April Fool's Day FestiFools

by Jan Davies McDermott on April 1st, 2013

Downtown Ann Arbor will be a glowing, magical gala Friday, April 5, 2013 , dusk to midnight for the FoolMoon Festival.  Then into a bright sea of colorful folks and massive papier mache characters on Sunday, April 7, 4:00-5:00pm, a parade of bright, colorful, massive papier mache characters will march through downtown.  It's all part of the 2013 FestiFools.  This pair of artsy street celebrations full of fun for the whole family. Shimmering handmade lantern sculptures are the highlight (literally) of the free nighttime FoolMoon event, which returns for a second year. These objets d'illumination, crafted and wielded by the Ann Arbor community, form a humongous processional taking over the sidewalks downtown. Admire the host of glimmering creatures and shining shapes, or make your own to add to the mix. (You can find instructions for making an "illuminary" on the event's website.)

Revelers of all ages will gather at dusk (around 8 p.m.) on Friday night at one of three starting points: Slauson Middle School, Kerrytown at the Farmers' Market and the U-M Museum of Art. From there, they'll dance, skip and frolic their ways to the intersection of Washington and Ashley streets in the heart of Ann Arbor. The sparkling street party runs to midnight, with live music, treats and a host of artful delights, like roving shadow puppet shows and building-sized experimental films.

Tree Town's FestiFools street fair. A gigantic public art spectacle, the array takes to Main Street from 4 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, traveling between William and Washington streets. Watch for all manner of eye-popping papier mache puppets – of "magnificent, huge, bizarre, politically incorrect, human powered" varieties, promises FestiFools' Facebook wall – created by the community and U-M students.

Best of all, it's all free!

Don't fret if rainy weather attempts to infringe on your fun.  if you bring a luminary sculpture to any one of three constellation stations, you'll receive some fashionable plastic rain gear and fancy little umbrellas on Friday night.

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