Smith’s Flowers was dec­o­rated with a fall theme for the Awesome Autumn event Col­legian | Calli Townsend

Kids in cos­tumes, babies bundled in strollers, and people of all ages with check­lists in hand roamed the side­walks of downtown Hillsdale on Tuesday evening for Hillsdale Business Association’s Awesome Autumn event.

“We have five kids, and they’re all doing the scav­enger hunts,” Joanna Young, Hillsdale Res­ident and mother of five, said. “It’s a nice fall outing.”

Awesome Autumn is not only an oppor­tunity for fam­ilies and friends to gather together and explore the town, but for the busi­nesses to showcase what they have to offer the com­munity as well.

Twenty-nine local stores, restau­rants, salons and more stayed open after hours to par­tic­ipate in this annual event. Par­tic­i­pating busi­nesses had an orange paper pumpkin taped to their doors to indicate that people could come in and find the orange pumpkin hidden in the building. Once the pumpkin was found, that business could be checked off the scav­enger hunt list. If a purple paper pumpkin was on the door, that meant there were snacks as well.

Gelzer Fur­niture gave out cookies and other candies, along with an elab­orate picture taking station. Smith’s Flowers had soup available, and a special gift of a rose to the first 50 women to walk into the store.

Marcy Alaniz is a former employee of several years of the Gezler Fur­niture shop. She said she comes back every year to help with this event. She says the store is like a home to her.

“I think Awesome Autumn is fun,” she said. “It gets people downtown and is a great com­munity event.”

Once par­tic­i­pants com­pleted the scav­enger hunt, they turned in their check­lists to be entered in a drawing for prizes. Winners will be announced on the Hillsdale Business Association’s Facebook page, along with being notified by tele­phone.

“The prizes are from a few of the busi­nesses,” Jonna Macy, owner of Toasted Mud said. “Some are $50 gift cer­tifi­cates to the store. We are giving away an after hours party.”

Rebecca Reinbolt, manager of Toasted Mud, said the Awesome Autumn event is a great way for people to see what the art studio is really like.

“Some people think we’re a coffee shop,” Reinbolt said. “So it’s good to have people see what we actually do.”

Hillsdale Alumnae Alexandra Whitford ’18, Ashlyn Landherr ’16, and Gwen­dolyn Buchhop ’11 were out and about in the town enjoying the fall activ­ities.

“We love local busi­nesses and activ­ities, and this is a great com­bi­nation of them,” Landherr, director of student activ­ities and Grewcock Student Union said.

Buchhop, the com­munity rela­tions coor­di­nator for ath­letics, said she wanted to show her support for the town.

“They come to our events so we like to come to theirs,” Buchhop said. “I grew up here and I didn’t even know some of these stores were like this.”

The Hillsdale Public Library was hosting a special night for kids as well. Kids could came dressed in costume to meet Spi­derman and princesses, along with pumpkin painting, snacks and a movie.

“The kids enjoy getting a pumpkin,” Young said. “It’s a tra­dition for our family and it’s a nice oppor­tunity to be in the downtown.”