The sun was shining, people were smiling, and the hearses were ready for business. It’s just another day in Hell, Michigan at Hearse Fest.
Hell’s Hearse Fest 2017
This Saturday we finally made it to the 16th Annual Hell’s Hearse Fest. The fest is hosted by the Just Hearse N’ Around hearse club. I grew up near Hell and spent a good part of my life there, yet this was the first time I’d been to this festival. Hell, I hadn’t even heard about this festival until last year.
The festival takes place in Hell on the 3rd Saturday of September. Specifically, the cars fill the lots behind and between Screams From Hell (Hell’s only Ice Cream shop) and the Hell Hole Bar. The Hell Saloon (formerly the Dam Site Inn) is just across the river Styx and was running some beer specials for patrons of the festival. This is a favorite stop for many motorcycle riders and this day was no exception.
As we headed down Patterson Lake Road toward Hell, the line of cars parked up and down the road was at least a half-mile long. We lucked out on a spot just a short walk down Silver Hill Road. Evidently, we were not the only ones with a morbid curiosity about this festival.
Checking out the Hearses
Hell’s Hearse Fest is mainly about the vehicle that for many of us is our last ride down the long road of life. The vehicles at this macabre car show were all at one time (or currently) in service hearses. The festival also includes combo cars (a combination ambulance and hearse) and flower cars.
Every car had its own unique twist. Some were just straight up hearses without a lot of modifications. Others were decked out. Many of them had a horror theme and quite a few included caskets.
The hearses spanned the time from the 50’s up to modern day. We read on MLive that there was a total of 92 cars. There certainly was no shortage of humor based on some of the vanity plates.
Trophies are awarded for “Scariest Hearse”, “Best Casket Cart”, and “How the Hell did it make it here?”. We were thinking that this beauty surely had to win this year’s “How the Hell…” award.
More than just Dead Sleds
If you were hungry and looking for a burger or a hot dog, then Hell’s Hearse Fest had you covered. They had two caskets converted into grills for cooking. You can almost hear Lily Munster call out to Herman “Dear, can you fire up the caskets? I want to get these burgers going. Now Spot, you get away from there!”
In addition to tons of very cool dead sleds, there were vendors offering up shirts from Dead Sled Brand, custom artwork, and other gruesome treasures. This included Deadly Grounds coffee, casket shaped Cornhole boards and Grave Digger candles that are reportedly molded from actual human vertebrae. Yep, the bizarro factor on this one is off the charts.
Providing tunes (including some cool Alice Cooper covers) for the Hell’s Hearse Fest was Creepy Clyde and Surfer Joe.
Hell’s Hearse Fest is a unique and fun way to enjoy a day in Hell. We have a casket full of pictures over in our gallery.
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