Revelers march to banish Nain Rouge from Detroit in annual tradition

Marche du Nain Rouge returns to Midtown after 2-year COVID hiatus

DETROIT – The annual Marche du Nain Rouge was one of the first parades to be shut down when the pandemic hit in March 2020, so it has been almost three years since the last festival.

And for once, a road closure was a welcome sight on Sunday, as Midtown prepared for one of its most memorable parades.

“I’m excited and a little nervous, because I don’t know if people remember how to do a parade, but we’re gonna try,” said co-founder Francis Grunow ahead of the March 20 parade.

The Marche du Nain Rouge banner was hung at the Masonic Temple, and thousands descended upon Cass Corridor Sunday -- and with all the pomp and pageantry you’d expect.

“It’s kind of a mix of Mardi Gras and Halloween,” Grunow said. “People come as their alter egos so the Nain Rouge doesn’t recognize them.”

As legend has it, the Nain Rouge has been a harbinger of doom since Detroit was founded. Each year, crowds gather at the beginning of the spring season to kick off a new year by marching the Nain Rouge -- the devil, or, literally, “red dwarf” -- out of town.

Maybe the Nain Rouge is to blame for keeping revelers away for the past few years -- but this year, they are back with a vengeance. The wait is finally over to wear red and restore order in the city of Detroit.

See more in the video report above.

More: Marche du Nain Rouge returns to Detroit’s Midtown after 2 year COVID hiatus

About the Author:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism