DUCK: Iconic children’s book character star of summer fun in ‘Shop Local’ movement

A beloved book character does his bit to support the Shop Local initiative in Duck and Manteo.

Where’s Waldo? Have you looked in Duck or Manteo?

The iconic children’s book character — known for his red-and-white-striped shirt and black-rimmed specs — is visiting several Outer Banks businesses throughout Duck and Manteo this month.

In Duck, he can be found at Aqua Restaurant and Spa, Island Bookstore in the Scarborough Faire Shopping Village, Kitty Hawk Kites, Untucked, Zen & Zip, and Wave Pizza, among other businesses.

In Manteo, look for him at 24 businesses, including Downtown Books, 105 Sir Walter Raleigh St.; Garden Deli & Pizzeria, 512 Hwy. 64; Jumpmasters Trampoline Park, 728 US Hwy. 64; Laughing Lollipop, 101 Budleigh St., Suite B; and Shut the Barn Door, 107 Budleigh St., Suite F.

The competition is a joint effort by the American Booksellers Association and 250 independent bookstores across the country, and Candlewick Press, the American publisher of Martin Handford’s blockbuster children’s book series. The “Where’s Waldo” series has been translated into more than 31 languages and has sold 70 million books in print worldwide.

The event is an effort to encourage communities to patronize their local businesses. There is no charge to participate, and the hunt lasts for the entire month of July.

Each participating business gets a little 6-inch tall Waldo figurine that they “‘hide” somewhere in the establishment.

“Find Waldo Local is a free, fun, family-friendly month long scavenger hunt sponsored by Candlewick Press,” says Jamie Hope Anderson, owner of Downtown Books and Duck’s Cottage Coffee & Books.

“We have such a good time. ...We’ve partnered with 24 other businesses throughout Manteo. Some are downtown, some out on the main highway. We’re going to be doing our final party at the library, so this year, the Manteo branch of the Dare County Library is part of the fun.”

According to the guidelines, Waldo must be hidden in a public area of the business, “and it has to be in plain sight, but that doesn’t mean it has to be easy to find,” she says. “They can move it every day, if they want, or if they find the perfect place, it can stay there.”

Anyone who wants to participate can pick up a “Find Waldo Local” passport, which contains the names of all the participating sites, and get their passport stamped or signed for each Waldo they spot.

“When they collect 10, they can come back to the bookstore and get a Waldo button and a coupon,” she says. “If they collect 20, they are entered into a prize drawing that will take place on July 31 for a variety of Waldo books. This party will take place at the Manteo library.”

In Duck, collecting store stamps or signatures at 20 or more businesses will entitle intrepid and determined seekers an entry into a grand-prize drawing on July 31, with the top prize being an eight-volume set of Waldo books.

For more information, contact Downtown Books at (252) 473-1056.

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