Where’s Waldo? In Ridgefield, of course.

The iconic children’s book character in the striped shirt and black-rimmed specs is visiting twenty-five local businesses throughout our community this July. Find Waldo Local is a great summer vacation activity and a wonderful way to support local businesses and the Shop Local movement in our community, including merchants in Downtown Ridgefield, Danbury Road, Copps Hill Common and Branchville.

Participants can pick up a “Find Waldo Local in Ridgefield!” passport containing the names of all participating businesses at Books on the Common, and get their passport stamped or signed for each Waldo they spot. Collecting store stamps or signatures at twenty or more businesses will entitle diligent seekers entry into a grand-prize drawing on July 31, with the top prize being a six-volume deluxe set of Waldo books.  “This is our 6th year organizing Find Waldo in Ridgefield, and we look forward each year to seeing all the Waldo hunters enthusiastically looking for him in our store and all over town” adds Ellen Burns, co-owner of Books on the Common.

This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the Where’s Waldo? books. Martin Handford’s collections of crowd scenes swept the world in the late eighties, and since then have held a cherished spot on bookstore shelves the world over. There are now over 67 million Waldo books in print worldwide, and they’ve been translated into over thirty languages. An entire generation has grown up searching for Waldo and his cast of wandering companions. To celebrate such a special milestone, Waldo’s friend Wenda will also be hiding in Books on the Common here in Ridgefield!

Once again, in celebration of Waldo’s longevity and popularity, his American publisher, Candlewick Press, is teaming up with the American Booksellers Association and two hundred and fifty independent bookstores across the country for some hide-and-seek fun to encourage communities to patronize their local businesses. There is no charge to participate, and the hunt lasts for the entire month of July. For more information about hunting for Waldo in Ridgefield, call Books on the Common at 203-431-9100.