Coronavirus: Detroit residents try to lift neighbours' spirits with inflatable costume parades

‘The purpose of the group is to just do something a little bit out of the ordinary’

James Crump@thejamescrump
Wednesday 13 May 2020 00:02
Detroit-area residents lift spirits with costumed parades

Detroit residents are attempting to lift the spirit of residents, by throwing socially distanced costume parades, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The city currently has a stay-at-home order in place, that is set to run through 28 May, despite Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer announcing that parts of the economy will start to reopen next week.

In order to give local residents a boost, Detroit resident Sarah Ignash has organised costumed walks with a group called the Ferndale T-Rex Walking Club.

The group, based in the Detroit suburbs, has thrown seven parades since it formed in March, where residents put on inflatable costumes and parade through the streets.

Music is played as they walk, with The Bangles’ “Walk Like an Egyptian” and “Walk the Dinosaur” by Was (Not Was), a couple of the songs played so far.


The inflatable costumes worn by residents in the seven walks, include a crocodile, a T-Rex, a unicorn and an alien from Toy Story.

Ms Ignash told the Associated Press that with life under lockdown quite monotonous, “the purpose of the group is to just do something a little bit out of the ordinary”.

She added: “It’s so much fun. Nobody can really see, (because) I have my mask on. And when I walk, I’m just smiling from ear to ear.”

Ms Ignash confirmed that the members of the parade make sure that they abide by social distancing measures, and added that every member of the group wears a mask underneath their costume.

“A lot of us are very large and we have very long tails,” she said. “So, maintaining social distancing is very easy in these.”

Ms Ignash told the AP that the walks are done at different times, and are used to surprise people in their neighbourhood.

“We do not tell anybody where we’re going to walk, where we’re meeting or the time that we’re going to walk,” she said.

“That’s just really why we’re doing it. It’s just something that’s very unexpected. And people need something a little bit different to break up the day, I think,” Ms Ignash added.

According to Google’s dedicated coronavirus page, Michigan has more than 48,021 confirmed coronavirus cases and at least 4,674​ deaths.

According to a tracking project hosted by Johns Hopkins University, there are now more than 1.3 million people who have tested positive for coronavirus in the US. The death toll has reached at least 80,897.

Additional reporting by Associated Press.

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