Toasted Mud is par­tic­i­pating in Awesome Autumn and pro­viding a prize for winners. | Facebook

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.