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THIS SUNDAY: The annual Marche du Nain Rouge in midtown

There are many things that are unique to Detroit, and the annual banishment of winter by marching the wicked Nain Rouge into the River is one of our favorites. Dolly up in your favorite costume, your dumbest outfit, or just your brightest reds and parade to celebrate a new beginning.

Sunday 23 March
1-3pm beginning at Traffic Jam parking lot on West Canfield
(5k run begins at 11 a.m., at the corner of Cass and Canfield)

For 300 years, on the Sunday after the Vernal Equinox, Detroiters have celebrated liberation from the Nain Rouge, the fiendish embodiment of all that holds us back. Revelers dressed in costume converge at or near Cass Park and hope for better things for Detroit’s future, celebrating whatever is good and working in the city: happiness, success and freedom from the antagonism of the Nain in the new year.

Unfortunately, on occasion, the Nain Rouge is able to manifest, and reveals himself to the revelers, taunting them with tales of his evil machinations and plans meant to bring the city down. Just in case, revelers are advised to come in disguise, so the Nain can’t exact revenge.

But if the Nain does appear, a struggle will ensue as the evil red dwarf taunts revelers, challenging them to join him in Cass Park, where his ultimate plan for the city’s demise will be revealed. The epic confrontation will culminate in one decisive moment – when the future of the city hinges on whether the hopes of the gathered Detroiters can overwhelm the Nain Rouge’s dastardly plans, or whether the curse of the Nain Rouge manages to hold the city back once again.

Please come and join us for a celebration of Detroit. And should the dwarf appear, support our city against her oldest adversary, the Nain Rouge. With your help, just like in years past, the thing that tries to thwart us will discover this city is not finished. This city will not give up and Detroit will have a bright future.

(So what is it really? It’s a family friendly – with parental guidance recommended – do-it-yourself Mardi Gras style march full of inside jokes and absurdity unlike anything else in Detroit, but we’ll never admit it can be explained that easily. Come down and have a good time.)