Back to all news stories

Time (again) to fool around

Now in its sixth year, FestiFools and its parent organization, the Street Theater Art Project, will hold a public art parade to celebrate free expression and the wonders of eccentricity.  Appropriately, on April Fool’s Day (Sunday, April 1), downtown Ann Arbor will be the backdrop for a parade of oversized and animated papier-mâché creatures. The parade begins promptly at 4 p.m. along Main Street between Washington and William streets.

Mark Tucker, who teaches art through the Lloyd Hall Scholars Program at the University of Michigan, began his professional artistic career as art director for the Michigan Thanksgiving Parade. While in his role, Mark traveled to Europe to learn the fine art of carta pesta (papier-mâché) from esteemed float builders in Viareggio, Italy.

Familiar with Superior Concept Monsters? If so, you might have an inkling of the FestiFools’ vibe.

Inspired by the magnificent, huge, bizarre, politically incorrect, human-powered and fully-animated floats, Mark decided to see if this kind of creative energy could find an audience back home.

In 2006, Mark teamed up with Shoshana Hurand, a former student/graduate student in the Lloyd Hall Scholars Program, who saw the hands-on creation of public art as a great opportunity for people of different backgrounds to build relationships, learn from one another, and make their voices heard by the world.

Mark and Shoshana’s whimsical idea became reality. Starting with a class of 20 non-art majors in Mark’s “Art in Public Spaces” class, they went to work — welcoming students, community members, and anyone looking for a chance to be creative and meet new people.

Ann Arbor City Council Member Margie Teall, Main Street Area Association leads Ellie Serras and Maura Thomson, and Main Street Ventures co-owner Dennis Serras saw the wonderful potential of all this Foolishness and provided FestiFools with the initial support it needed to get off the ground.

For the last six years, FestiFools has become a much-anticipated annual Ann Arbor tradition.


Friday, March 30: From dusk-to-midnight on Washington Street — FoolMoon Luminary procession with bands, food, and beverages in front of the Grizzly Peak Brewing Company

Saturday, March 31: 9:00 p.m. — Benefit concert at the Blind Pig featuring the Appleseed Collective ( and Third Coast Kings ( Tickets are $10 at the door and proceeds go to FoolMoon and FestiFools.

For more information:

— From FestiFool website