Marche du Nain Rouge Festival and Parade in Detroit

Spot the Nain Rouge, the dastardly anti-hero of Detroit, at this event typically held in late March. 2020 festivities have been canceled due to COVID-19.

Note: This event had been canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19.

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 22, 2020, 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 up 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.

In short, it’s a fun and bright Mardi Gras-like celebration of Detroit for and by the folks living across the city.

The free event starts at noon at the main stage at Canfield Street and Second Avenue with poetry, music and other live entertainment.

The parade begins at 1 p.m. and follows Cass Avenue down to the Masonic Temple. Some after-party festivities will happen at local establishments in the area. Check on Facebook for details.

Park for $7.75 at Parking Lot 60, 72 or Structure 8, which accept credit cards and WSU OneCards. Buses and the QLine also make stops near the festival.

For more on the Marche du Nain Rouge, and other family fun things to do this weekend in metro Detroit and Ann Arbor, visit the Metro Parent calendar.

Photo courtesy of marchedunainrouge.com.

This post is updated regularly. 

Amanda Rahn
Amanda Rahn
Amanda Rahn is a freelance journalist, copy editor and proud Detroiter. She is a graduate of Wayne State University’s journalism school and of the Columbia Publishing Course at Oxford University. Amanda is a lover of translated contemporary fiction, wines from Jura and her dog, Lottie.

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