This weekend WonderFool Productions partnered with local businesses and schools, the University of Michigan and the city of Ann Arbor to celebrate the 10th FestiFools. Students, families and community members gathered to attend a FoolMoon celebration on Friday night and FestiFools parade on Sunday afternoon in downtown Ann Arbor, where public art displays, music performances and elaborate costumes and puppets filled Main Street.
FestiFools is an Ann Arbor tradition founded by Shoshana Hurand, Lloyd Hall Scholars Program former student and Mark Tucker, the UM LHSP arts director, who was inspired to create the event by the art of cartapesta, also known as papier mâché, during his travels to Italy.
Every year, if festival attendees are sure to see giant paper mâché faces, glowing animals and performances like the Violin Monster, violinist Zachary Storey, who has performed at the event for the past five years. Well-known as the Violin Monster for his unique performance and costume, he said he appreciates the foolishness of the parade, which is why he returns year after year.
“I enjoy the complete and utter foolishness,” he said. “I return from my winter migration every year to witness it.”
Ann Arbor resident Julie Knick who attended FestiFools for the first time this year, it’s a one-of-a-kind event that can only be found in a city like Ann Arbor.
“I really enjoy local events, which are unique to this area,” Knick said. “I am happy that FestiFools is so popular and so many people look forward to it every year.”
Sunday’s parade included a performance by the Michigan Marching Band and other various musicians. While the majority of the attendees were city residents, a number of UM students participated in the events.
LSA sophomore Karly Carson attended FestiFools for the first time this year. Dressed in a joker costume, Carson said she was looking forward to the entertainment of the day.
“I am excited to see all of the creativity that people have,” Carson said.
Ann Arbor resident Susan Irwin has volunteered at FestiFools for the past two years, selling costumes and T-shirts for FoolMoon. Irwin said she thought the primary audience of FestiFools is families with young children.
“It’s such a fun, family-oriented event,” Irwin said. “It’s fun for all to be foolish.”