Mid-Michiganders gather for 2018 Walleye Festival


The 2018 Walleye Festival kicked off this weekend in Freeland.

People from across Mid-Michigan gathered at the McDonald Ford Dealership for the annual car, bike, and truck show.

Folks from all over are making their way out to Freeland for the 33rd annual Walleye Festival.

“It’s only my second time being here because I’ve only owned the car for two years,” said Joel Gougeon.

Gougeon is one of many car enthusiasts to participate in the car show.

He and his son in law both entered their Thunderbirds and he tells me it’s a great way to kick-off the festival.

“If you have an interest in cars everyone else does too, you have a common denominator, it’s just fun to talk to people out here and everyone gets a kick out of showing their car and talking,” Gougeon said.

People of all ages made their way to the car show lot to check out the hot rides, but you’d be surprised by what some of the vehicles represent.

“I gave it to my brother to work on, he worked on it for 10 years and he did a wonderful job,” said Victor Diberarino.

Diberarino said he just didn’t have time to work on the Ford Model T when he bought it, so he gave it to his brother.

“He made so many of the parts for the car,” Diberarino said. “He made the headers, all the brackets, all the trim, all these pins, all the trim inside, out of brass. He just, he was a talented man and he did a beautiful job.”

Diberarino said he passed away last July, but left behind many of the vehicle’s hand pieces.

Victor said bringing the car out to shows like the Walleye fest, helps him commemorate his brother’s hard work and celebrate with the community.

“It gives ya pride in what was accomplished on the car,” Diberarino said.

Copyright 2018 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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