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Search is on to find Where’s Waldo? in 25 Kent stores

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KENT—Children and adults are starting the annual process of finding Waldo hidden in over two dozen stores in town this month.

The ‘Where’s Waldo?’ search is on to find the character in 25 Kent businesses in July. Information is available at the House of Books. Photo by Lynn Mellis Worthington

The unusual scavenger hunt attracted the attention of Finn McClain of Kent and NYC, as Finn searched the House of Books for the character Friday, July 5.

“We’ve done it for four years,” said his mother, Christina McClain.

“It is fun to go into a lot of the stores,” Finn said. “I have a few of the books.”

Those interested in participating are encouraged to stop by the House of Books to pick up their Waldo Passport that has the rules and the center section listing all the participating Kent stores. 

“If they get all the stamps, this is their ticket to enter a raffle,” explained Emily Gilbow, who is the Children’s Specialist at the book store. “All of the stores have a small Waldo in them.”

Participants who collect at least 10 store stamps/stickers/signatures on their Waldo passport and bring it to the House of Books are able to claim a “I found Waldo” temporary tattoo and $1 off coupon for the House of Books. For those who find Waldo at all 25 locations and get the passport marked accordingly, they are invited to the party on Sunday, July 28 at 1 p.m. to win prizes, including surprise prizes donated by several Kent stores. Participants must be present to win. The completed passport makes someone eligible to be entered to win a six-volume deluxe set of Waldo books.

“It’s fun. I feel like the businesses get into it every year,” Gilbow said. “Kids come back every year.”

She called it enjoyable for all ages and said there are adults that do the challenge.

“Usually they have a child with them,” Gilbow said.

A display of the ‘Where’s Waldo?’ series of books available in the House of Books. The grand prize winner of the contest will win six books in the series. Photo by Lynn Mellis Worthington

The “Where’s Waldo?” books have been a phenomenon since Martin Handford first published his creation “Where’s Wally?” in 1987 in the United Kingdom by Walker Books. The distinctive character dressed in red and white stripes is placed in crowded scenes and readers are challenged to find him on each page of the books.

The House of Books is one of 310 local bookstores participating this year in the annual summer contest ponsored by Candlewick Press and the American Booksellers Association. Booksellers must apply to participate and be selected. Penguin Random House lists 26 different titles of the “Where’s Waldo” books in the series. 

Participating stores in Kent: 45 on Main; No 109 Cheese Market; Ace Hardware; Covered Bridge Electric Bike; The Covered Wagon Country Store; Cozzy’s on Main; Craven Contemporary; Davis IGA; Fife ‘’n Drum Restaurant/Gift Show; Fotodiary; Heron American Craft Gallery; Kenise Barnes Fine Art; House of Books; Kent Memorial Library; Kent Station Pharmacy; Kingsley Tavern; oHHo; Peggy Mercury; Rock Cobble Farm in the Red Barn; Sportsmen’s Connection; Sundog Shoe and Leather; Tarot in Thyme/Chestnut Woodworking & Antique Flooring; Terston; Wilson’s; and Woodford’s General Store.

Lynn Worthington
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