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Nain Rouge

This weekend fiance was like, wanna go to a parade on Sunday?  And I was like Parade?  Where?  What for? And YES.

It was just down the block, and the parade was actually a march, to march the Nain Rouge, or red dwarf out of town.  The nain rouge is allegedly an evil spirit that appears in Detroit before unfortunate events happen in the city.  The legend dates back 300 years, to when the first white settler of Detroit, Cadillac, was attacked by the dwarf, lost his fortune, and fled Detroit for France.  Since then, the small creature has been sighted and attached to events such as the riots in 1967.

Apparently, last year, midtown Detroiters revived an old tradition of running the Nain Rouge out of town, by wearing costumes and parading down Cass Ave.  As year two of the new tradition, the parade promised more costumes and more contraptions.

We decided to see what it was all about, and headed out along the described route.  We stumbled into a group of about a dozen or so people on a street corner dressed in red, and decided to join them to watch the march.  As we waited for the event to begin, one of the ladies began passing around signs.  Apparently we had stumbled into some sort of protest in favor of befriending the nain rouge and welcoming the spirit’s place in Detroit.  Being good sports, we grabbed signs and practiced chants, and prepared ourselves for the protest.

As we heard the parade noises begin, we looked down the block to see the marchers were straying from the planned route, and now we were protesting on a corner they were not going to walk by.  Being quick thinkers, we moved locations and caught the march right as it was turning our way.

The march was a sort of cross between a mardi gras parade and the may day parade.  Although on a much smaller scale, being only in its second year.  As they realized what our signs said and that we were protesting them, the majority of the marchers pulled out cameras to snap photos.  We answered their cameras and boos with chants of “Ho Ho, Hey Hey, the Nain Rouge is here to stay.”

After the marchers passed us, we followed them to the park to watch the Nain Rouge be arrested, and enjoy the festivities, including a small marching band jam for a few numbers.

Next year we’ll be there in costumes.  I’m definitely using this as an excuse to own a fancy mask.

For more pictures of the march go here.

Also, if you want to hire us to take place in your protest, leave a comment.  We learn chants quickly and are good sign holders.

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