Locals are on the lookout for a man hiding out at 25 Palouse-area businesses, who is known for his dark-rimmed glasses, bobble hat and red-and-white-striped shirt.For the second year in a row, BookPeople of Moscow asked to take part in a nationwide challenge sponsored by Candlewick Press, which will send participants to look for Waldo at sites, such as Moscow Chamber of Commerce or Paradise Creek Bicycles.
Waldo, an illustrated children’s book character, was made famous in the “Where’s Waldo?” series, in which readers are challenged to search for him among many similar faces, colors and objects.
Waldo passports are available at BookPeople, which gives players locations to begin their search. People will look for cardboard placards of Waldo — about 6 inches tall — and once found, businesses stamp the passports.
Jesica DeHart, BookPeople assistant manager, said about 300 bookstores in the nation participate in this year’s event. In Moscow, 19 businesses will take part in BookPeople’s event and six businesses joined in Pullman.
“I want people to get to know the area here,” DeHart said.
This year, the first 100 Waldo seekers to get their passports stamped or signed at 10 or more sites can collect prizes at BookPeople. DeHart said many of the participating businesses also donate loot for prizes, such as gift cards, T-Shirts or store discounts. Those who receive 20 or more stamps will be entered to win the grand prize — a six-volume set of Waldo books — which will be handed out at the “Where’s Waldo?” party July 31 at BookPeople.
“Some of the businesses get really into it,” DeHart said.
Last year, Yarn Underground hosted a Waldo hat-knitting event and Safari Pearl ordered Waldo costumes, DeHart said. About 125 people found enough Waldos to be entered to win a grand prize, DeHart said.
Hyperspud Sports owner John Crock is taking part in the Waldo event for the second year in a row.
“‘Where’s Waldo?’ forces people to walk around the store,” Crock said. “It’s true that it’s kids, but the kids are always accompanied by parents.”
Last year, Crock donated jump ropes for prizes and plans to donate another gift this year.
“(Crock) put Waldo in the back of the store,” DeHart said. “Customers were coming in for the first time, who didn’t know that he sold socks or backpacks.”
DeHart said July is one of the slowest months for local businesses and Waldo forces locals to venture out.
Those hoping to search for Waldo can visit BookPeople of Moscow to pick up a passport during the month of July. For more information, call (208) 882-2669.
Treffry can be contacted at email@example.com or (208) 883-4640. Follow her on Twitter at: @LindseyTreffry.
->if you go:
WHAT: Where’s Waldo on the Palouse?
WHEN: Now through July 30
WHERE: BookPeople of Moscow, 521 S. Main St., and participating businesses
COST: Free (unless you buy something at the stores)
NOTE: BookPeople’s “Where’s Waldo?” party will take place July 31 with a grand prize drawing and costume contest.