July 1st starts our 3rd annual Find Waldo Local event. This event originated in Falmouth and has occurred nationally for the past two summers. Participants can look for Waldo in 25 (!) participating businesses on or near Main Street. Once you’ve found him, you get a ‘stamp’ in your Waldo passport. Find Waldo in 20+ locations and you can be entered into the prize drawing.
Find Waldo Local has been an incredibly popular event for the past couple of years. Families will stop by to pick up the form and then come back a few hours later with a completed sheet. They spend all afternoon walking to every single one of the participating business. Sometimes people play over the course of a few weeks, looking for Waldo as they go about their normal summer plans. Either way, the game is a lot of fun for everybody. For me, however, the fun has been working with the owners, managers, and employees of Main Street businesses. It’s easy to talk about collaborating, but then we all get so busy with our own worlds. Find Waldo Local has provided a great opportunity to visit different shops and chat with the employees there. This week, as I was dropping off the information packets, I had the chance to talk with one of the librarians about a great new book we both loved. Some businesses have participated in past events and staff members welcomed me with, “oh, is it that time again!?” A few employees told anecdotes from previous summers and still had last year’s Waldo on display! Some businesses are participating for the first time and were adorably enthusiastic to hear all about the event and how it works. A couple of people even gave me tours! Everyone has been absolutely amazing about sending information, training all the summer employees, and offering suggestions for ways to make the event even better. A lot of people will be looking for Waldo this summer. I’m starting to feel like I’ve found some friends.