Don’t play the fool this year – instead, celebrate public art and community at the FoolMoon kick-off on April 7, 2017 followed by FestiFools on April 9, 2017 in Ann Arbor.
The celebrations are organized by Wonderfool Productions, a nonprofit dedicated to “engaging communities in dynamic, educational, collaborative and entertaining public art experiences,” according to its website. This year’s theme will be “Wishfool Thinking.”
The weekend celebrations are kicked off with the FoolMoon party in the middle of downtown Ann Arbor. The event features interactive installations, laser shows, DJs, a beer tent and live dance performances. The event starts at dusk and runs until midnight on April 7.
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“The crazy thing about it is it’s really 99 percent community built,” Mark Tucker, the creator of the events, said in a Michigan Municipal League publication. “We thought it was just going to be an adult event because it happens after dark. But people bring their kids and they all stay until 11 at night.”
After the FoolMoon kick-off, keep the party going with the hour-long FestiFools celebration. Ann Arbor locals and out-of-towners converge on Main Street at 4 p.m. carrying huge, handmade papier-mâché puppets.
“I like the free-form nature of this parade, the carnival-esque way that it includes the crowd in. It’s like a moving collage, things coming up and moving in from all over the place, rather than that traditional military line down the street,” Jimmy Thompson, a Michigan Thanksgiving Parade float designer, said in the Michigan Municipal League article. “It empowers the artist and it empowers the audience.”
Organizers encourage the public to make their own puppet and luminaries for the celebration and have even created how-to guides available online to guide participants. Puppets must meet certain specifications to be included, so be sure to read the guidelines before starting.
FoolMoon begins at dusk on Friday, April 7 at Washington and Ashley Street in Ann Arbor. The FestiFools event is 4-5 p.m. on Sunday, April 9 on Main Street in Ann Arbor.
Both festivals are free to attend. For more information, check out the Metro Parent calendar listing.