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Detroit’s annual Marche du Nain Rouge parade canceled due to coronavirus

The Nain taunts the crowd at Marche du Nain Rouge 2016. Credit Steven Pham
The Nain taunts the crowd at Marche du Nain Rouge 2016. Credit Steven Pham

DETROIT – The annual Marche du Nain Rouge has been canceled due to coronavirus concerns in Michigan.

The Marche du Nain Rouge Board of Directors voted to cancel the parade in light of the recent coronavirus cases in the state. The parade was planned for March 22 in Detroit’s Cass Corridor.

A brief history

In 1701, legendary founder of Detroit Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac met a fortune-teller, who warned him to beware of the Nain Rouge, the “Red Dwarf” who appeared to Cadillac in a dream. She warned Cadillac that the the little red imp is the embodiment of his ambition, anger, pride, envy — everything that held him back. The Nain Rouge, she told him, is the harbinger of doom. However, when Cadillac first saw the fiend in person, the Nain taunted him mercilessly and Cadillac chased the Nain away with a stick.

Unfortunately, the fortune turned out to be true and Cadillac died penniless after he left Detroit for France. The city he founded, however, fared better, endured and prospered (mostly), against the fiendish efforts of the Nain Rouge.

For more than 300 years, Detroiters memorialized Cadillac’s actions and willingness to persevere and hope for better things, combined with the determination to rise from the ashes. At Detroit’s worst moments, the Nain has been there, cackling or taunting the city’s residents. And so every year, Detroiters celebrate liberation from the Nain, a new beginning, and whatever is good and working in the city in a spring festival for the good and betterment of the city of Detroit.


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