owner Derek Molitor) visits Garden Gate Cafe.
Bookshelf co-owner Annie B. Jones joins Waldo for story time at the Waldo launch party in Thomasville, Ga.
That's Waldo among the sandwiches at Thistle Meats in Petaluma, Calif., one of 55 businesses that signed up to participate in the Waldo search organized by Copperfield’s Books. Waldo appears everyday on the butcher shop’s website, where it promotes the sandwiches available that day. As of mid-July more than 350 kids—including college studients, parents, and families—looked for Waldo. “Even our local museum is hiding Waldo—they’ve never seen so much traffic in July,” according to children’s specialist Patty Norman at Copperfield’s.
One of several groups of Waldo/Woof hunters that found Waldo in all 28 stores participating in this summer’s Find Waldo Local in downtown Poulsbo, Wash., sponsored by Liberty Bay Books.
Waldo stops by Garside Florist in Vancouver, Wash., which participated in the Find Waldo Local promotion sponsored by Vintage Books.
Finding Waldo made kids happy at Octavia Books in New Orleans.
At the Waldo party at Cottage Book Shop in Glen Arbor, Mich.
“Find Waldo Local in Portsmouth, N.H. has been truly amazing,” says Jody Breneman, co-owner of G. Willikers! Toy Shop. “Visitors, locals and the 25 Waldo host businesses and organizations have been so appreciative and excited to be part of this great event.” Here, one of the store’s most enthusiastic Find Waldo Local fans.
Waldo hides at G.Willikers! Toy Shop.
“Find Waldo Shop Local was a huge success at DIESEL, A Bookstore in Larkspur for our first year,” says children’s book expert Clare Doornbos. “We had over 80 entries from some very excited kids, and we’ve made some great connections with neighboring businesses.” The party on the final day featured strawberries and cream and games of Waldo Says and Pin the Hat on the Waldo.
Around 80 people came to see Waldo and collect a prize at the Grand-Prize Drawing Party at Square Books in Oxford, Miss.
The Hidden Lantern Bookstore in Rosemary Beach, Fl., held its Where’s Waldo party outside on the Western Green.
There were plenty of treats for the Waldo celebration at Village Books in Bellingham, Wash.
Celebrating Waldo and Woof at The Book House in Maplewood, Mo.
Waldo hunters who collected all 25 stamps at Byrd’s Books in Bethel, Ct.
Waldo with the prize basket at Beagle Books & Bindery in Park Rapids, Minn.
Waldo and Wenda walked around the local farmers’ market and visited River Lights Bookstore in Dubuque, Iowa.
Sparta Books in Sparta, N.J., celebrated with cake, and all its booksellers dressed up as Waldo or Wenda.
Another partygoer at Sparta Books.
The Bank Street Book Nook in New Milford, Ct., held a “great event,” according to owner Vanessa Gronbach.
Waldo and his companion headed off to another adventure after the Waldo party at Old Firehouse Books in Fort Collins, Colo.