Booksellers are encouraged to sign up now for the July 2017 celebration of Find Waldo Local, which will feature special swag for bookstores in celebration of the iconic character’s 30th anniversary. Preregistration for the sixth annual event, sponsored by Candlewick Press and the American Booksellers Association, is capped at 250 ABA member stores. The signup deadline is March 1.
Every July for the past five years, Find Waldo Local has taken customers on scavenger hunts through small business communities across the U.S. in search of the elusive, bespectacled children’s picture book character, with the month-long celebration culminating in a final party at the host bookstore. This year, Candlewick has added some extra promotional items to the Find Waldo Local program event kit to help booksellers and their communities celebrate Waldo’s 30th.
“In the past five years, more than 475 unique indie bookstores have hosted Find Waldo Local with more than 12,000 local businesses participating,” said Elise Supovitz, Candlewick’s executive director of independent retail and Canadian sales. “This year, come join us in celebrating Waldo’s 30th anniversary and the Shop Local movement by registering for Find Waldo Local 2017 — bigger and better than ever, with a new character to search for and the best event kit yet!”
Candlewick’s 2017 event kit will contain everything bookstores need to launch a Find Waldo Local event in their communities. Valued at $325, this year’s kit will include 25 mini Waldo standees, 25 window clings, 125 prize buttons, eight Waldo prize books, reproducible passports, $1 coupons, party activities, posters, and bag stuffers, as well as a sample pitch letter and press release and social media assets for Facebook and Twitter.
In honor of Waldo’s 30th, anniversary, Candlewick has also thrown in a mini-standee for a new character that customers can search for: Waldo’s friend Wenda. The 2017 kit also includes additional new and improved swag to spice up bookstores’ party activities, including a 40-inch Waldo standee good for photo ops with kids, full-color decorative bunting to hang in your store window, a pack of 100 sticker sheets, and a special edition Waldo 30th anniversary tote bag. Bookstores can also take advantage of another perk this year: the new minimum quantity for ordering will be 30 books.
“Since our first Find Waldo Local in 2014, we’ve seen enthusiasm and participation skyrocket in our community,” said Marlene England, co-owner of Curious Iguana in Frederick, Maryland. “Find Waldo Local has become a much-loved summer tradition in our downtown, and it’s something we look forward to all year long.”