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Posts Tagged ‘nain rouge’

Drawings of Nain_5541There’s an evil little red devil that has haunted Detroit for over 300 years. He’s known on the streets as the Nain Rouge. The dwarf-like creature lurks about the city spreading ill tidings and heartache upon the good residents of the city. He’s been doing his evil deeds since the days of Cadillac, the founder of Detroit. Legend has it that the red devil crossed paths with Cadillac and his wife while they were out walking one evening. Cadillac yelled at the dwarf to get out of his way and struck him with his walking stick. The little red monster vanished into the darkness with a wicked, evil laugh and placed a curse on the city. Since then he has rained down ill tidings and anguish upon Detroiters.

For the past few years, thousands of costumed revelers gathered and marched through the Cass Corridor neighborhood of Detroit on the first Sunday of spring to drive the evil Nain Rouge out of the city for the upcoming year. This year’s Marche du Nain Rouge was held this past Sunday. Like past Marches, revelers dressed in colorful costumes to hide their identity, so when the evil red devil returns next year he won’t hunt them down and cause heartache in their lives for having him exiled.

Some costumes seemed surreal and bizarre

Some costumes were surreal and bizarre

This is great, I love it

Gotta love this plane costume

Probably the warmest marcher there

Probably the warmest marcher there

After opening ceremonies at the corner of Second Avenue and Canfield, the parade (led by the popular Detroit Party Marching Band) wound its way through the surrounding neighborhood streets to the cheers of those lining the parade route. The Mardi Gras style parade eventually ended at the Historic Masonic Temple where the evil Nain Rouge made his appearance on stage and was quickly banished from the city by merrymakers.

Participants sported an array of colorful costumes

Participants sported an array of colorful costumes

This lady took advantage of the large crowd to get her message out

This woman took advantage of the large crowd to get her political message out

An estimated 3,500 to 4,000 participants took part in the annual Marche and they included men and women of all ages, toddlers, older kids, and dogs. Most sported a variety of costumes, with red appearing to be the dominant color. Prior to the Marche, there was a 5K run appropriately named Run du Nain Rouge.

Thousands jammed the street in front of the Masonic Temple

Thousands jammed the street in front of the Masonic Temple to get a glimpse of the red devil

Afterglow party in the Fountain Room of the Masonic Temple

An afterglow party was held in the Fountain Room of the Masonic Temple

This annual lively event is always a blast and a great way to kick off spring-time in Detroit!

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It was a perfect spring weekend in Detroit for bicycle enthusiasts and for those attending a Mardi Gras style parade through the Cass Corridor. The weekend kicked off Saturday with the first annual Detroit Bike City bicycle show and swap meet. It was held at Cobo Center  downtown. Sunday was the third annual Marche du Nain Rouge, and that event took place in the city’s mid-town neighborhood.

Detroit Bike City

The Detroit Bike City show and swap meet, the first of its kind in the city, showcased a variety of cycling vendors. They were selling everything from collectible 1960’s-70’s vintage bikes, priced upwards of $350, to all types of new bikes. These  included mountain, hybrids, road bikes and retro cruisers, and they were selling for substantially more than the used bikes.  The new bikes I looked at were considerably lighter and technically superior to my 15-year old, steel framed hybrid.  As compared to them, my bike is as heavy as a 1950’s Buick.

There were a few vintage bikes for sale

Very cool, retro looking "Detroit Flyer"

I loved this monster of a bike. It was surprisingly very lightweight

In addition to bicycle vendors, there were a variety of used parts, bike accessories, and other cycling related sellers offering items such as helmets, t-shirts, stickers, etc. There were other vendors present who were promoting organized tours, trails and bike safety. They offered information on the Tour de Troit and the Michigan Trails & Greenways Alliance, among other things.  The event also showcased stunt riders zipping off ramps and twisting and turning in the air.

A good mix of vendors attended the show

All types of Bike accessories were being sold

I arrived in the early afternoon and there was still a good size crowd wandering from table to table checking out the goods and services. The event seemed to be well-organized, and free secured parking was available to those riding to the show.

Lots of riders pedaled to the show

Marche du Nein Rouge – 2012

On Sunday, the third annual Marche du Nein Rouge was held in Detroit’s mid-town neighborhood.  The annual event is held the first Sunday of spring. It’s an event designed to banish an evil 300 year-old Red Devil from Detroit, and by doing so, lifting a curse from the city for the upcoming year.

After a rousing opening ceremony in the parking lot of Detroit’s Traffic Jam Restaurant, where the Devil himself made an appearance, costumed revelers and parade watchers marched their way through the Cass Corridor to the imp’s place of eventual demise, The Historic Masonic Temple. The stylish Mardi Gras type parade, led by the swinging Detroit Party Marching Band, included those dressed as unicorns, Christian brothers, angels, pilgrims, assorted monsters and other bizarre characters (some without costumes).

A colorful crowd of merrymakers jammed the streets of mid-town Detroit

Check out the hairy legs on this guy

At the Temple, the Devil taunted the crowd by spewing out evil doings that all Detroiter’s should partake in. After a few minutes of listening to that madness, people in the crowd had had enough and began booing and pelting the Devil with what appeared to be tomatoes, driving him away for another year.

Could the Nain be the answer to Detroit's problems

For more information on the myth of Detroit’s Red Devil, you can click here to read my blog entry on last year’s Marche.

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