Bethany Beach Books is offering locals and visitors the chance to find the ever-elusive Waldo in downtown Bethany Beach. Those who wish to participate in the free family-friendly activity can stop by any of the 25 participating Bethany Beach shops and pick up a “passport” before starting their search.
“This idea was brought to us from Candlewick Press, who is sponsoring the nation-wide promotion, along with the American Booksellers Association,” explained Amanda Zirn, media specialist for Bethany Beach Books. “They announce the specific details each month, and if you’d like to be a host bookstore, you have to fill out an application. They then choose 300 independent bookstores throughout the United States to be a host!”
The participating stores in the area are Bethany Beach Books; Arnie’s Playland; the Artful Bean; Baja Beach House Grill; Bethany Oyster House; the Blue Crab; Blue Room Gallery; Breakers Surf Shop; the Cottage Cafe; DiFebo’s restaurant; Fish Tales; Fishers Popcorn; the Frog House; Haven Blu; Japanesque; Maureen’s Ice Cream; Ocean Treasures; Odysea; the Parkway restaurant; the Parlour, “Home of the Original Fudge Factory;” Pitter Patter; Rhodes 5 & 10; Sandy Pawz; Tidepool Toys & Games; and Yuppy Puppy.
“The business community was very excited about the idea. We had sent out an email blast to all of the neighboring businesses, announcing the idea and how it could benefit them,” explained Zirn. “We let them know that we would be accepting the first 24 businesses who responded to us that they’d like to participate. It only took about a day or two to get 24 businesses! So, it was very easy to get participants.”
Once Waldo has been spotted at each business location, the passport should be signed or stamped by someone behind the counter there.
When participants have collected at least 20 store stamps/signatures, they can return the passport to Bethany Beach Books to be entered into a weekly prize drawing. Those who collect all 25 of the store stamps/signatures and return their passport to the bookstore will be entered into the weekly prize drawing and a grand finale prize drawing, which will take place at the store during a Where’s Waldo party on July 31 at 4:30 p.m.
Thus far, prizes have included Waldo postcard books, a six-volume deluxe set of Waldo books and more.
“It seems like the community has been really enjoying it. I’ve heard a lot of positive things from the other businesses who are on the scavenger hunt with us. I think a lot of families have been enjoying it because it’s a really fun, family-friendly (and free) way to spend a few hours downtown.”
Zirn said she hopes that the program will draw some additional business to downtown Bethany Beach, while also adding some fun to the summer season.
“We hope that this enforces the ‘Shop Local’ message that is so very important to us and our community,” she said.
For more information, visit www.bethanybeachbooks.com or call (302) 539-2522. Bethany Beach Books is located at 99 Garfield Parkway in downtown Bethany Beach.