The Big Rapids Downtown Business Association is hosting the annual Chili Cook-off and Fall Festival on Friday, October 26th and Saturday, October 27th.  Over the years this event has grown into a great, free, family-friendly event with about 500 people attending the Chili Cook-off and about 3,000 people attending the Fall Festival activities.

There are several ways your business or organization can partner with us in providing this free community festival. Specifically, you can become a monetary event sponsor, market your business or organization with a scarecrow in the scarecrow decorating contest, or participate in the Trunk-or-Treat. Would you like to join us?


The DBA offers three sponsorship levels to best fit your business or organization.  The elite Pumpkin Partner is a $500 sponsorship for a specific item or activity (i.e. Petting Zoo, chili cook-off, Bands, Children’s Games, etc.). The intermediate Harvest Helper is a $250 general sponsorship and there is also the Fall Friend $100 general sponsorship level. Each level has tiered sponsor recognition in Fall Festival advertisements and promotions.

Scarecrow Contest

The annual Scarecrow Contest provides a creative way to market your business or organization and have fun!  It is free to participate, just provide materials for your scarecrow. The winner will receive a comprehensive marketing package that includes print, radio, and video advertisements. Judging takes place from October 16th to October 23rd, via popular vote; the scarecrows will be displayed through October 31st.  Voters will take selfies of themselves with their chosen scarecrow and post the photos on the DBA Facebook page as their vote. Scarecrows need to be brought to and displayed along Michigan Avenue. Scarecrows can be either staked, sitting, or in a window display – the perfect decoration for a downtown Fall Festival! Please contact Clinton Zimmerman at the number below to register.


Wondering what is a Trunk-or-Treat?  It is the same concept as regular trick-or-treating except in a safe and restricted area.  A designated area is set aside for vehicles with decorated trunks and treats to pass out. The Trunk-or-Treat will take place on Michigan Ave. on Saturday, October 27th as part of the Fall Festival.  Candy is handed out from 11am-1pm (please provide candy). Get creative, make your vehicle as festive or spooky as you would like! Please note that this event will be in the street this year to help alleviate congestion.

Please contact us directly or use the form below and we will contact or send you more specific information.


Clinton Zimmerman 
Scarecrow Decorating Chair 

Linda Bolin 
Trunk-or-Treat Chair 

Jennifer Heinzman
Fall Festival Chair