For more than 30 years, kids and adults alike have picked up copies of the “Where’s Waldo?” book series to see if they could spot the iconic red and white stripe wearing character amongst busy, chaotic illustrations. Now, people can try to find Waldo in real life right here in Juneau.
Six years ago, Candlewick Press which prints the book series, and the American Booksellers Association (ABA), launched a Find Waldo Local campaign. The idea behind it was to encourage communities to shop local by searching for miniature Waldos inside stores. Only 250 ABA member stores nationwide are chosen to participate each year, and for 2018, Hearthside Books was selected.
“They want to help support the local economies and have a lot of fun. I thought it would be fun for downtown businesses,” said Brenda Weaver, owner of Hearthside Books. It’s a good way to remind locals amidst tourist season that they’re here, she said. “It highlights the downtown businesses that are there year-round.”
Hearthside has partnered with the Downtown Business Association (DBA) to host the event in 25 downtown, local businesses for the month of July.
“We definitely support any shop local initiative, so this is definitely something we were interested in helping out with,” said Dana Herndon of Downtown Business Association. She noted there will be a variety of establishments in on the campaign beyond retailors, from bed and breakfasts to museums and the Juneau Public Library.
“We are thrilled to participate at Kindred Post,” owner Christy NaMee Eriksen told the Capital City Weekly. “We’re huge fans of activities that bring people together through curiosity and play in our downtown neighborhood. We’re grateful to Hearthside Books and the Downtown Business Association for organizing.”
How it works
At each participating location, a person can pick up a Find Waldo Juneau passport which will be stamped or signed each time they find the six-inch Waldo standee hiding in the store. When in Hearthside, the Find Waldo Local headquarters, participants are also encouraged to look out for Waldo’s and his friends’ lost items: Waldo’s key, Woof’s bone, Wenda’s camera, Wizard Whitebeard’s scroll, and Odlaw’s binoculars.
Once the passport is signed or stamped 10 times by an employee signifying the participant has found Waldo, the person can bring their passport to Hearthside Books, and claim a “I Found Waldo Local” button and a $1 off coupon, which are limited to the first 125 participants. If the participant gets their passport signed 20 times they can enter a drawing for an eight-volume set of Waldo books and other prizes donated by participating businesses. The prize drawing will be on Tuesday, July 31 at 5:30 p.m. at the downtown Hearthside Books.
Participating businesses are Hearthside Books & Toys; Juneau Public Library; Kindred Post; Alaska Art Gallery; Bustin’ Out Boutique; TK MaGuires; 60 Degrees Coffee & Tea; Juneau-Douglas City Museum; 4th Coast Outfitters; Alaska Robotics; EFFY; Juneau Drug; Juneau Arts and Culture Center; Alaska Capital Inn; Peterson’s Pretzels; Baranof Hotel; Rainy Retreat Books; APK Division of Libraries, Archives and Museums; Harbor Tea and Spice; Coppa; Alaska USA Federal Credit Union; Juneau Artists Gallery; The Canvas; Juneau’s Imagination Station; and Foggy Mountain Shop.
The easy way to find a participating is business is to check for the Find Waldo sign in the front window.
Keep your eyes open Juneau – you might just spot a life-sized Waldo wandering downtown, too.
• Clara Miller is the Capital City Weekly editor. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.