Marche du Nain Rouge Festival and Parade in Detroit

Spot the Nain Rouge, dastardly anti-hero of Detroit, on March 27, 2017 along the Cass Corridor.


Everyone’s favorite “New Detroit” tradition returns for another year of thwarting the “legendary harbinger of doom” at the Marche du Nain Rouge on March 27, 2017 along the Cass Corridor.

Legend says Detroit’s founder, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, was told by a fortune teller that a red imp would cause trouble on his journey to the New World. Today, Detroiters fight back against the red imp in the Marche du Nain Rouge, which culminates in a visit from the Nain Rouge itself, armed with a giant cockroach car and taunts for the city’s residents.

Participants are encouraged to wear masks, and many wear red, to disguise themselves from the Nain Rouge (just in case it ever decided to take revenge). Some revelers even come out dressed in full Mardi Gras costumes while fire twirlers spin their batons down the parade route. Groups create intricate floats to compete for cash prizes, too.

Help your child head to the top of the class this year..  

Ace it with your FREE School Success Guide

In short, the event website says, “So what is it really? It’s a family friendly – with parental guidance recommended – do-it-yourself Mardi Gras style march full of inside jokes and absurdity unlike anything else in Detroit, but we’ll never admit it can be explained that easily.”

Stick around after the event for a cosplay competition at the Masonic Temple, too. If cosplay isn’t your style, check the website to keep an eye on the many venues hosting after-parties.

The free event starts at noon at the main stage at Canfield Street and Second Avenue with poetry, music and general carnival festivities. The march begins at 1 p.m. and follows Cass Avenue down to the Masonic Temple.

Park for $7 at either Parking Lot 72 or Structure 8, which accept credit cards and WSU OneCards.

For more on the Marche du Nain Rouge, see the Metro Parent listing.

Photo courtesy of