Last year, local businesses kept their doors open late to celebrate fall with the Hillsdale Business Association’s ninth annual Awesome Autumn event. This year will be no different as 21 businesses prepare for scavenger-hunt festivities that will take place downtown on Tuesday, Oct. 22 from 5 – 8 p.m.
Participants in the Awesome Autumn event will receive a checklist with the names of each participating business. Businesses this year include Toasted Mud, Smith’s Flowers, Hillsdale Filling Station, and many more.
Each participating location will have either a snack, a pumpkin to find, or both. Once participants visit the location, they’ll receive a stamp on their list. Hillsdale Business Association Secretary Amanda Honeywell said the HBA is expecting another great turnout this year.
“We had between 250 and 300 people last year. We’re anticipating about the same,” Honeywell said. “Families, friends, and people with kids come out. A lot of them start with the maps. They’ll start at Smith’s Flowers, or some people start at the library.”
People can submit their completed checklists to be entered to win one of four prizes: a $50 gift certificate to Volume II Bookstore, an after-hours party at Toasted Mud, a $25 gift certificate to Nash Drugs, or a $15 gift certificate to Jilly Beans.
New this year is a competition for the participating businesses. They can choose to compete in a “soup-off” competition and a pumpkin decorating contest. The winners of each of these competitions will receive lunch from a local restaurant of their choice.
“People will vote on which soup or pumpkin they think is best,” Honeywell said. “The HBA committee will buy the winner and their staff lunch. We encourage them to choose one of the other restaurants that participated in the event.”
The library will also be hosting a fun night for children during the Awesome Autumn event. Vickie Lee, the children’s librarian, said she hopes the library sees as many if not more kids than last year, which was about 250.
“We’re going to be doing pumpkin painting from 5 until 6:30. We’re having a costume contest and the winner will receive a candy bouquet from Small Town Sweet Shop. And Batman and Spiderman will be here from 5 – 8, and from 6:15 until 8 we’ll be showing Hotel Transylvania 3 and serving popcorn for everyone that comes to the movie,” Lee said. “We will also be doing a children’s ID event from 5 – 8.”
The child ID event is a way for parents to gather all the information they would need to work with the police if a child were to go missing. The forms will be available at the library, pictures will be taken, and all of the information will be put together on a CD for parents to take home.
Hillsdale College athletic teams will also be involved in the event, as they are invited to decorate a scarecrow to be placed downtown and voted on by a secret judge.