Possibly one of the best-kept secrets of the festival lineup in Ann Arbor is early spring’s FestiFools and FoolMoon. A local favorite but less well-known beyond city borders, this whimsical, joyous event features artistic and homemade puppets and sculptures, surprising and ornate costumes, and bizarre and brilliant human-powered floats – all parading through downtown Ann Arbor on a yearly trek through the Main Street area.
The weekend kicks off with FoolMoon on Friday, April 1, when elaborate, illuminated puppets take to the streets of Ann Arbor for a processional leading to music, food and drink, and frivolity. The festivities occur from dusk until midnight, and the 2016 theme is “Metamor-FOOL-sis”. Interested in making your own sculpture, puppet, costume, or other piece of art to add to the foolishness of the event? There are hands-on workshops held throughout the month of March in Ann Arbor – each led by the area’s most gifted public art artists and geared toward both FoolMoon and FestiFools. If you’re unable to get to a workshop but still want to bring an artistic piece to the festival, the link above provides guidelines to use when creating your sculpture or puppet at home.
The second event of the festival is FestiFools on Sunday, April 3 – a huge, magnificent event centered around the papier-mache puppets that frolick down Main Street between 4 and 5 p.m. This is the 10-year anniversary of the very first FestiFools, and the 2016 theme is “Rev-FOOL-ution” – so be on the look-out for revolutionary foolishness this time around! FestiFools is truly a celebration of all things silly, whimsical, chaotic and fun – and you won’t want to miss this one-of-a-kind event in Ann Arbor.
Looking for something appropriately artistic to do on Saturday, April 2 between the two events? Visit some of Ann Arbor’s acclaimed galleries – the WSG Gallery, Peaceable Kingdom, the Gallery at the Kerrytown Concert House, and the Motawi Gallery at the Ann Arbor Art Center (all in the Main Street area) are great places to start. If you’re venturing to the other parts of Ann Arbor, you can’t beat a visit to the University of Michigan Museum of Art. A short drive to neighboring Ypsilanti is well worth the trip to the Riverside Arts Center, where local docents and volunteers will take over the gallery in April to share their art with the community.