If there's anything freaky or funky in your closet, someone was likely
wearing something funkier or freakier than that at the Marche du Nain Rouge
on Sunday. This was the first
re-installment of the legendary burning of the red dwarf, Le Nain Rouge,
whose ominous presence is said to have been a harbinger of bad things
in this city for 300 years. It was a bit surreal, but it was also a blast.
Midtowner and law student Francis
Grunow helped organize the march, which drew about 300 people to the streets of the Cass Corridor.
The Marche du Nain Rouge started with a rousing call to battle outside
the newly renovated Third
bar, then turned down Cass to the Temple Bar and on to Cass
Park. The Nain himself dared to show, at first prancing and taunting the
crowd from atop Scott Lowell's newly renovated Beethoven Apartments
there, the march was led by the smartly uniformed, merry pranksters,
Detroit Party Marching Band
What does one wear to a Nain Rouge
march? The official word was to dress for battle, but if this were the
Army there would be a lot to not ask nor tell about. We saw sombreros adorned with taxidermied squirrels, motorbike helmets, a Cookie Monster hat, top hats, and a "bobby" style police hat. There were feathers everywhere -- on hairdos, boas and masks. There were
military costumes, Medieval gowns, ghosts, devils, and even a
Mouseketeer. Detroit's freak flag was proudly flying.
Wearing gold disco hats, the Linn City Bird
siblings Andy and Emily
passed out red beads to the crowd, which included too many dogs and kids
Midpoint in the walk, the crowd passed a small group
of protesters, who held signs in support of the Nain, pleading with the
crowd to not blame the Nain. Still,
the crowd carried on. At Cass Park, revelers burned their effigies of
the Nain and cheered for a new vision of Detroit. Then they headed to
the Temple Bar for a toast.
Before the event, Grunow said he'd have called 100
marchers success. This obviously exceeded expectations.
So, until next spring,
beware the Nain Rouge and enjoy these photos from Marvin Shaouni
. And as the spring equinox approaches in 2011, be prepared to
drive him out once more.