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Shop local, find Waldo

Where's Waldo?

Throughout July, the iconic children's book character with the striped shirt and black-rimmed spectacles will be hiding in 25 Wadena businesses.

To participate in the monthlong search, pick up a passport at An Open Book, 114 Jefferson Street. The first 100 people to get their passports stamped at 10 locations or more can collect prizes at the bookstore. Those who collect 20 or more stamps are eligible for the grand prize drawing for a six-volume set of Waldo books on July 31.

"It's a fun, free community event," said Gillette Kempf, owner of An Open Book, one of 250 independent bookstores throughout the country participating in the annual scavenger hunt, which is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association and Candlewick Press, the publisher of "Where's Waldo" books.

This is the third year in a row An Open Book has been chosen in the competitive selection process, which Kempf credits to the "enthusiastic support from other participating businesses."

"It's part of a 'shop local' message, which is supported by Candlewick." Kempf said.

"Where's Waldo" was created in the 1980s by British children's author and illustrator Martin Handford. Since then, more than 61 million Waldo books have been printed in more than 30 languages.