By HOWARD BALABAN firstname.lastname@example.org
Medina Journal-Register — ALBION — There’s a six-inch person hiding in 23 Albion businesses, and starting today patrons have all month to find him.
The person is made of cardboard, and has an unmistakable red-and-white striped shirt and hat. He’s been hiding for almost 20 years.
His name is Waldo.
Carolyn Ricker, owner of Bindings Bookstore in Albion, said the hide-and-seek promotion is part of a “buy local” movement sponsored by Candlewick Press and the American Booksellers Association. Getting Albion included was done via an application process, she said, and it is one of 265 communities participating this year.
“This is the second year they’ve done this, and if it’s a success they may try for a third year and see if they can’t make it an annual event,” Ricker said of Candlewick and the ABA.
Ricker said she would embrace the event becoming an annual thing. “It’s not too hard to do and they provide great guidelines for their participants,” she said.
For a person to participate in the contest, he or she must enter participating local businesses to find the six-inch standee of Waldo. Participating businesses are recognizable by Waldo stickers on their front doors.
Finding 10 Waldos wins a person a coupon for $1 off some of the Waldo books on sale at Bindings. Finding 20 (out of a possible 23) Waldos enters a person into the drawing for several other prizes, which will be drawn at random on July 31 at Bindings.
The prizes include a six-volume Waldo book set, a Waldo poster book, a Waldo postcard book, five separate $10 gift certificates to the Crooked Door in Albion, and several sunglass and watch combos from Groovy Garments.
Ricker said the search can be relaxing because it does not have to be done all in one day. “I like how it’s a month long,” she said. “You can take your time.”
Having the Waldo search in Albion is just one community event, and Ricker expressed hope for more.
“From a business standpoint, there are several of us that are still kind of new and getting our names out there,” she said. “Events like this help us get the word out.”
The Waldo search starts today, and to look for him simply enter a participating business to get a stamp on a Waldo Passport, which can be picked up at Bindings Bookstore.