It’s Time for Detroit to Marche du Nain Rouge!

Detroit – The Marche du Nain Rouge, Sunday, March 20, 1 – 7 p.m., will bring more than 1,000 revelers to the Cass Corridor to return Detroit’s folkloric tradition of banishing the “Nain Rouge” or the red dwarf who has haunted Detroit for more than 300 years.

The event begins at 1 p.m. in the parking lot behind 3rd Street Bar, 4626 Third Street.  At that time, the Nain Rouge is expected to appear, be chanted out of the city and chased down the Cass Corridor.  The opening ceremonies will also includes the first viewing of more than 10 community-created chariots built by Detroit neighborhood organizations and other revelers who want to rid Detroit of the Nain Rouge.   There will also be a ticket booth in the parking lot where marchers can buy advanced tickets for food and beverages at the end of the Marche in Cass Park (details below).

The Marche will then be led by the Detroit Party Marching Band and the charioteers who bring revelers through North Cass Corridor and down Cass Avenue to Cass Park.  Residents and businesses along the route are encouraged to participate in their own way to scare the Nain Rouge out of the city. Marchers should be prepared for the Nain to taunt them down the Corridor.

The Marche will conclude at  3p.m. in Cass Park, where the Nain Rouge will be recapture by the ghosts of Detroit’s past – expect some surprise appearances.

The Cass Park festival will begin at 3:30 p.m. and will include performances from DJ Big Time America and bands Golden and Car Parts. The festival will also include Detroit Dwarf Beer provided by the official beer sponsor Detroit Brewing Company and food provided by Avalon International Breads and Slows Bar BQ. Tickets for food and beverages will be sold at 3rd Street and Cass Park (details below). City Bird will also have a booth at the park, selling their Nain Rouge merchandise (details below).

The Marche is free!  Tickets for food and beverages can be purchased at 3rd Street Bar and Cass Park the day of the event. Tickets are $3 each – 1 ticket for beer, 2 tickets for sandwiches.

The Night Move is providing transportation from Cass Park back to revelers’ cars near 3rd Street Bar. Service is 3 p.m. – 8 p.m. and $2 per passenger.

Community Activities and Promotions

City Bird is creating a special line of Nain Rouge merchandise with a percent its sales to benefit the Marche.  Products will include t-shirts, vintage style felt pennants, shot glasses, pencils and pins.  Several items will feature illustrations by famed artist/cartoonist Michael Burdick.  The items will be sold at City Bird and at the Cass Park portion of the festival.

Also on Friday, March 18, 6 – 9 p.m., City Bird will hold a Nain Rouge Party featuring the newly released merchandise and a Nain Rouge Shadow-Puppet Show by Mary Alice’s Menagerie

555 Gallery is holding an event on March 10, 5:30 – 8 p.m. called City in Exile: Contingent for Marche du Nain Rouge, invited the community to come to the gallery and create vacant building headdresses.

Other promotions include:

  • Cass Café – Free red-deviled eggs on March 20, 5 – 8 p.m.
  • Bureau of Urban Living – 25% off Paris of the Midwest candles and coffee, March 15 – 20
  • Bronx Bar – Nain Rouge Bloody Marys on March 20
  • Avalon International Breads – Nain Rouge Red Velvet Whoopie Pies during the month of March.
  • Source Booksellers – Special Nain Rouge inspired merchandise
  • Wheelhouse Detroit – Nain Rouge Tune-up Special – $15 off – redeemed by using code phrase “get that Nain off my back” the weekend of the Marche.
  • Pure Detroit – Nain Rouge-inspired deep red, 100% cotton Cass Corridor t-shirt with red screen print.
  • Stella Café – Nain Rouge Café au Lait, a warm blend of steamed milk & coffee especially roasted by Cadillac Coffee dusted with cinnamon on the froth.

Sponsors for the Marche du Nain Rouge 2011 include the University Cultural Center Association – Midtown, Inc., Team Detroit, Miller Canfield, Avalon International Breads, Bronx Bar, Pure Detroit, Bureau of Urban Living, City Bird, Canine to Five Detroit, O’Connor Real Estate Development, Cass Cafe and The Night Move.

For more information about the Marche du Nain Rouge, visit

The Marche du Nain Rouge is rooted in Detroit’s early history, when Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac founded Detroit and was confronted by the Nain Rouge.  He purportedly hit the Nain Rouge with his cane and became cursed for life.  Since then, the Nain Rouge has been spotted throughout Detroit’s history, usual at the city’s most notorious occurrences.

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