The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

August 2, 2013

Waldo found -- many times -- in Albion

By HOWARD BALABAN howard.balaban@journal-register.com
Medina Journal-Register

Medina Journal-Register — ALBION — Almost a dozen searchers kept their eyes open for the red-and-white striped, beanie-wearing traveler Wednesday throughout Albion as July’s Waldo hunt came to an end.

Sponsored by Bindings Bookstore, participants were tasked with finding Waldo (of picture book fame) in 23 different Albion businesses. At each business, “passports” were stamped or signed and those who found Waldo in at least 20 different places earned a chance at one of several prizes.

More than 30 people managed to get their name in the prize drawing, with almost a third completing the task on the event’s last day. The search kicked off on July 1.

Bindings Bookstore owner Carolyn Ricker said she thought the event “went really well.” The attraction of looking for a well-known character seemed to help Albion’s downtown, she said.

“It brought lots of great exposure to our downtown businesses, especially some of the newer ones,” Ricker said. “We had people come in from outside the community, and that’s always fun.”

Many of the non-Albion participants were strictly looking for Waldo, and a number of them were “parents looking for something fun to do with their kids,” Ricker said.

Still, the Waldo search left many business owners feeling satisfied. Owners of Arnold’s Auto Parts, Knight’s Pride, and Hazy Jade Gift Shop were just a sampling of the nearly two dozen who enjoyed the increased foot traffic in their stores during the month.

Whether that leads to future customers, though, is dependent upon the goods and services offered.

At Knight’s Pride, Jeremiah Knight said most of the Waldo seekers “came in, looked for Waldo, and left, but some stayed and talked for a while and admired what we have here.”

Lisa Stratton at Hazy Jade Gift Shop said she has already seen several women who searched for Waldo with their kids return without them to shop for them.

And that was the goal all along: getting the word out and increasing business in the area, Ricker said.

The event ended Wednesday night with a prize drawing at Bindings Bookstore.

The winner of the grand prize was Jordan Grimble, who won a World of Waldo collection. Other prize winners won a variety of goods from local businesses.