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