BREMERTON — There’s Waldo. And there. And there.
In fact, Waldo can be found in July in 25 downtown Bremerton stores and 35 stores in Poulsbo.
Liberty Bay Books is again participating in the annual “Where’s Waldo?” scavenger hunt, sponsored by “Where’s Waldo?” publisher Candlewick Press. Liberty Bay Books employees went to many local businesses in both cities to get others to join in on the hunt.
“It’s a fun, free, family event,” said Kate Larson, manager of Liberty Bay Books’ Bremerton location. “It builds community. It’ll maybe get you to see some places that maybe you didn’t know existed, especially in Bremerton, where there’s a lot of new stores. It’s a good way to spend the summer.”
Here’s how it works:.
Participants start at Liberty Bay Books, either in Bremerton (409 Pacific Ave. No. 202) or Poulsbo (18881 Front St. NE, Suite D) and pick up a passport with all the locations to find Waldo. Then, they go to the businesses listed, find where Waldo is hiding, get their passport signed, and move on to the next location.
Passports are limited to one per group or family, but all participating children are eligible for the prizes.
If a group finds Waldo in 23 of the 25 businesses in Bremerton, they’re invited to a pizza party on July 31. Poulsbo participants also get to go to a pizza party on July 31, if they find Waldo at 30 of the 35 businesses there.
“The parents love it because it keeps the kids occupied while they look in the stores,” said Suzanne Droppert, owner of Liberty Bay Books.
“The parents say, ‘This is so wonderful, we love it.’ Candlewick loves it because it sells a lot of ‘Waldo’ books. We love it because we see families, because it’s a free community event. It’s really about your community and celebrating your small town.”
In Bremerton, groups who find at least three Waldos can get a button and sticker prize, Larson said, and the first 125 to do so also get a coupon for $1 off a “Where’s Waldo?” book.
In Poulsbo, the people who get invited to the winner’s party are also eligible for prizes donated from the participating businesses.
“You have all month to do it, so you can start on the first week and then finish it on like, the third week, and still be invited,” Larson said. “But don’t lose your passport, or else you’ll have to start over.”
It can be difficult to find Waldo, but Larson said he will always be displayed visibly — no hiding Waldo in the pages of a book, for example. However, she said some businesses allow kids who find Waldo to re-hide him somewhere else in the store. (But not all businesses do, so ask before re-hiding Waldo.)
“It’s just a really wonderful community event,” Droppert said. “We get kids starting in about April asking, ‘When is Waldo starting.’ ”
Larson added, “It’s something to do that’s not digital. It’s a reason to go downtown and meet people.”
For more information about the “Where’s Waldo?” scavenger hunt, contact Liberty Bay Books: in Bremerton, 360-626-3430; in Poulsbo, 360-779-5909. Or visit libertybay books.com.
The scavenger hunt starts July 1; for the party, you must be finished by July 30.
The Bremerton branch will be closed July 2-4 for Independence Day, and the Poulsbo store will have reduced holiday hours, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m, on July 4.