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Market Place the spot for tricks, treats

October 27, 2011|By Candice Baker, Special to the Daily Pilot

Seeking to get your spook on this Sunday?

For many locals, the best (and most cost effective) way to get into the Halloween spirit each year is at the 14th annual Trick or Treat Festival at the Orange County Market Place, which offers copious quantities of candy, costume contests, chilling shows and silly spectacles.

A favorite element of the day for many is the 12th annual Halloween Hearse Procession and Show, which will feature more than 50 spooky vehicles, including hearses and funeral coaches, limousines, souped-up Cadillacs and ambulances. They will begin the day with a cruise through Costa Mesa before their grand entrance, led by a custom-made "kasket kar" and coffin go-kart.

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To learn more about the life of a hearse owner, we spoke to needle felt artist Cheri Wilson, who spends her days as the sponsorship director of the Newport Beach Film Festival — and her free time with her beloved Hursula.

Daily Pilot: When did your love of hearses begin, and when did you acquire yours? Could you describe it?

Cheri Wilson: I attended the Orange County Market Place Halloween and Hearse Procession six years ago, and immediately decided I wanted one of my own. I was impressed by the unique craftsmanship of the individual cars. In my opinion, they are drivable works of art. A few months later, after test driving a couple different models, I chose mine — or rather she chose me: a burgundy 1984 Cadillac Superior 3-way.

DP: Did you name it? If so, how and why did you choose the name you gave it?

CW: My son named her Hursula, and that particular vanity plate was available, so it was meant to be.

DP: What made you choose to participate in this weekend's event?

CW: I have participated in every Orange County Market Place Halloween and Hearse Procession since owning my hearse. This show is one of the highlights of the Halloween season for hearse owners. The event is well organized, the entertainment is great and it's a lot of fun for the whole family.

DP: Are there any misconceptions out there about hearses that you want to clear up?

CW: The most common question I get is probably, "Aren't you scared to drive that thing?" My usual response is, "People don't die in hearses, so there are no lingering spirits" — at least not in mine. I believe that hearses are the Grand Chariots that carry the departed from this planet to… well… wherever you end up.

DP: How can people get more information about getting involved, if they have (or want to have) a hearse?

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