Things to do around Ann Arbor this week: FoolMoon & Festifools, Hash Bash, Ani DiFranco and more

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 1.04.52 PM

Mark Tucker, founder of FestiFools, will bring his students’ (and community artists’) giant puppets back to Ann Arbor’s downtown streets on Sunday for a parade. (Photo by Myra Klarman)

Lucinda Williams, Ani DiFranco and more, presented by The Ark. The Monday and Tuesday night Williams shows at The Ark are sold out – sorry to be the bearer of bad news – but 50 year old Ann Arbor folk venue has lots of other great artists on offer this week, including Wednesday’s 8 p.m. Brad Phillips Family Benefit show, featuring “The Voice” finalist Joshua Davis, Brian Vander Ark, Millish, and May Erlewine and Seth Bernard (tickets cost $25). The always-popular RFD Boys on Friday at 8 p.m. (tickets $11); and Ani DiFranco at the Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St., on Saturday at 8 p.m. (tickets $30-$55). The Oh Hellos will play The Ark on Sunday night, but that, like the Williams shows, are already sold out. (Always have to keep your eye on that Ark calendar, folks!) The Ark’s located at 316 S. Main St. in Ann Arbor. To order tickets for shows, visit,, or call 734-763-TKTS.

See “Yellowman” playwright Dael Orlandersmith. Part of the U-M Institute for the Humanities Living Room Series. Orlandersmith is known for her Obie-winning drama “Beauty’s Daughter,” as well as her 2-actor, multi-character love story “Yellowman,” a 2002 Pulitzer Prize in Drama finalist (staged by Ann Arbor’s Performance Network Theatre in January 2015). This actress, poet, and playwright presents “Forever,” her semi-autobiographical one-woman drama about a pilgrimage to the famed Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris – the final resting place of such artists as Marcel Proust, Oscar Wilde, and Jim Morrison – that prompts a meditation about the relation between the family we are born into and the family we choose. Thursday at 8 p.m. at Kerrytown Concert House, 415 N. Fifth Ave. in Ann Arbor. Free.

“The Imaginary Invalid,” presented by U-M Theatre Department. U-M theatre professor Daniel Cantor directs U-M theatre students in Swarthmore College drama professor James Magruder’s adaptation of Moliere’s satiric comedy about a wealthy hypochondriac who thwarts his daughter’s true love – he wants her to marry a doctor so he can always have one on hand to attend to his numerous aches and pains. But her affections lie elsewhere, and soon the entire household is engaged in an elaborate, uproarious plot to save true love. Thursday at 7:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 2 p.m. at U-M’s Walgreen Drama Center, in the Arthur Miller Theatre, at 1226 Murfin in Ann Arbor. Tickets cost $28 (students, $10), available in advance at and 734-764-2538.

Comedian Gary Gulman at Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase. This Massachusetts comic, a former finalist in the NBC reality talent show “Last Comic Standing” and star of the HBO miniseries “Tourgasm,” specializes in irreverently hilarious observations about everyday life. Preceded by 2 opening acts. Thursday at 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday at 8 & 10:30 p.m., at 212 S. Fourth Ave. in Ann Arbor. Advance reserved seat tickets cost $12 (Thursday) & $16 (Friday and Saturday); general admission tickets purchased at the door cost $14 (Thursday) and $18 (Friday and Saturday). Visit or call 734-996-9080.

U-M football spring game. Yes, as spring arrives, thoughts turn to … football? For many U-M fans, Jim Harbaugh and “the team, the team, the team” are always on the brain, so for those jones-ing for a springtime glimpse at the Wolverines, here’s your chance! Friday at 6 p.m. at Michigan Stadium, a/k/a The Big House, at 1201 S. Main in Ann Arbor. Gates open one hour before the game, and this event is free.

UMS presents Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán. With a history that dates back to the 1890s, this band basically invented the modern mariachi, standardizing arrangements that had previously been learned by ear and adding trumpet to the traditional instrumentation of violins, harp, guitar, and the guitar-like vihuela and guitarron. They were featured on Linda Ronstadt’s 1987 Grammy-winning album, “Canciones de mi Padre,” and their repertoire blends traditional mariachi music with new, innovative pieces that engage audiences, often eliciting spontaneous gritos (sing-alongs). Friday at 8 p.m. at Hill Auditorium, 825 N. University in Ann Arbor. Tickets cost $15-$54, available in advance at and 764-2538.

6th Annual FoolMoon. Presented by Wonderfool Productions. This outdoor festival features a vast array of huge, quirky, and beautiful handmade illuminated sculptures. This year’s theme is “Metamor-FOOL-sis.” Also, shadow puppet performances and experimental films projected onto buildings. Food available. All invited to join one of 3 large processions of shimmering handmade luminaries that proceed from the U-M Museum of Art lawn, Kerrytown, and the Slauson Middle School parking lot to join the festivities on Washington. Also, a beer tent in front of Grizzly Peak features the festival FoolBrew beer and music spun by DJ Scout. (This is a companion event to Sunday’s FestiFools parade, which you’ll see info about below.) Friday, from dusk to midnight, on Washington St. west of Main in Ann Arbor. (Meet at UMMA, Kerrytown, or Slauson at 7:45 p.m. to join one of the processions.) Free. For more information, visit

44th Annual Dance for Mother Earth Ann Arbor Powwow. Presented by the U-M Native American Student Association. This gathering of Native Americans from throughout the Great Lakes area includes social dancing and demonstrations of different styles of Native American dance, including fancy, traditional, grass dress, and jingle dress. The big attractions are drum and dance contests in a variety of styles by children and adults accompanied by Native American drumming ensembles. Grand entries at noon and 7 p.m. on Saturday and at noon only on Sunday. Also, display and sale of traditional crafts and food. Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.; and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., at Skyline High School, 2552 N. Maple in Ann Arbor. Daily admission: $10 (students with ID and seniors age 60 & over, $7; kids ages 6-12, $5) per day & $15 (students with ID and seniors age 60 & over, $10; kids ages 6-12, $7) for a weekend pass, available in advance and at the door. Kids 5 & under, free. Group rates available. For more info, visit

Hash Bash and Monroe St. Fair. A sure sign of spring in Ann Arbor? Hash Bash! This year’s pot party happens from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday on U-M’s Diag, while the accompanying Monroe Street Fair – a kind of afterparty with vendors and live music – will run from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday on Monroe, between Tappan and Oakland. Both events are free.

Ann Arbor Marathon. 26.2-mile, 13.1-mile, 10-km, and 5-km races on circuitous courses through city streets on Sunday. All courses start outside U-M Stadium; maps available at (The courses are closed to vehicular traffic until 1:30 p.m.) Also, a 100-meter kids dash (10:30 a.m.). Awards for overall male and female winners and to top 5 finishers in various age divisions. A portion of the proceeds benefits various local charities. (Preceded on Saturday, April 2, noon-4 p.m., by a free Health and Wellness Expo at U-M’s Indoor Track Building). Check the race website, listed below, for a complete schedule of events. Registration begins Sunday at 6 a.m. at the NW corner of U-M Stadium. Entry fees: $108 (marathon), $93 (half-marathon), $38 (10-km & 5-km), $15 (kids dash) in advance at; on the day of the race, registration costs $115 (marathon), $100 (half-marathon), $42 (10-km & 5-km), $20 (kids dash). 

10th Annual FestiFools parade. A gigantic public art parade on Ann Arbor’s Main Street, featuring magnificent, huge, bizarre papier-mché puppets. This year’s theme is “Rev-FOOL-ution.” One of my favorite, only-in-Ann-Arbor annual events. Sunday from 4-5 p.m. on Main, between William and Washington in Ann Arbor. Free. To learn more, visit


4 thoughts on “Things to do around Ann Arbor this week: FoolMoon & Festifools, Hash Bash, Ani DiFranco and more

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s