The community’s search for Waldo begins


Customer poses with a Waldo prop found in BookPeople of Moscow.

CHLOE GRUNDMEIER, Evergreen reporter

Cracking open one of those giant books and searching the busy pages for the man in the red and white stripes was a memorable experience for many children.

Candlewick Press celebrates the book series through the “Where’s Waldo” search every year. All over the country, bookstores in big cities and small towns alike apply to be a part of this search and bring “Where’s Waldo” to their community.

BookPeople of Moscow applied and will organize the host businesses of “Where’s Waldo on the Palouse” for the sixth year in a row. Throughout the month of July, searchers of all ages are able to wander through local businesses, such as Hodgins Drug and Hobby in Moscow and Brused Books in Pullman, to find hidden Waldos and fill out their search passports.

The hidden Waldos are about a few inches in length.

“The search is a really fun way for people to learn more about the community and find out what all the host locations have for sale or what they do,” BookPeople co-owner Carol Spurling said. “It’s a very family-friendly event, and it is something that can be done at the searcher’s own pace.”

While the “Where’s Waldo” franchise is generally targeted toward children, participants of all ages can appreciate being involved with the rest of the community.

“The search can be for all ages, but it does seem to be most especially enjoyed by young children,” Spurling said. “That being said, several of the Waldo search enthusiasts, year after year, are adults.”

Searchers can explore different aspects of the Palouse to find the elusive Waldos and may find a new favorite coffee or hobby shop along the way.

“The search gives you an excuse to go into a business that you might not otherwise have discovered,” Spurling said. “And of course, the owners of those businesses, and the staff who are working there, are really glad to see you and help you locate the hidden Waldo there.”

Because the Palouse hosts two college towns, the summer can be quiet and unassuming. This event brings a little more life to the area, Spurling said.

“It’s a great way to enjoy Moscow and Pullman when life — and traffic — is moving at just a slightly slower pace,” Spurling said.

“Where’s Waldo on the Palouse” will start Saturday. Searchers can pick up their passports from BookPeople of Moscow and must turn in completed booklets by July 27. Searchers who turn in full passports are entered to win a deluxe set of Waldo books and other prizes.

“The Palouse is a great place to live,” Spurling said, “and it will stay that way as long as people are engaged and active in supporting all the local businesses and organizations.”