If you don’t know him from the lanky body and long face, the red-and-white striped shirt and prominent spectacles will definitely give it away. Waldo (of Where’s Waldo) will be making quite a few appearances in downtown Asheville this July in support of shopping local. Those who wish to participate in the movement — by spotting the character in storefronts and getting a “Find Waldo Local in Downtown Asheville!” passport stamped at participating locations — are eligible to earn prizes upon returning a completed passport to Malaprop’s Bookstore and Café. The first 125 participants with at least 10 stamps will be awarded, and those with more than 20 stamps will be entered to win a six-volume deluxe Waldo book set.
The hunt is being organized by Waldo publisher Candlewick Press in a bid to rejuvenate interest in the book series while calling attention to 250 community bookstores across the nation, including Malaprop’s. For information about participating, call Laura Donohoe of Malaprop’s at 254-6734.
Here is the full release from Malaprops:
Where’s Waldo? In Downtown Asheville, of course! The famous children’s book character in the striped shirt and black-rimmed specs is visiting twenty-five different local businesses throughout our community this July. Those who spot him can win prizes, including buttons, book coupons and more. From Laughing Mermaid Soap Co. on College Street to Duncan and York Modern Market on Lexington Ave., from Spiritex on Haywood St. to The Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar in the Grove Arcade, Waldo figures will be well hidden in local business establishments as well as the Pack Square Memorial Library and the Asheville Visitor Center! Find Waldo Local is a great summer vacation activity, and a wonderful way for residents to support local business and the Shop Local movement.
Anyone who wishes to participate can pick up a “Find Waldo Local in Downtown Asheville!” passport with the names of all the participating sites and get their passport stamped or signed for each Waldo they spot. The first 125 Waldo seekers to get their passports stamped or signed at ten or more sites can bring their passports back to Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe to collect prizes. Collecting store stamps or signatures at twenty or more businesses will entitle diligent seekers entry into a grand prize drawing on July 31, with the top prize being a 6-volume deluxe set of Waldo books.
Where’s Waldo is the creation of Martin Handford, whose entertaining drawings of crowd scenes swept the world in the late eighties. Since then, the Where’s Waldo books have held a cherished spot on bookstore shelves the world over. There are now over 63 million Waldo books in print worldwide and they’ve been translated into over 30 languages. An entire generation has grown up searching for Waldo and his cast of wandering companions.
In celebration of Waldo’s longevity and popularity, his American publisher, Candlewick Press, is once again teaming up with the American Booksellers Association and 250 independent bookstores all across the country, including Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe here in Downtown Asheville, for some hide and seek fun as well as to encourage communities to patronize their local businesses. There is no charge to participate, and the hunt lasts for the entire month of July. For more information about hunting for Waldo in Downtown Asheville, call Laura Donohoe at Malaprop’s Bookstore at 828-254-6734.