April 12, 2014
The quasi-damp — but not at all dampened — luminary processional that started at the UMMA makes its way towards downtown.
At 7:30pm, I was feeling a bit unsure about the impending FoolMoon. The weather was living up to the dire forecast — cold, drizzly, and gusty. And the customary throngs of luminary-wielding townsfolk were — not merely by coincidence, it seemed to me — nowhere to be seen out in front of the UMMA. This year, I brought an assistant with me. He had no idea what FoolMoon even was, and I was trying to assure him that it was gonna be awesome — but I suspect that I was trying to convince myself.
Then at 7:45pm, the energy shifted. People started arriving with luminaries and crazy get-ups. And other people emerged from inside the UMMA, where it was nice and warm (whodda thunk?). Well, everything just snowballed from there — and I’m not using the word “snowballed” metaphorically! It wound up being a really amazing, magical night. One of the best FoolMoons yet. Check out the pictures and captions for the rest of the story…
When we first showed up at the UMMA FoolMoon constellation station, we were the only ones there. And for 15 minutes, we waited. Alone. In the drizzle. Finally at 7:45pm, participants and luminaries — dressed for the weather — began to trickle in.
Ahoy Matey! Welcome aboard!
With Claire Broderick of Orbit Hair Design
and Carrie Fawcett leading our processional, we were traveling in style.
The theme for FoolMoon 2014 was Moonagerie. Hence, all the cool creatures (and their luminaries are really nice, too).
Thanks to these and all the other FoolMoon/FestiFools sponsors. View a list of current supporters
. I’m so proud to support this Foolish cause.
The procession from UMMA started with a slight detour into the U-M campus.
Along the Diag to State Street.
Through the Nickels Arcade.
With a hop, skip, and a jump to the Michigan Theater.
All three processionals (from UMMA, Kerrytown, and Slauson Middle School) converged at the corner of Ashley and Washington. Given the freezing rain, the high luminary-to-spectator ratio can only lead to one logical conclusion: if THEY build it, THEY will come.
Shadow puppeteer Patrick Elkins demonstrates the Hold-Flashlight-in-Teeth Maneuver™ — an advanced technique that should be attempted only by experts.
Just as things started to really heat up, it rained, then sleeted, then hailed! But the drums never missed a beat. U-M Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies (LACS) Artists-in-Residence Magali Medeiros and Philip Galinsky
led the U-M Vencedores Band.
It was so exciting, I neglected to realize I had several thousands of dollars of equipment exposed to the warranty-voiding elements. (Thankfully, I came to my senses before any damage could be done.)
Once the hail/sleet/snow stopped and it was safe to pull out my camera again, I was determined to capture this woman's radiant smile. Turns out she is Magali Medeiros, a singer-songwriter from Rio de Janeiro. She is a 2014 Artist-in-Residence at U-M’s Lloyd Hall Scholars Program and earned an Outstanding Artist visa
with a Special Ability in Samba. (The US government is committed to maintaining our competitive edge over China in the samba market. I totally dig it.)
Volunteer Eric Bassey with his giant white rabbit. (Rico photo-bombs.)
The Spontaneous Art
crew were back in force; this time they brought along a fire-breathing friend. Well, as some nervous Nellie would have scolded, had she been observing the antics on Washington St.: “It’s all fun-and-games until someone [in this case, Trevor Stone] winds up with 3rd-degree burns on a largish percentage of his body.”
The Lunch Room’s
Joel Panozzo “moonlighting” as a huckster of flame-resistant hats on some dadaist, late-night infomercial . (My credit card is burning a hole through my pocket. Just think how this amazing product could transform my life!)
FoolMoon (or at least this particular photo) was marked by a curious overabundance of frogs. The young frog in the stroller looks on with alarm as the fire-breathing dragon incinerates a passerby.
Quite a full-spectrum Moonagerie of head- and neckwear.
Thomas Nighswander took photos with a gigantic, purple, luminary camera. Many of his shots can be seen here
The DJ sister duo, Meryl and Leah Waldo kept the beats pumping all night. Meanwhile, Patrick Elkins’s horned, cycloptic hunchback lends a competing groove to the scene — old-school, ghetto-blaster style. (Back in the day, we’d listen to music on “tape.” Ask your parents.)
My boys, dressed for a typical day at the office.