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.”