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2017 Marche Du Nain Rouge

Marche Du Nain Rouge

Talking about this event is hard. I’m friends with people from all over the world and when I posted the amazing selfies (for real, my selfie game is strong) I took at the event and they asked what kind of party it was, I froze. How could I explain completely seriously that I was at a big celebration to chase a demon out of Detroit? But that’s exactly what happened. Thousands of enthusiastic participants braved the cold and the rain to march through the streets of Detroit to show Nain exactly where he could shove it!

The Marche is a parade down the Cass Corridor in which the people of Detroit come together to cast out the evil, red-faced demon who was a harbinger of doom and the embodiment of anger, pride, and envy. Apparently, around the time Detroit was founded, one of the explorers dreamed about the demon and then was warned by a fortune teller that Nain Rouge would bring nothing but pain. But fear not! He managed to chase him away with a stick or something. That part is fuzzy, but if I ever have to face a demon, I’ll grab my handy stick for sure. (more info here:

Since I had no idea how to dress, I studied pictures from last year’s event and noticed lots of masks and costumes. After thirty minutes of tearing apart my basement, I FINALLY found the only mask I have, pulled out my purple umbrella and was ready to go.

At the Wayne State parking structure, my group immediately saw another group dressed up in corsets and costumes, elaborate skirts and some on point makeup, so I knew the mask was a good move.

Along the street were the floats getting ready to go. The first cool thing we saw was a bubble display courtesy of Detroit Ultimate Frisbee. I had to do a double-take when she told me that since there were no frisbees around, but it totally checked out.

We walked along the floats. There were trucks that breathed fire, the Ghostbusters Detroit, a scrubbing bubbles contraption, a float that made fun of a certain political figure and, the masterpiece, a giant truck which would haul Nain Rouge through the streets while the good people of the city told him to GTFO. No one was shaking sticks, but I feel like that would’ve made it even cooler than it already was.

My MCG boss and photographer got us a spot right behind the big Nain Rouge truck so we were able to hear all his insults he hurled at the crowd as he was carted down the road. Then we were able to make our way through the streets at the front of the action while fire dancers wowed the crowd and a The Michigan Center for Capoeira performed their style of dance and fight as they moved down the road.

Some additional highlights of the parade were the Theater Bizarre reps there handing out flyers who had some of the coolest outfits of the day.

The giant Robocop, because who better to protect Detroit than Alex Murphy!

And, of course, the giant party at the historic Majestic Theater to relax and socialize after a successful parade!

So what is March du Nain Rouge? Marche Du Nain Rouge is a celebration of weird. It’s a celebration of good over evil. It’s a celebration of hope. And, most of all, it’s a celebration of Detroit.

Article by Mallory Crowe. Photos by Austin Benedict.

More photos below!

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