If you’re not already on the hunt for the famed bespectacled guy in stripes, you need to be asking yourself ‘Where’s Waldo?’ At least that’s what your kids will be asking as Lemuria plays host to Candlewick Press’s summer celebration in selected cities through the end of July.
Last year, Candlewick began utilizing the Waldo hunt, a chance to win prizes, in independent book sellers like Lemuria. Their aim was to increase foot traffic in the store and other local businesses during a usually slow summer month. It was also to boost awareness about shopping local.
But Lemuria’s Hannah Hester says it’s more. “It was something for families to do with their kids while they were out of school,” she explains. Lemuria’s blog encourages parents to get out and explore the city, stopping for a shake in Fondren at Brent’s or visiting the Eudora Welty House in Belhaven. The effort was deemed a success nationwide so several additional book stores were added for this second year.
Hester asked nineteen local businesses to hide a 6″ Waldo somewhere in their store for families to find all throughout this month. And the game is played like this: each child gets a “passport” which is a sheet of paper with the names and addresses of all 20 participating businesses (including Lemuria). When a child or family enters a business and finds the hidden Waldo, they get an employee to sign their passport. Once ten Waldos are found, children can come to Lemuria to get a goodie bag full of gifts from the participating businesses.
Hester says the eager hunter can reap a bigger reward. “If they find all twenty, they get their name entered for a grand prize drawing at the end of the month, a collectors box set of Waldo books,” she says. The grand prize drawing will be on Saturday, July 27 at 11:00 in Lemuria’s Dot Com building.
The store is planning a carnival themed party that day, having the participating businesses present as an extravaganza of sorts. Hester says “We see getting the community involved, promoting all of the great businesses who have participated one more time.” Additional prizes are advance reader copies of books, certificates for free merchandise from participating businesses and more. “We want a real hoopla for the July 27 event,” she says.