The Nain Rouge was playing with fire, literally and figuratively. The dreaded red dwarf, in addition to his taunting of Detroiters and their city, rode in on a dragon float that emitted bursts of fire at random intervals. The dragon float is a new addition to the new tradition of the Marche du Nain Rouge, celebrated on the Sunday afternoon after the vernal equinox, which was earlier today, March 23, 2014.
The event started with the voice of the Nain Rouge taking credit for several bad things in Detroit. "I gerrymandered Michigan," he claimed, and "I put lead in the soil." He also had taunts for sports fans: "I will make sure every year is a rebuilding year for the Detroit Lions" and "I tore down Tiger Stadium."
Tom Grunow, a member of the event planning committee, dressed as Napoleon Bonaparte, expressed French camaraderie to the people of Detroit. Then, to the strains of the Imperial March by John Williams, the dragon float showed up, with the Nain Rouge on the second deck. Fire dancers from Theater Bizarre headed the parade, followed by the dragon float with the Nain Rouge seated at the tail end, the Gabriel Traditional New Orleans Brass Band and assorted revelers in costumes.
At least one person at the event thinks the Nain Rouge has been unjustly vilified. John E. L. Tenney passed out leaflets calling on people to "stop Nain shame" and explaining that the Nain Rouge's "motives have been twisted by unseen corporate masters. An invisible hand … has rallied its forces to chase this being from the very home it was sworn to protect."
The parade ended in front of the Masonic Temple, but this year Channel 4 reporter Devin Scillian wasn't there to banish the red dwarf. Instead, a man dressed in a cheesy police officer costume confronted the Nain about his illegally parked dragon float. The Nain asked around for change for a dollar, but no one would give him anything, having earlier booed him. With the Nain gone, the celebration moved inside the Masonic Temple as the real police reopened Temple Street to normal traffic.
"Great time!" is how Detroit resident Angela Colón characterized the event. "They had a fire-breathing dragon!" Events before the parade included a 5K run. Sponsors for the parade included the Traffic Jam & Snug, Recycle Here!, Green Dot Stables, Brooks Lumber, City Bird, St. Cece's Pub and many others, according to the event's website.