Marche du Nain Rouge in Detroit

he festive Marche du Nain Rouge encourages outlandish costumes, custom-built chariots and the banishment of any dastardly red dwarves in Detroit on Sunday, March 24, 2013.

Last year's march ended with the unveiling of the Nain Rouge as the emergency manager of Detroit, gaining national attention in a Huffington Post article. Ironically, a little less than a year later, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder appointed Kevyn Orr as Detroit's emergency manager, leaving revelers to wonder what event organizers have in store this year.

One new addition this year is a 5K run. The Run du Nain Rouge starts at 11 a.m. at the corner of Cass and Canfield avenues. Prizes are awarded to the top 10 finishers, as well as the bottom 15. Tour de Troit sponsors this run.

After the run, parade marchers meet at 1 p.m. at the Traffic Jam & Snug restaurant on Canfield Street to begin the march down the North Cass Corridor, decked out in crazy costumes and do-it-yourself chariots – Mardi Gras-style – eventually ending up on Temple Street.

Detroit founding father Antoine Laumet de La Mothe Cadillac first reportedly witnessed the malevolent creature during a stroll with his wife through the Royal Garden.


Legend has it the spry sprite leapt into Cadillac's path, screeching at him, whereupon Cadillac successfully beat le Nain Rouge away with his cane – but not before the fiendish dwarf cursed him, promising centuries of bad luck for the Cadillac and the city of Detroit.

To this day, Detroiters blame the angry red dwarf for their woes, and – for a fifth year now – gather annually on the Sunday closest to the vernal equinox to banish him from the city for the remainder of the year.

Once the red dwarf is kicked to the curb, the after-hours parties kick into high gear at Masonic Temple's Victoire, Haute to Death at the Temple Bar and Nothing Elegant at the Old Miami.

See BLAC Detroit's calendar listing for more on the Marche du Nain Rouge in 2013.

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