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posted: 7/5/2012 10:57 AM

Search for Waldo at Naperville businesses this July

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  • More than 20 Naperville businesses will take part in the national campaign "Where's Waldo? on Main Street, USA" throughout July by hiding Waldo in their store.

    More than 20 Naperville businesses will take part in the national campaign "Where's Waldo? on Main Street, USA" throughout July by hiding Waldo in their store.
    Courtesy of Anderson's Bookshop

By Annalisa Rodriguez

Waldo won't just be lurking in "Where's Waldo?" books this summer. Throughout July, he'll be hiding in Naperville businesses waiting to be found.

Children and families can hunt for Waldo in more than 20 stores and businesses in Naperville as part of "Where's Waldo? on Main Street, USA," a national campaign of the American Booksellers Association and Candlewick Press, the publisher of "Where's Waldo?" books.

In celebration of Waldo's 25th anniversary, 250 independent bookstores across the nation -- including Naperville's Anderson's Bookshop -- partnered with the American Booksellers Association and Candlewick Press to encourage people to visit local businesses as part of the Shop Local movement.

"We decided it was a great way for people to get to know our independent businesses in Naperville," said Candace Purdom, who is in charge of publicity and events at Anderson's Bookshop. "In order to participate, the kids need to come to local businesses to find Waldo. Maybe there are some stores they haven't visited before."

Those who wish to participate can visit Anderson's to pick up a "Find Waldo in Naperville" search list with the names of the local businesses taking part and collect a card at the business for each Waldo they spot.

Participants can win a Waldo button and an entry for larger prizes, to be drawn on July 31, by collecting cards in 16 or more businesses and turning them in at Anderson's. The grand prize is a complete six-volume set of Waldo books.

A shorter version of the hunt requires participants to collect cards from eight businesses, after which they can pick up a Waldo button at Anderson's.

The idea for the scavenger hunt stemmed from a similar Waldo promotion done by Cape Cod's Eight Cousins Bookstore. More than 500 children hunted for Waldo in local businesses around Falmouth, Mass.

"It was sort of adopted from that store," Purdom said. "Individual bookstores across the country were offered this opportunity."

Purdom said that through events like the Waldo hunt, Anderson's provides a unique experience for its customers in an age when more people are turning to the Internet for their shopping.

"We try to differentiate ourselves between some of the chain stores," she said. "These are the kinds of things you can't do online. We just want to showcase out uniqueness and how we're different from that kind of experience."

It's always fun to look for Waldo, Purdom said, and the hunt provides something fun for families to do in the summertime.

"He's kind of iconic now with the red-and-white-striped shirt and black-rimmed glasses," she said. "It's his 25th anniversary, so we're happy to celebrate him."

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