Detroit’s annual Marche du Nain Rouge

Nain Regards the Parade

The Red Dwarf regards the Parade, photo by Kate Sassak

Kate Sassak took today’s photo back in 2014 as the official photographer of the event. In a photo-packed article on her website she writes:

One of the coolest events in the City of Detroit is the Marche Du Nain Rouge. Every year, on the Sunday after the Vernal Equinox, Detroiters gather in Cass Park to say “Eff you!” to the Red Devil. The Marche is a huge Mardi Gras style party and parade with a fire breathing dragon, music and outlandish costumes. People from all over the city come together to “banish” the Nain and celebrate all the good things happening in the City of Detroit.

The Marche du Nain Rouge is an annual, symbolic celebration of the liberation of Detroit from the Nain Rouge (Red Dwarf), a supernatural imp who has purportedly plagued the city since at least its founding. The celebration takes place this Sunday (March 20, 1-3 PM) and you can get all the details and lots of great photos at from the Marche du Nain Rouge website. Also be sure to check out the story of the Nain Rouge on Absolute Michigan.

See more more in Kate’s Marche du Nain Rouge photo gallery and stay tuned as she is once again photographing in 2016! Definitely follow both Kate Sassak Photography and the Marche du Nain Rouge on Facebook for the latest.

Michigan in Petoskey stones in the Final 20 for ArtPrize 7

michigan petoskey stone

michigan petoskey stone, photo by Jacob Vanderheyden

The ArtPrize Seven Final 20 has been announced with 3 of the top entries from 2013 once again in the running. Click the link to see them all, incuding this one: michigan petoskey stone by Randall Libby from Manistee. It’s on display at the DeVos Center – here’s the scoop:

WORLDS LARGEST PETOSKEY STONE DISPLAY Using petoskey stone and fossil, a framed two-dimensional display with a square shape that measures approximately nine feet (9ft.) tall by nine feet (9ft.) wide / a depth of approximately 4 inches and a weight near 700lbs. Subject matter- State of Michigan map with all 83 counties. One of a kind Hundreds of hours of labor with hundreds of individual slices of semi-precious stone- this item is sure to compete for top placement in art prize. To see examples of earlier work go to petoskeystoneart.com

View Jacob’s photo background bigtacular and see lots more in his ArtPrize 2015 slideshow.

More of ArtPrize through the years on Michigan in Pictures.

Hot Air Balloon Glow

Hot Air Balloon Glow

Hot Air Balloon Glow, photo by diane charvat

Diane took this last weekend at the Grand Rapids Balloon Festival (which I hadn’t heard of).

Check it out bigger and see more in her Hot Air Balloons slideshow.

More balloons on Michigan in Pictures.

 

Lilac Island: Mackinac Island’s Lilacs & Lilac Festival

Mackinac Island Lilacs and Lilac Festival

Fort Mackinac & Lilacs, photo by Steven Blair

The 66th annual Mackinac Island Lilac Festival starts tomorrow and runs through June 14th. It celebrates the Island’s historic varieties of lilacs (many from the Colonial era) and equestrian culture and is one of the Island’s biggest attractions.

Apparently it’s “Lissa Edwards Goes to Mackinac Week” on Michigan in Pictures as I turn again to one of my favorite writers for her take on the Lilac Festival.

Metaphors for islanders and their favorite shrubs are easy pickings. Lilacs are tough as native islanders (or native islanders are hearty as these flowers?). Like their human counterparts, lilacs thrive in the cold Straits of Mackinac winters; neither lilacs nor island folk shrink from sinking their roots into the island’s craggy limestone bedrock. In fact, they crave that acidy terra firma. And last but best, lilacs prefer their soil the way these islanders like their beer: well drained.

When the long, cold winter and cool spring finally ends, Mackinac lilacs show their joy by transforming the island into a fairyland of blossoms. Cotton candy–colored tinkerbelles tempt from behind white picket fences. Big bold creamy Madame Lemoine lilacs strut next to a fluttery pink and white Beauty of Moscow in Ste. Anne’s churchyard. Down at the marina, where voyageurs working the Great Lakes fur trade once pulled their canoes, blue President Lincolns wave next to white Betsy Rosses. A froth that includes double pink Elizabeths and dark purple Monge spills out over the rolling green lawn at Marquette Park. And the gauzy backdrop to them all: the anything-but-bourgeois, lilac-colored common lilac.

The island is home to all 23 lilac species, some 400 varieties and thousands of individual plants. In June—and even into July in the case of late-blooming varieties—these flowers radiate their perfume into the windy Straits, where it melts into the aroma of warm fudge wafting from Main Street’s famous fudge shops and fresh horse apples (cars are banned on Mackinac Island) to create a signature Mackinac Island scent.

Read on for lots more.

View Steven’s photo background bigtacular on the Mackinac Island Lilac Festival’s Facebook and see a bunch more lilac photos from Mackinac Island on his Photography by Blair Facebook.

More lilacs and more Mackinac on Michigan in Pictures.

Finally Friday: Michigan Morel Edition

Finally Morels in Michigan

Finally, photo by Julie

Reports of morels are coming in from all across the state. They’ll be celebrating our delicious woodland friends this weekend (May 8-10) at the Mesick Mushroom Festival and next weekend (May 14-17) at the National Morel Mushroom Festival in Boyne City.

If you’re looking for Michigan morel photos and features, click that link for a ton from Michigan in Pictures. Happy hunting!!

Julie says these plus a few others will make a great topping for a ribeye! View the photo bigger and see more in her Spring/Summer slideshow.

Tulips, Tulips, Tulips

Tulips, Tulips, Tulips

Tulips, Tulips, Tulips, photo by Dawn Williams

Holland’s annual Tulip Time starts this Saturday (May 2) and continues through May 9th. The annual celebration features parades, music, displays of Dutch Heritage and of course tulips, 4.5 million of them!

Dawn took this photo last year. See it background bigtacular on Flickr and check out more of her Tulip Time photos.

More tulips & Tulip Time and more spring wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.

Photographer Friday: Bill Schwab

Pier Ruin, Cross Village, 2006

Pier Ruin, Cross Village, 2006, photo by Bill Schwab

One of my favorite Michigan fine art photographers is Bill Schwab, and I still remember the day when I pulled up the Absolute Michigan pool on Flickr to find he’d added some of his photos to the group, including the one above.

This morning I learned that he will be presenting an artist lecture “Across Iceland” for the Charlevoix Circle of Arts:

Fine art photographer, Bill Schwab has been taking photo-expeditions to Iceland since 2009. He will share some of his favorite photographs of Iceland’s harsh, yet beautiful, landscape. Schwab is also the founder of PhotostockFest held annually in Harbor Springs. The Artists Adventure Lecture Series are free and open to the public.

Click above for more on the event and visit the Charlevoix Circle of Arts for more about them. Bill’s PhotostockFest takes place June 18-21 and you can register and get details on workshops and the event at that link.

The photography site RFOTOFOLIO has a great interview Seeing the Beauty: Bill Schwab that starts out:

My father’s side of the family was very much into photography. My Great Grandfather, Frederic C. Lutge had a portrait studio in late 19th and early 20th century Detroit and it branched out from there. My father always had interesting cameras and my uncle had a darkroom. I was fascinated by the gear. Even when I was too young to have a camera, I would draw pictures of them. After cutting them out I would pretend to use them and then draw the pictures “taken” with my cut out cameras and show them to people. Apparently I was hooked at an early age, but it wasn’t until I was twelve that I started processing and contact printing my own film from an old Ansco kit. After that, it is all a blur.

…Growing up in Detroit, pretty much everyone worked in the automobile manufacturing industry and I knew very well at a young age that wasn’t going to be my destiny. I can remember very clearly my dad asking me what I wanted to be at about age five. I said that I would get a job like his and he basically said, no way. Then there was my mom with her unbridled curiosity. She was an early news junky and I seriously think she missed her calling by not going into journalism. The major happenings of the day were right there on the TV during dinner and I was very aware and interested in what was going on. We had subscriptions to Life Magazine and Look and I loved to go through the pages looking at the photographs.

Read on for lots more and some beautiful photos.

View Bill’s photo of the ruins of the pier at Cross Village bigger on Flickr and see lots more from across the state in his Michigan slideshow. You can view and purchase prints at billschwab.com. He’s a good follow on Facebook and also just started up an Instagram @bill_schwab, so you might want to follow along there too!

More Michigan photographers on Michigan in Pictures.