FORT KENT, Maine (WAGM) - A popular children's book, "Where's Waldo," is being turned into a real event in the St. John Valley.
Kathy McCarty spoke with officials who say while searching for the character, participants are finding much more.
Some grew up searching for Waldo, but did you ever find him? Here's a hint, he's been spotted hiding out in Fort Kent.
Heidi Carter, owner of Bogan Books, says the "Where's Waldo" Local is a nationwide event, providing a great opportunity to get out and learn about the community.
"This is the first year that Bogan Books is able to participate, but this is the eighth year that Candlewick Press and the American Booksellers Association have partnered together in order to make this available to communities where there's book stores, so we're very excited," said Carter.
In the Fort Kent area, there are 23 locations that are participating, as well as the Fort Kent Block House and the America's First Mile monument.
"We have little Waldos that people are able to go around and hunt for and have their passports signed. And at the end of the month, they have an opportunity to win prizes from doing that," said Carter.
Town Manager Suzie Paradis sees this as a way to bring people to the community.
"This is great leading up to our hundred and fiftieth event," explained Paradis. "We're trying to attract as many people to come in and visit our unique stores and get people to just shop local.
It's easy to overlook businesses and locations you pass on a regular basis, as you go about your daily routine. Looking for Waldo serves as an incentive to get out, get moving and get to know your town.
It does tie into the 150th anniversary.
"It gives a lot of exposure to the community. Oftentimes we take for granted what we have in our communities, and the Where's Waldo Local initiative is to help bring awareness to all we have to offer here," said Carter.
Carter asks, however, that if you find Waldo, please leave him there for the next person to discover. The event is free and open to everyone. Passports are available at participating businesses and need to be returned to Bogan Books by July 26th.