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Marche du Nain Rouge street parade has been canceled

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Organizers have canceled the grassroots Marche du Nain Rouge, an annual parade through the Cass Corridor held at the beginning of spring. 

“As much as we love to host a parade and party through the streets of Detroit, we would never want to compromise the health and safety of Detroiters,” parade co-founder Francis Grunow said in a press statement issued Thursday. "While we are very disappointed in this outcome, we are determined to come back next year better than ever."

Metro Detroiters wearing outlandish costumes parade down Cass Avenue and chase the Nain Rouge out of town in the annual spring ritual known as the Marche du Nain Rouge.

The annual procession, which includes costumed revelers, marching bands, floats and other fun people watching, was scheduled for March 22.

The route typically runs from Cass and Canfield to the Masonic Temple. The purpose is to banish the city's "harbinger of doom," the nain rouge. 

More:Detroit rings in spring with 10th Nain Rouge 'Marche'

More:Detroit's St. Patrick's Parade Sunday is canceled; Corktown bars to party on

Tim Costello, co-owner of 8 Degrees Plato Detroit on Cass along the Marche du Nain Rouge route said their party will go on as planned on March 22. They expected to be a pit stop for costumed marchers with craft beer, cocktails and food.  

"I don't want to say it's business as usual, but we're still going forward," he said. "I think that because this week will be tough because this is happening to everybody now ... I think by next week people are going to be ready to get out of the house and get back to normal.

"It's still very safe to go out and beer is still very good," he said, adding that they haven't invested nearly as much as bars along the St. Patrick's Parade route, which was canceled for this Sunday. 

"I really feel for those guys down in Corktown." 

While Sunday's St. Patrick's Parade in Corktown has been canceled by parade officials, but the bars and restaurants in the area plan to keep as much of their programming as possible. 

"We have full tents and live music, the party is going to go on," said Gerald Stevens, owner of Nancy Whiskey Pub in Corktown regarding this Sunday's party. "We had a radio station coming down but they canceled, but we're pretty positive that people are still going to show up. Obviously not in the amount they normally would, but (as a business owner) you're so deep into this. It's just another challenge."

mbaetens@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @melodybaetens