FestiFools is a vibrant, public art spectacular that was created by University of Michigan art teacher, Mark Tucker. While exploring Viagerro, Italy, Tucker was amazed by the Carnevale di Viareggio featuring elaborate papier-mâché puppets with vibrant colors and unique designs. Upon returning to Ann Arbor, Tucker began teaching an “Art in Public Spaces” course at the university and encouraged his students to begin producing puppets in hopes of recreating this event in Ann Arbor.
Ann Arbor began the FestiFools tradition with a daytime parade-like celebration on Main Street on April 1, 2007. With help from the community and talented University of Michigan students, FestiFools has become a magical experience for residents and visitors. With an overwhelmingly positive response from visitors and residents alike, the addition of a second event, FoolMoon, has further engaged the community in the foolishness of these events. The first FoolMoon event, held after dark, debuted in 2011, creating a luminary-lit city filled with wonder and excitement. In addition to beautiful displays of art and interactive instillations, FoolMoon traditionally features dance performances, laser shows, DJs, and drinks.
Wonderfool Productions is back with 2017 FestiFools and FoolMoon celebrations and ready to fill the streets with festive foolishness! Goofy guys and gals will gather in downtown Ann Arbor to kick off a weekend of art appreciation and festivities on April 7 with FoolMoon. Enjoy live music and a nighttime filled with eye-catching creations as shenanigans ensue. This wildly successful family-friendly celebration of art will continue April 9 with FestiFools, the daytime parade of foolishness.
Want a unique luminary or papier-mâché puppet of your own? Check out one of Wonderfool’s free drop-in workshops leading up to the event-fool weekend! If their workshops don’t fit with your schedule, feel free to get those creative juices flowing at home with their step-by-step instructions at https://wonderfoolproductions.org/workshops/.
There are additional creative, family-friendly activities to consider on the date between the Wonderfool events, April 8. If you have little ones, consider a trip to the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum on Saturday morning for Critters Up Close or Little Scientist Club. The classes feature various science-themed stories, and hands-on activities with take-home projects. If you're eager to see more, there are numerous hands-on exhibits to explore after the class. The Ann Arbor Farmers Market is another great stop for anyone on Saturday mornings. Pick up a bouquet of freshly cut flowers or stroll over to the Kerrytown Market & Shops for a one-of-a-kind souvenir. Interested in something a bit more low-key? The Ann Arbor area features numerous events for children with sensory sensitivities and/or autism spectrum disorders. A Sensory Storytime will be held Saturday morning at the Ypsilanti District Library on Whittaker Rd.