The beloved children’s book “Where’s Waldo?” comes to life this month in downtown Fort Collins.
The scavenger hunt, put on by Old Firehouse Books, features one 6-inch Waldo cutout waiting to be found in each of the 25 participating downtown stores.
“We anticipated children participating, but the children’s age seems to go up a bit,” said Susie Wilmer, owner of Old Firehouse Books.
Participants receive a passport that names all of the businesses taking part in the event and a stamp mark to confirm that each Waldo has been found.
If participants find 10 Waldo cutouts, they win a Waldo button, a coupon for $1 off a “Where’s Waldo?” book and an invitation to the “Where’s Waldo?” party held at the end of the month. If they find 20 Waldo cutouts, participants win all of the above and are entered in a drawing to win six “Where’s Waldo?” books. As a bonus, a cutout of Waldo’s dog Woof hides somewhere in Old Firehouse Books.
The buttons and coupons go to the first 125 participants to complete the scavenger hunt.
“We’ve had four completed already on the first day,” Wilmer said. “It’s a fun summer thing that lots of independent bookstores do all over the United States.”
This is the first year Old Firehouse Books has participated in the scavenger hunt, and they plan to partake for years to come.
The hunt for Waldo has drawn many into businesses they have not visited before.
“It’s a good event, we see kids having a good time,” said John Bonner, owner of Haley’s Comics, which has been in Old Town for more than 26 years. “I’m sure they are going around visiting stores they haven’t been in before. It’s the parents that will more likely be back than the kids.”
Bonner enjoys moving the Waldo cutout around. He believes his store is probably one of the hardest places to find Waldo.
Al’s Newsstand, the oldest retailer in downtown Fort Collins, is also one of the 25 participating businesses.
“It’s positive to have new faces in the stores to introduce them to what we’re doing,” said Pam Orzell, manager at Al’s Newsstand. “No matter how old you are, scavenger hunts are fun.”
Waldo himself will make a real life appearance at the “Where’s Waldo?” party that will be held at 10 a.m. July 31 at Old Firehouse Books.
Collegian Staff Reporter Dina Alibrahim Fike can be reached at email@example.com.