Last month the American Booksellers Association and Candlewick Press cosponsored the fifth annual Find Waldo Local national event to promote shopping local. Hundreds of booksellers and their neighboring businesses hid Waldo, often in plain sight. Kids filled out passports at each store they visited and spotted Waldo to win a prize. The festivities concluded at the end of the month with parties and, of course, cake.

Hiding in plain sight, at Book Cellar in Chicago.

Seeing double at Book Cellar.

Waldos relax at the Book Cellar’s Find Waldo Local party.

Curious Iguana in Frederick, Md., distributed more than 500 Waldo passports. One hundred guests attended their party to celebrate Find Waldo Local.

At Curious Iguana, one young man got a lot of loot.

Drawing the winners, at Curious Iguana.

“We had a spectacular time with Find Waldo Local,” said Christine Patrick, co-owner of the Winchester Book Gallery in Winchester, Va. “With 48 businesses hiding Waldo, more than 800 people searching for Waldo, and 61 completed passports, this was a roaring success for our small town. All reports are that everyone had a great time, particularly businesses that were able to reintroduce themselves to all kinds of folks hunting for Waldo.”

Happy contest winner at Byrd’s Books in Bethel, Ct.

Waldo joins little Waldos for dress up and storytime at Bluebird Books in Hutchinson, Kan.

Surprise storytime visit by Waldo himself at Bluebird Books.

Mother and daughter Waldos at House of Books in Kent, Ct.

Scout & Morgan Books in Cambridge, Minn., gave away more than 70 prizes for kids who turned in their completed passports and participated in the Waldo, Wenda, Woof costume contest.

Brendan Lindberg gives a fist pump and shout after he was declared winner of the Waldo costume contest at Scout & Morgan Books.

Waldo starts his weekend with a traditional beverage, next door to Book Passage at the Ferry Building in San Francisco.

These keen-eyed gentlemen from England spotted all 27 Waldos (or Wallys, as they’re known across the pond) in Ferry Building shops one morning. Photo: Book Passage.

Ten-year-old Waldo, Evan Phillips, at DDG Booksellers in Farmington, Maine.

Waldo photobombs a family during DDG Booksellers’ coloring contest.

The grand prize winner #FindWaldoLocal celebrates at Blue Marble Books in Fort Thomas, Ky.

Two additional winners smile for the camera at Blue Marble Books.

McLean and Eakin Booksellers in Petoskey, Mich., hosted a Waldo party in the park with cupcakes, games, and coloring. Over 30 downtown stores participated in the contest this summer.

Staffer Jenny W. gets into the spirit for the Find Waldo Local party at Book Ends in Winchester, Mass.

Book Ends store owner Judy Manzo with Laney, the grand prize winner of the raffle.

Waldo answers questions from his fans at R.J. Julia Booksellers in Madison, Ct.

Olivia the cat found Waldo at A Classic Tale in Ramona, Calif.

Party time at A Classic Tale.

Grand prize winner at Square Books in Oxford, Miss.

Darren Oberto, co-owner of The Alley Gallery, one of the participating Evanston, Ill., businesses, awarded a prize to a Find Waldo Local winner. His three-year-old daughter Olivia sits nearby on the floor. Photo: Bookends & Beginnings.

Bookends & Beginnings paired the Waldo scavenger hunt with a “Where’s Warhol” contest for adults, celebrating the new book from Laurence King. Warhol himself, or rather herself (store co-owner Nina Barrett) also showed up for the party.

A big crowd turned out for the Waldo prize drawing at [words] Bookstore in Maplewood, N.J.

Here the grand prize winner is congratulated by the Zimiles family, owners of [words] Bookstore.

These brothers were among the first to visit all 25 local shops, including a pizzeria, yarn shop, toy store, and the children’s museum – and to claim their reward at Eagle Harbor Book Company on Bainbridge Island, Wash.

Waldo Jr. wins the look-alike contest at Changing Hands in Phoenix, Ariz. “We had a lot of fun this year and can’t wait to join in on the fun again next year!” said children’s book buyer Brandi Stewart.

Waldo hunters show off their passports at Changing Hands, in Tempe, Ariz.

Hera, aka Woof, dresses up for the Waldo party at Orinda Books in Orinda, Calif.

Susan Reckers at Orinda Books shows off the Waldo passport and sticker book.

Two kids pose with Waldo at the Find Waldo Local party at BookPeople of Moscow, Idaho. “We had an open house celebration that went on all day long on Thursday, July 28, to cut down on the chaos we’ve experienced in years past when the almost 100 people who searched for Waldo all showed up at the same hour for a party. We got many compliments on our open house format this year; parents really appreciated the less stressful prize pick-up and celebration cookie scene,” said manager/co-owner Carol Spurling.

Prepping for BookPeople of Moscow’s costume contest.

“Our party started off with a store-wide game, which filled the air with red and white balloons,” said Beth Albrecht, owner of the Magic Tree Bookstore in Oak Park, Ill. “After that, our three Waldos hid all over our historic building for a great game of Find Waldo. We concluded with cake and treats.”

Hunting balloons at Magic Tree Bookstore.

Waldo, aka Kendra Peterson, owner of King City Books in Mt. Vernon, Ill., waves to fans.

Waldo poses with King City Books’ grand prize winner.

“We had an incredibly special Waldo party for all of our finishers last Friday,” said Suzanne Droppert, owner of Liberty Bay Books in Poulsbo, Wash. “Before the party, we received a call from Lt. Cdr. Brian Ross, who had just landed at SeaTac airport, home from being stationed overseas. He knew his very pregnant wife, Jessica, and their three children would be attending our Waldo party and asked if we would help him surprise his family. We hid Brian in a neighboring restaurant and dressed him up as Waldo. He sat down and started talking to his kids in costume and they didn’t recognize him. He took his glasses off and they still didn’t recognize him. He took his hat off, and his daughter Eden looked up and said, ‘Daddy?!’ ” Photo: Suzanne Droppert.

Waldo (Brian Ross), wife (Jessica) and children (Eden, Koban, and Nolan) at Liberty Bay Books. Photo: Suzanne Droppert.

July 31 was a busy day at Titcomb’s Bookshop in East Sandwich, Mass. In the morning the store celebrated the new Harry Potter release, and in the afternoon it cleared the decks for a Waldo party. Here are some of the winners of the Where’s Waldo contest.

The grand prize winner poses near the cake at Titcomb’s Bookshop.

Party time at Lake Forest Book Store in Lake Forest, Ill.

Waldo hides in plain sight at Lake Forest Book Store.

“We decided to ride in the local Memorial Day Parade in an old former fire department truck belonging to one of our employees,” said marketing and events coordinator Rachel Bellavia of Read Between the Lynes in Woodstock, Ill. “We had Waldo ride in the back while owner Arlene Lynes and I walked and tossed candy with information about the Waldo hunt on it. It was a hot day but a lot of fun. The whole way we heard delighted exclamations of ‘I found Waldo!’ ”

Waldo leads storytime at the We Found Waldo party at The Bookshelf in Thomasville, Ga.

Here’s Waldo at Apricot Lane, a store near Fairfield University Bookstore in Fairfield, Ct.

Even the school mascot joins in the fun at the Waldo party at Fairfield University Bookstore.

“The children loved Waldo,” said Theresa D-Litzenberger, events coordinator at A Book for All Seasons in Leavenworth, Wash.

“This is our fifth time participating in this great event, and our community looks forward to it every July,” said Mindy Kemper, events coordinator at Sparta Books in Sparta, N.J. For the final celebration, she hid 20 Waldos in the bookstore.

Grand prize winner at Sparta Books.

Waldo and Wenda with party-goers at Phoenix Books in Rutland, Vt.

“We had such a great time and a huge turnout. We can’t wait until next year,” Clare Brooks, owner of Little Village Toy & Book Shop in Littleton, N.H. Here she poses with a prize winner.