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Fall dec­o­ra­tions in front of Smith’s Flower Shop in downtown Hillsdale. Col­legian| Calli Townsend

Scarecrow dec­o­rating, pumpkin painting, costume judging, and around town exploring are just some of the activ­ities part of the Hillsdale Business Association’s Awesome Autumn event that will take place Oct. 23 from 5 – 8 p.m .

Awesome Autumn was founded by Jane Stewart, owner of Smith’s Flowers and a member of the Hillsdale Business Asso­ci­ation. She said she began the event as a way to gen­erate more business for her new shop.

“I started the event in 2010 when I bought the shop,” Stewart said. “It hasn’t always been called Awesome Autumn. The first year I just used the words ‘free food’ and ‘party’ and I had a lot of people come.”

The event will provide fun for the whole family. Kids can par­tic­ipate in pumpkin painting and movie watching at the Hillsdale Com­munity Library, while adults can enjoy the Pumpkins and Pit Stops scav­enger hunt. Par­tic­i­pants of Pumpkins and Pit Stops will have a chance to win one of four prizes: an after-hour party at Toasted Mud or $50 gift cer­tifi­cates to Smith’s Flowers, Hillsdale Filling Station Deli, or Nell’s Nest.

Stewart said the event has since grown, but the turnout often depends on the weather and ath­letics.

“We actually have had more people on rainy, icky, blustery days,” she said. “We recently moved it to a Tuesday for people with sports. It used to be on a Thursday.”

Owner of the Hillsdale Filling Station Deli, Cindy Bieszk, is also a member of the Hillsdale Business Asso­ci­ation and a chair of the event. She said the college’s ath­letic teams often par­tic­ipate in the scarecrow dec­o­rating contest.

“We use the scarecrow dec­o­rating contest as a way to connect the kids with busi­nesses,” Bieszk said. “We want as many stu­dents to get involved.”

The business asso­ci­ation hosted the Santa’s Sleigh Hunt as its original event, and has since added Awesome Autumn to its list of com­munity activ­ities.

Pres­ident-elect of the Hillsdale Business Asso­ci­ation Connie Sexton said Awesome Autumn has been a great event for eight years now.

“We have a neat downtown. We want people to see what a great downtown we have,” Bieszk said. “We need the college as much as the college needs the town.”