Events, Festivals and Exhibitions

Marche du Nain Rouge Detroit 2024

24 March


The Marche du Nain Rouge Detroit takes place around the Spring Equinox.

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The Marche du Nain Rouge Detroit takes place around the Spring Equinox. This traditional festival involves a parade in the Cass Corridor part of the city, were locals outwit the Nain Rouge, the city’s legendary harbinger of doom, with their barbed with and atrocious French.

What Is Marche du Nain Rouge?

Central to the parade are the krewes, which are similar to at New Orleans Mardi Gras, but in Detroit the krewes build human-powered floats, where they perform music in their costumes, and represent their neighbourhood. It is the job of the krewes to ensure that the Nain Rouge leaves town.

The parade, party and live music all make up the Marche du Nain Rouge which is great fun and a symbol of the community spirit and determination of Detroit’s population.

Nain Rouge

From the French for Red Dwarf, the Nain Rouge first appeared in print at least in the 1880s, although some claim that the hobgoblin dates back to the early French settlers in the 17th century.

In Legends of Le Détroit by Marie Caroline Watson Hamlin’s (1883) the Nain Rouge is described as, “very red in the face, with a bright, glistening eye”.

The red dwarf could have its origins in French culture or in native American beliefs. The jury seems out on this one. It could also be that the founder of Detroit Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac was cursed by the impish devil. He certainly returned to France and became impoverished.

Marche du Nain Rouge Detroit
Marche du Nain Rouge Detroit

La Marche du Nain Rouge History

What is certain is that the parade first started in 2010. Since then the Nain Rouge has been driven out by the citizens of Detroit. Although not everyone is in support of the dwarf’s banishment. The Friends of the Nain Rouge and We Are Nain Rouge argue that the red dwarf is not to blame for the city’s ills. In recent years, the Marche has been seen as something of the symbol of the regeneration of Detroit, a city that has risen from the ashes.

When Is the Marche du Nain Rouge 2024?

The Marche du Nain Rouge Detroit 2024 will be on 24 March. The festival is FREE.

Marche du Nain Rouge Detroit 2024 Schedule

Paraders and revellers gather at the intersection of Canfield and Second. Then at 2pm they parade to the Masonic Temple. This is also the venue for the closing ceremony as well as the Official Afterparty the temple’s Fountain Ballroom.

Marche Songs

If you wish to learn some of the traditional songs, click here.

Marche du Nain Rouge Route

You can find the route the Marche follows here.

How To Get There

To take public transport to the Marche check out these links:; and

Other Festivals in Detroit

Detroit is a really happening city with a plethora of festivals to enjoy. These include the Detroit Jazz Festival, Paczki Day and Frankenfest Detroit.

Things To Do in Detroit

To discover what else there is to do in Detroit, follow Robert Spellman on his Michigan Road Trip, or explore the official Visit Detroit website.


24 March


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Mark Bibby Jackson

Mark Bibby Jackson

Before setting up Travel Begins at 40, Mark was the publisher of AsiaLIFE Cambodia and a freelance travel writer. When he is not packing and unpacking his travelling bag, Mark writes novels, including To Cook A Spider and Peppered Justice. He loves walking, eating, tasting beer, isolation and arthouse movies, as well as talking to strangers on planes, buses and trains whenever possible. Most at home when not at home.

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