Centuries from now, historians will sing the praises of the brave (and possibly intoxicated) Detroiters who swarmed the Cass Corridor last Sunday in legion to banish the Nain Rouge away once again.
Men, women and children donned moustaches to hide their identities from the city's legendary red devil, who appears to foreshadow ruin in a place where peril has long been familiar. Some revolted against the nain's terrible reign and mocked him, sporting costumes that bordered on the absurd. The runners stood guard first, patrolling the avenues in droves. It was dangerous out there. It was time to fight back.
They met in the streets, these brave Detroiters. They shook their fists at his wicked omnipotence. The Detroit Party Marching Band's proud horns and stirring drums could be heard down the alleys and through the walls. Spite hid from the throngs as they marched up and down the streets of a place now called Midtown, hoping to be overlooked. Fear realized he was outnumbered and sped for the freeway. On Sunday, Detroit belonged to Detroiters, all of them.
And when they met at the soaring Masonic Temple that cold afternoon, thousands of revelers united against the force of darkness, they withstood the Nain's taunts and threats. Their voices drowned his spirit until he turned and fled. Their cheers filled the air with hope and courage, enough to withstand the power of the Nain Rouge's eternal curse through another year. And then they drank, and ate, and laughed, and met their cups of ale together as witness to the power their unity hath wrought in Detroit.
Relive the magic of the Marche du Nain Rouge with this video from Hanford & Hooper for Pure Detroit.