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Mount Clemens skeleton contest returns

By: Alex Szwarc | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published October 25, 2019

 Mike Karpinski, the owner of Pops’ Sweets an Treats in Mount Clemens, stands next to a clown skeleton decorated as part of Mount Clemens’ skeleton contest.

Mike Karpinski, the owner of Pops’ Sweets an Treats in Mount Clemens, stands next to a clown skeleton decorated as part of Mount Clemens’ skeleton contest.

Photo by Alex Szwarc


MOUNT CLEMENS – After receiving positive feedback last year, a local beautification committee decided to bring back a festive contest.

Participating Mount Clemens businesses dressed up a skeleton, and people could vote for their favorite Oct. 18-29.

Mount Clemens Beautification Committee Chair Sherri Gavie was the brains behind the contest, which began last year. Businesses had the chance to decorate a skeleton and design their own characters.  

“Last year, I decided it would be good to do a skeleton contest on the people who used to hang out in Mount Clemens, like W.C. Fields, because Mount Clemens used to be a very big place,” she said.

This year’s theme was villains and villainesses, and there were 18 skeletons around town.

“It went over very well last year, and it’s a nice community thing to do,” Gavie said.

Skeletons included Lizzie Borden (Crocker House); the Joker (Mount Clemens Public Library); the Wicked Witch of the West (Mount Clemens Fire Department); “Despicable Me” (Your Mother’s Food & Spirits); a leprechaun (Three Blind Mice Irish Pub); Norman Bates, (Bath City Bistro); Pennywise (Pops’ Sweets an Treats); Dark Mantino and Grimm Jarbaugh (Madison’s Bar); Edward Scissorhands (Studio 58); Harlequin (Abbibo); evil witch (O’Halloran’s Public House and Hall); Dracula (Weirdsville Records); Doris Payne, jewel thief (Thomas Nevin’s Jewelry); Medusa (Alleycat Junktiques); the Phantom of the Opera (Ardis Music); Headless Horseman (Anton Art Center); Cruella de Vil (Gumbo’s); and Miles Morales (Gus’ Coney Island).

Mike Karpinski, the owner of Pops’ Sweets an Treats, said that with his store being a newer business, opening in April, he wants to bring back the community feel.

“My theme this year is clowns ... since that’s big with kids,” he said. “I’m the candy store, so I have to be fun and creative and let the kids have fun.

“It’s fun for the community for people to vote on it, and it brings people downtown to support other local businesses.”

Businesses received a blank skull and could decorate however they saw fit.

Karpinski’s wife, Melissa Karpinski, was in charge of decorating the store, a family-run business.

Last year’s theme was “Legendary Bones of Mount Clemens,” with 17 skeletons dressed as prominent Mount Clemens residents and visitors, on display throughout downtown.  

“We wanted a theme where everybody could come up with names themselves,” Gavie said. “People don’t understand how many villains there are.”

The winner was scheduled to be announced at the Halloween Spooktacular Oct. 29, after press time.

Last year, Alleycat Junktiques took first place. The top three vote-getters this year will ride in the Mount Clemens Santa Parade Nov. 23.