Big Heads Take the Fisher!

Are you ready for the Big Heads to take the Fisher?

Pure Detroit is proud to exhibit some of the rarest Big Heads from The Parade Company’s private collection in the architectural splendor of the Fisher Building.

The exhibit is free & open to the public. The exhibit runs through Friday, January 31st.

Dating back to the 1940’s and earlier, this rare collection of Big Heads were constructed in Viareggio, Italy — papier mâché capital of the world! — to be used in the Thanksgiving Day Parade in Detroit. The Italian newsprint made to create these Big Heads is still visible on many of the pieces on exhibit.

The exhibit is a holiday celebration of the 87-year-old Thanksgiving Day Parade tradition in Detroit and also an awareness exhibit to restore these magnificent pieces of city history.

The story starts with Charles Wendel (then-director of displays at Hudson’s department store) returning from a European trip where he witnessed the Carnival of Viareggio. There enormous, intricate and often emotionally intense papier mâché masks and heads danced in the streets in a rite that dates back to the 1800s. With one look, he decided it was a perfect tradition to bring back to Detroit, where he had been mulling over the idea of a downtown holiday parade and creating memories along the way.

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Official sponsors for Big Heads Take the Fisher & the upcoming family fun day include the NAI Farbman / Farbman Group, the Parade Company, the Big Head Corps, U-Haul, Facets of Todd Michael, Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan – GSSEM, Stella Good Coffee, Detroit Gallery of Contemporary Crafts, Vera Jane, Workshop, the Fashion Place, The Detroit Wallpaper Co., The Crofoot, Pure Detroit & Revival Events.

To arrange interviews, receive additional information about the project or additional photos for editorial use, please contact ryan@puredetroit.com.



Dec 21 2013 - Jan 31 2014


Fisher Building
3011 West Grand Boulevard, Detroit, MI 48202, United States

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