Waldo will soon go missing in Zimmerman — and in Elk River

Where’s Waldo?

He’s coming to downtown Elk River and Zimmerman, but you’ll  have to find him.

The famous children’s book character in the striped shirt and black-rimmed specs is visiting 50 different local businesses throughout the Zimmerman and Elk River communities this July.  Those who spot him  in local businesses can win prizes and more from Reading Frenzy Corner, Olde Main Eatery, Kemper Drug and others in downtown Elk River. In Zimmerman, Reading Frenzy BookShop, Paws Up 4 You, Total Image, Anytime Fitness and more will provide prizes.

“Find Waldo is a great summer vacation activity and a wonderful way for residents to support local business and the Shop Local movement,” said Sheri Olson, the Reading Frenzy owner who lined it up.

Anyone who wishes to participate can pick up a “Find Waldo Local in Downtown Elk River or Zimmerman” passport with the names of all the participating sites. Participants can have their passport stamped or signed for each Waldo they spot.  “If you’re up to it, you could even do both towns,” Olson said.

The first 100 Waldo seekers in each town to get their passports stamped or signed at 10 or more sites can bring their passports back to Reading frenzy Corner in Elk River & Reading Frenzy BookShop in Zimmerman to collect prizes.

Collecting store stamps or signatures at 20 or more businesses will entitle diligent seekers to entry in a grand prize drawing on July 30 in Elk River and July 31 in Zimmerman, with the top prize being a six-volume deluxe set of Waldo books.

“Where’s Waldo” is the creation of Martin Handford, whose entertaining drawings of crowd scenes swept the world in 1987. Since then, the “Where’s Waldo” books have held a spot on bookstore shelves the world over. There are now more than 58 million Waldo books in print worldwide, and they’ve been translated into 18 languages.

In celebration of Waldo’s longevity and popularity, his American publisher, Candlewick Press, is once again teaming up with the American Booksellers Association and 265 independent bookstores.

The hunt lasts for the entire month of July. For more info about being a host business or hunting for Waldo in downtown Elk River or Zimmerman, call Reading Frenzy BookShop at 763-856-FRENZY (3736).