Online preregistration to participate in the seventh annual Find Waldo Local opens on Tuesday, January 23.
The 2018 campaign, which runs the entire month of July, brings together small business communities across the nation in hosting scavenger hunts for the striped and bespectacled picture book character. Hunts lead searchers through participating stores in their local shopping districts. Waldo hunters are eligible for prizes throughout the month at participating businesses, and celebrations will culminate in a closing party at the organizing bookstore.
ABA member stores will have until Thursday, March 1, to sign up on BookWeb for the campaign, which is co-sponsored by Candlewick Press and the American Booksellers Association. Participation is capped at 250 stores.
“Over the past six summers, more than 500 indie bookstores have hosted Find Waldo Local,” said Elise Supovitz, executive director of independent retail and Canada sales for Candlewick Press. “Candlewick is incredibly gratified that our 2017 host bookstores have overwhelmingly asked us to repeat Find Waldo Local for yet another year.”
Candlewick will once again provide bookstores with a toolkit containing everything needed to launch a Find Waldo Local event in their communities. The kit will include 25 mini Waldo standees, 25 window clings, 125 prize buttons, a Waldo poster, eight Waldo prize books, reproducible passports, $1 coupons, party activities, bag stuffers, and a sample pitch letter and press release as well as social media assets for Facebook and Twitter.
New this year, the series’ five intrepid travelers — Waldo, Wenda, Woof, Wizard Whitebeard, and Odlaw — have dropped their precious items in local bookstores. Waldo seekers will set out on a search to find Waldo’s key, Woof’s bone, Wenda’s camera, Wizard Whitebeard’s scroll, and Odlaw’s binoculars somewhere in the host bookstore. A punch-out sheet with the five items will be included in the toolkit.
In addition, Candlewick has created an 11"x17" photo frame that features the text “I found Waldo shopping at my local bookstore!” A printed version of the red-and-white-striped frame will be available in the toolkit distributed or as an editable PDF in a digital toolkit.