You have a new mission: Find the bespectacled man hiding in Raleigh.
Hes small maybe 9 inches. He sports a red-and-white striped sweater and hat. He stands with a cane. And hes cardboard, so dont fret he wont run away when you find him.
If you can find him, that is.
In Great Outdoor Provision Co. of Cameron Village, boats and paddles, puffy sleeping bags, warm and cool clothing and a dizzying array of fishing supplies decorate the walls. Hats, camping food and backpacks flood the center. And somewhere in the middle of the distractingly colorful store, he is hiding.
You might have no idea where to start. At the fishing section? Maybe with the backpacks?
A store associate may interrupt your perplexity.
Is there anything I can help you find?
Its the 25th birthday of that elusive man whose adventures in multiple Wheres Waldo? books caught the attention of children in the 80s and 90s, and Quail Ridge Books and Music is celebrating with a city-wide scavenger hunt.
Find Waldo in Raleigh allows children and adults to find cardboard Waldos in 22 local independent businesses during a month-long, three-dimensional scavenger hunt, bringing to life the fun and memories of finding the printed character in crowded scenes.
Its good for little kids. Its good for their parents who grew up with Waldo, said Sarah Goddin, general manager of Quail Ridge Books. The kids who started with Waldo, who started at age 5 or 10, are now 30 and 35. Its sort of a nostalgic thing for them and their parents.
The project is a branch of the current publisher Candlewick Press Find Waldo Local, in which 250 independent booksellers across all 50 states join with other independent businesses to promote themselves and Waldo, whose first book was published in 1987. Members of the organization Shop Local Raleigh, which supports local independent businesses, are participating.
Were hoping that itll get people to go out and explore the community, said Shop Local Raleigh executive director Jennifer Martin.
Sara Fitzpatrick, owner of The Cupcake Shoppe, agreed, saying that the network of Waldo-hiding businesses helps independent businesses support each other.
It seemed like a fun way to expose our business to potential new customers and also support other local mom-and-pop establishments in the area, she wrote in an e-mail. Plus, who doesnt love a good scavenger hunt?
The promotion takes place during the entire month of July. Once customers find a Waldo in 10 different shops, they can enter a drawing to win prizes donated by the businesses and Candlewick Press. The Cupcake Shoppe donated a gift card for a dozen cupcakes. The drawing will be held August 1 at Quail Ridge Books. A list of participating businesses and a map are available on the Quail Ridge Books website.
Martin said she ensured participating shops are spread throughout Raleigh so it would be easier for every shopper to try to find Waldo. She also said most shops are family-friendly, allowing old and young Waldo fans to have fun.
Paula Burke, Internet and communications director for Burke Brothers Hardware, said finding Waldo in her fathers shop will be challenging.
Coming into our store, because there are so many things in such a small space, anything is kind of like finding a needle in a haystack.
But the iconic red-and-white striped sweater will stand out enough that the youngest of fans could spot him.
Everything is black and white in the store because tools arent that colorful, but the Waldo figurine is pretty exciting, Burke said.
Arlen Mabe, front house manager at The Cupcake Shoppe, said cupcakes and Waldo hunters go hand in hand.
We get lots of kids, lots of families, so Im sure well be getting lots of Waldo fans, she said.