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Detroit Banishes 300-Year-Old Nemesis in Annual Marche du Nain Rouge

Photo Essay

Detroit’s Marche du Nain Rouge in Pictures

Photo Essay by Andrew Galbraith

Few examples of American folklore are as delightful as the legend of the evil Nain Rouge (red dwarf) that has tormented the city of Detroit for over 300 years.

The Nain Rouge is thought to be the foul offspring of the Stone God, and, as the legend goes, his appearance is a sure sign of trouble to come. It is said that Detroit founder Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac was warned about the red imp by a fortune teller in 1701. She told him the Nain Rouge was a harbinger of doom and that he should ignore the beast if he were to encounter it – as to do otherwise was sure to bring bad luck. Despite this sound counsel, when Cadillac first saw the fiend in person, the Nain taunted him mercilessly and Cadillac chased the red devil away with a stick. He would go on to die penniless. Throughout the years it would be spotted again, with more ill fortune to follow for the city of Detroit.

The Nain Rouge continues to plot Detroit’s demise, but on the Sunday after the vernal equinox, Detroiters gather to take down the doomsayer and prove the city’s willingness to survive. This annual event is known as the Marche du Nain Rouge and can only be described as part Mardi Gras, part street party, and one hell of a Detroit good time. Please enjoy these beautiful images of this year’s festivities, from photographer Andrew Galbraith.

Marche du Nain Rouge, Detroit, MI

Marche du Nain Rouge, Deroit, MI

Marche du Nain Rouge 2015, Detroit, MI

Marche du Nain Rouge 2015, Detroit, MI

Marche du Nain Rouge 2015, Detroit, MI

Marche du Nain Rouge 2015, Detroit, MI

Marche du Nain Rouge 2015, Detroit, MI

Marche du Nain Rouge 2015, Detroit, MI

Marche du Nain Rouge 2015, Detroit, MI

Marche du Nain Rouge 2015, Detroit, MI

Marche Du Nain Rouge 2013 from Pure Detroit on Vimeo.

To learn about the Marche du Nain Rouge, visit the official website here.

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