Business at some places can be a little slow during the hot month of July. But in Fort Worth, the search for Waldo is prompting people to shop local.
Waldo is the iconic character in a children’s book. The elusive traveler gets lost in crowds and the challenge is to find him in the illustrations.
That search for the famous fellow in black-rimmed glasses is happening in real life in the Find Waldo Local event hosted by Monkey and Dog Books. The monthlong passport program is fun for kids and helps families discover local businesses.
“Find Waldo Local has 25 different places that are local vendors here in Fort Worth, and there is a tiny Waldo hidden in each of those places. And children and some adults go and hunt for Waldo, At the end of July, they come back to our store and we have a big party,” said Shelley Lowe, the owner of the independent book store that’s the starting point for the search.
“It’s been on hiatus the last two years because of the COVID, and they started it back up this year. So, we said yes, we definitely want to play,” Lowe said.
The search for Waldo could be good for business in Fort Worth, say local business owners. NBC 5’s Deborah Ferguson tried it out for herself.
“Some of the businesses have participated in the past, so they call us. Because it does draw people in. So they called and said, ‘are you doing it? We want to participate,'” said bookseller Lisa Wright. “We also went to new businesses that have just opened, and the idea is to draw people to these independently owned stores.”
“We so look forward to doing this every summer. The kids come in and get all excited to help them. It’s a rush between all of us to see who helps them out. It is so fun hearing about all the adventures these families have within our local community and we are happy to be part it,” said Holli Ackerman the owner of Cityview Florist and Gifts where Waldo was recently spotted hiding among some stuffed animals.
Wright says at least a couple of hundred kids have picked up the form that’s stamped by vendors once Waldo has been found. They have until the end of July to complete the search and get all 25 businesses to stamp their passport.
It’s not too late to find Waldo. To get a passport, stop by Monkey and Dog Books, 3608 W. 7th St., Fort Worth 76107 and start the search. The search will end back at the bookstore with a party on July 31.
Shelly Lowe, owner of Monkey and Dog Books, and bookseller Lisa Wright invite families to join the fun of Find Waldo Local.
Candlewick Press, the publisher of the Waldo series, and the American Booksellers Association co-sponsor the nationwide Find Waldo Local event.