Marche du Nain Rouge | Marche du Nain Rouge

Everything You Need to Do in Detroit This Spring

Updated On 03/07/2018 at 05:14PM EST
Marche du Nain Rouge | Marche du Nain Rouge
Mar 9
Empty Bowls at Eastern Market
Empty Bowls Detroit brings a collection of beautifully decorated ceramic bowls, local celebrities, and even bowls decorated by local celebrities to Eastern Market. Billed by organizers as “an evening of celebration with live entertainment, wine/beer, and soups from 30 Detroit-area restaurants,” the 21+ event is a fundraiser for Cass Community Social Services’ food program, which serves over a million meals a year to those in need. All guests receive a ceramic bowl with their ticket, and can also take part in an auction of custom-made bowls painted by celebrities.
Cost: $40
Mar 11
Roosevelt Park
The city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day-themed road race has become one of the largest 5K’s in Michigan, and you can come to run -- registration is required via the event webpage in advance -- or simply to wear a fun costume and check out all the other costumed Detroiters. The race starts and finishes at Roosevelt Park, right in front of Michigan Central Station and it doesn’t stand on ceremony: per the organizers, “walkers, dogs, and strollers are welcome.” Proceeds benefit the St. Patrick's Senior Center, and you’re welcome to bring canned goods to donate, too. And remember: Corktown Races is all about the costumes and the costume contest, where prizes are given for originality and execution and “team themes are especially welcome.”
Cost: $20-$50 for racers, free for spectators.
Mar 25
Cass Corridor, Detroit
As you might expect, the Marche takes place every March “around the Equinox,” and allows thousands of costumed Detroiters to parade through Midtown in celebration of the city. There are floats, marching bands, and krewes representing every corner of Detroit, and the Nain Rouge (a red, devil-like figure blamed for all the city’s woes) appears at the Marche “armed with witty barbs and a half-baked scheme to take Detroiters down a notch.”
Cost: The Marche du Nain Rouge is a nonprofit run primarily by volunteers -- it’s free, but donations are appreciated and sponsorship opportunities abound.
Mar 29
Comerica Park
Watch your hometown heroes take on the Pittsburgh Pirates to officially open the 2018 MLB season at Comerica Park. Justin Verlander, J.D. Martinez, Justin Upton, and Ian Kinsler may be gone, but we’re all still here, and opening day is bound to be a ton of fun. Where else can you drink an ice cold beer at 1pm on a workday, or ride a tiny Ferris wheel made of baseballs? While expectations for the team are a bit understated, given all the off-season trades, opening day has sold out every year since Comerica Park opened in 2000, so it’ll be a full house for the 7th inning stretch.
Cost: Prices range from $55 (for standing room only) all the way up to $180 (for on-deck circle seats). If you watch the game in a bar, though? Free.
the heidelberg project | JHVEPhoto/
Apr 1
The Filmore Detroit
Insane Clown Posse wraps up Slamfest 2018 by bringing it all home to Detroit with a show at the Filmore. Joining Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope will be bands Attila, Cage and Sylar, and for a paltry $135 you can buy a VIP package to the event of the Juggalo social season, which gets you a meet and greet with ICP, a Slamfest hat pin (!), much Red Fred gear, a “Special CD,” and, best of all, “access to join the Clowns onstage for Faygo Armageddon.” General admission to the show is just $25, though, which shows the Clowns commitment to the Detroit fanbase. Get sticky with the Clowns -- or, if you’re out of Faygo range, just get, you know, down with them.
Cost: Tickets cost $25-$135
Apr 1
Heidelberg Street and Mount Elliot, Detroit
With warm weather and melting snow comes the possibility of seeing new art (sometimes as artist Tyree Guyton is creating it) at the folk art environment that made a city street into a gallery over 30 years ago. The Heidelberg Project -- a two-block stretch of houses along the eponymous Heidelberg Street -- began as an effort to rehabilitate Guyton’s grandparents’ neighborhood, and today it draws thousands of visitors from all over the world, bringing an estimated $500,000 to the city every year. Remaining residents on the block have made the art part of their lives, too; Otila Bell, who’s lived on the street since 1986, calls her home “the Yellow House guestbook,” because she welcomes visitors to sign the home for $1 donation, using proceeds for repairs.
Cost: Free
Apr 15
Tangent Gallery
Detroit's Tangent Gallery will offer “used items, from vintage collectibles to everyday needs” for sale, trade, and possibly even for free, depending on how badly the owners want to be clutter-free this spring. People from across the metro are welcome to buy, sell, trade, and give from noon till 6, with a cash bar to make the browsing extra cheerful.
Cost: Free
Apr 20
Eastern Market
Described by organizers as “an evening of exclusive tasting while you mingle with industry experts and enjoy a delectable array of strolling appetizers,” this event (now in its fourth year) benefits the Luella M. Harden Foundation, a local nonprofit that sponsors college scholarships and collects contributions for the Leukemia Society. General admission tickets get you entry at 6:30pm, a custom-etched Whisky Experience nosing glass, a tote bag, a printed event program, a pen, and first-come, first-served admission to the seminars. You’ll also get to enjoy a gourmet buffet. VIP tickets get you early entry (5:30pm), and “exclusive, one-on-one access to brand ambassadors,” but VIPs also get to sample “distinguished labels not available to General Admission attendees.” The event is 21 and over, perhaps because whisky isn’t for kids.
Cost: $50 (general admission), $70 (VIP), or $20 (designated drivers).
Apr 21
El Club
John Waters’ 16-movie oeuvre includes Pink Flamingos, famous for a scene in which drag queen Divine ate actual feces, as well as (slightly) less trashy fare like Polyester, Hairspray, Cry Baby, and Serial Mom. Waters has also acted in his own films as well as doing a notable turn as some variety of sex criminal being returned to Baltimore -- his real-life hometown and constant inspiration -- by police on Homicide: Life on the Streets. The 71-year-old writer/director, who’s also written several books, will celebrate his 72nd birthday at El Club where he’ll meet, greet, and perform live to a screening of Serial Mom. Afterward, LA punk/alternative rockers L7 will take the stage.
Cost: $60-$250
Flower Day | Eastern Market Coporation
May 5
Green Dot Stables
A perennial favorite whenever anyone asks where to drink... er, watch the race on Kentucky Derby Day, Detroit’s premier slider destination has everything you need to make the Derby, well, the Derby. This means TVs so you can watch the race for the two minutes it lasts, a wide array of sliders, and a $3 mint julep you can technically buy every day of the year, but which is at its most special when horses are running for the roses two states south. Green Dot has a hot brown slider -- their take on “hot brown,” a Kentucky specialty -- for $3, too.
Cost: No cover; sliders range from $2-$3, and most mixed drinks are also just $3.
May 12
Grosse Pointe Yacht Club
Sponsored by the sailing team at Brother Rice Marian Sailing and the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club, this high school race offers you the chance to cheer on kids supporting a good cause (the regatta benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society). The event will take place directly in front of the Sailing Center at the very chi-chi Grosse Pointe Yacht Club, so if you’ve ever wanted a very good, very free reason to check out Lake St. Clair from that vantage, this is your chance. The organizers welcome the public to watch the race from “the fantastic and comfortable dockside stadium.”
Cost: Free
May 25
Keyworth Stadium, Hamtramck
Founded in 2012, Detroit City FC is the city’s minor league soccer club, and plays matches in Hamtramck’s Heyworth Stadium; as you'd expect, the games are as exciting as they are loud, and the fans are deeply committed. This year, the club’s offering a four-match ticket deal for $30 -- a $10 discount over four regularly priced tickets -- and in addition to the home opener, the club will host an international team TBA in an exhibition May 19. DCFC will host six National Premier Soccer League regular season bouts and six “friendly” or exhibition matches at Keyworth this spring and summer, but there are also a few preseason matches in March and April, in case you want to get in on the action early.
Cost: $10 for general admission, $15 for gold section seats and $50 for DFCU Financial Lounge VIP tickets, which include on-field seating and refreshments. The team also offers group discounts and season ticket plans.
May 20
Eastern Market
Flower Day's an annual Detroit tradition for 152 years that's been taking place at Eastern Market since 1967. Always set for the Sunday after Mother's Day, the event lets Metro Detroiters get great deals on plants and flowers, and festoons Eastern Market in a riot of colorful blooms all day long. Growers offer a brilliant, varied, and colorful array of flowers and plants and bargain prices, so organizers advise getting there early for the best selections. Eastern Market puts on the event in partnership with the Metro Detroit Flower Growers Association (MDFGA), which shares a 15-acre plot in the city, growing “the heartiest varieties of flowers for this region.”
Cost: Free admission, but bring money for any plants or flowers you plan to buy.
Saturday - Monday
May 26-28
Hart Plaza
The fifth annual Movement Electronic Music Festival will welcome thousands of people from every corner of the world to “gather in the birthplace of Techno to celebrate the heritage of Detroit and its musical influence over countless generations, new and old.” There are bands and DJs all weekend long, and the people-watching opportunities will be fantastic: if you have brunch at Grand Trunk any day of the festival, the parade of costumed revelers strolling by the bar’s plate glass window offers a show in and of itself. Movement is all ages, but organizer do ask that kids under 12 be kept out of the meet-and-greet area after dusk.
Cost: $85 (single day ticket), $195 (all-weekend general admission pass), or $320 (VIP weekend pass).
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Photo courtesy of Marc Forgione

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