Ann Arbor’s eccentric FoolMoon festival returns with following FestiFools parade

Music, artists, street dancers, and hundreds of luminary sculptures will fill the streets of Ann Arbor for the annual FoolMoon festival on Friday, April 5. Organizers announced that this year’s theme is “FoolBloom,” which will bring the spirit of spring to the city through unique sculptures inspired by flowers.

Two days later, on April 7, the connected parade FestiFools will take over Ann Arbor with a one-hour-only event from 4-5 p.m., showcasing tons of new paper mache puppets crafted by University of Michigan students and community volunteers throughout the winter. The larger-than-life puppets, made from cardboard, tape, bamboo, and other materials, are based on the theme “FestiFables” and will parade down Main Street in downtown Ann Arbor.

During the FoolMoon festival, participants will gather at one of three different “Constellation Stations,” including Slauson Middle School, the front lawn of UMMA, and the Kerrytown Farmers Market. At 8 p.m., everyone will dance through downtown, winding past restaurants and through neighborhoods.

This year’s festival will feature a huge live music dance party led by The Ruckus, an ensemble of jazz and funk musicians from the U-M School of Music, Theater, and Dance. Detroit DJ Problematic Black Hottie will also be featured, playing funky and tropical dance beats hailing from the African diaspora.

Additionally, attendees will hear Groove, a non-traditional percussion and performance group at the University of Michigan. Plus, the Detroit Party Marching Band, an ever-evolving collective of 20+ Detroit area musicians, will also join the street party.

Ann Arbor brewpub Grizzly Peak will be offering a special FoolBrew and a cocktail menu exclusively for FoolMoon celebrants, with a portion of the proceeds donated to help keep FestiFools and FoolMoon free to the public.

Ann Arbor’s FestiFools first paraded the city’s streets in 2007 and quickly became an Ann Arbor tradition. The light-filled community FoolMoon festival was added in 2011. For the first time this year, FestiFools and FoolMoon will feature U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell as the “Honorary Grand Luminary.”

For more information on FestiFools and FoolMoon 2024, you can visit FestiFools Studio on Facebook.

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