This year, Noel Night celebrates 43 years in operation on Saturday, December 5, 2015, from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Patrons can expect many of the typical Noel Night traditions, like the Cultural Center-wide “Open House,” which celebrates the city’s diverse holiday traditions amid the state’s premier arts and cultural institutions, historic churches, galleries, and a growing circle of small businesses and restaurants, and provides the perfect backdrop for and evening of performances to enjoy with family and friends.
And, as always, it’s all free of charge.
In addition the performances, guests will also have access to Horse-drawn carriage rides, carolers, music, dance, theatre, children’s make & take activities, unique shopping, holiday delectables, and visits with Santa.
Noel Night activities take place in Midtown Detroit, from Ferry Street to the north, Edmund Place to the south, St. Antoine to the east, and Third Avenue to the west. Woodward Avenue is closed to traffic between Palmer and Warren.
There is free shuttle service that runs continually between participating venues, as well as plenty of parking in area lots and structures. Consider using Wayne State’s Parking Structures 2 and 5 located on Anthony Wayne north of Warren Avenue, as well as Parking Structure 8 located at 91 West Forest between Woodward and Cass Avenue. Visitors should check with the Noel Night website for more information on all road closures, detours, shuttle routes, and recommended parking before driving to Midtown for the most up-to-date information.
In order to help you plan your night, we’ve pulled together a list of the headlining performances you won’t want to miss. You may not make all of them, so pick your favorites and get there early!
Visit the Noel Night website for any further information!
- Madeleine Peyroux – an American jazz singer, songwriter, guitarist and simply delightful. Her voice is reminiscent of Billie Holiday and busking on a Paris street corner. Peyroux performs at 8:30 p.m. at First Congregational Church (33 E. Forest).
- Bronze Radio Return – an American indie/roots rock sextet from Hartford, Connecticut. This six- piece has independently sold over 100,000 singles, racked up more than 26 million streams on Spotify, and, with songs such as “Further On” and “Shake, Shake, Shake,” they have impressively notched nearly 100 high-profile placements ranging from the 2014 film St. Vincent, to commercials for Nissan and Starbucks, to numerous television shows. Bronze Radio Return performs at 9:00 p.m at the Motor City Brewing Works Warehouse (441 W. Canfield)
- The Diving Bell – a Chicago-based band that began performing in early 2014. Known for their “oddly complex front-porch Americana [music] rendered strange by technology,” The Diving Bell consists of husband-and-wife duo Steve and Clare Hendershot, along with Kevin Jones, Charles Murphy, Graham Gilreath and Joshua Robinson. Hendershot’s songs have been featured on the HBO Show True Blood and have earned a national songwriting award from the Independent Artists Company. The Diving Bell will be performing in the Music Box located inside the Detroit Symphony Orchestra/Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center at 7:00 and 8:15 p.m. (3711 Woodward).
- Imani Winds – the Grammy-nominated wind quintet has carved out a distinct presence in the classical world with its culturally poignant programming and inspirational outreach programs. Performing at the Detroit Institute of Arts’ Rivera Court at 8:45 p.m.
- Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys – this band delivers pack-the-floor renditions of Creole classics and other holiday songs with contemporary Zydeco flair. You can check out Jeffery & The Creole Cowboys at the The Garden Theater (3929 Woodward) at 9:00 p.m.
- Apetechnology’s follow up to their lovable Electric Snowman or their Inflatoangels, their new project for Noel Night: “Father Winter and his Icicle Army,” is a crew of six robots that will take over the circular driveway of the College for Creative Studies’ Ford Campus on John R between 5:00-10:00 p.m.
- Jake Chidester and Alisyn Malek of Corktown Studios – “The Seussian Arkestra,” an art installation outside of the Detroit Institute of Arts’ John R Entrance. Part imagination, part real melodic and rhythmic genius, “The Seussian Arkestra” will create an interactive visual and audio playscape drawing in participants to interact with each of the larger-than-life musical instruments. Detroit-based artist collaborative, Botanical Fortress, will also perform original compositions on these visually engaging instruments throughout the evening. “The Suessian Arkestra” will be outdoors between 5:00-10:00 p.m.
- Ralph Taylor of Caribbean Mardi Gras Productions – “The Broken Angel” a large-scale dance and music production outdoors at the Wayne State University green space located at the southwest corner of Woodward and Warren at 6:15 and 8:00 p.m. A lovely tale about an angel with a broken wing that heals with the help from friends told with Mardi Gras flair.Also new to Noel Night are a number of venues, including:
- 8° Plato Detroit (3409 Cass) – Detroit’s first craft beer store will be open and will feature music by Chrissy Morgan. 8° will also host a beer tent on the Woodward lawn of the Detroit Public Library.
- Artloft (4160 Cass, Suite C) – Midtown’s newest boutique offering functional art, and other gifts, personal and home accessories. Britney Stoney performs at 7:15 p.m.
- Carhartt (5800 Cass) – Carhartt’s flagship store will feature coffee drinks, fun winter treats and music by Wayne State University Jazz Ensemble.
- Detroit Clothing Circle, and pop-up spaces Sfumato Fragrances and Subtrakt (3980 Second) – Detroit Clothing Circle is a new men’s and women’s clothing store that will feature music by Ryan Spencer of Jamaican Queens. Sfumato Fragances is a Corktown-based scent company and Subtrakt is a Detroit-based design firm that will host a soft opening for their line of minimal furniture.
- Hopcat (4265 Woodward) will host a performance by Detroit-based The Infatuations between 10:00-11:30 p.m.
- Kit and Ace (4240 Cass, Suite 106) offers machine washable cashmere apparel and will feature Christmas mixes by DJ IV Wolves and holiday treats.
- St. Josaphat Church (715 E. Canfield) will offer church tours, hot beverages and snacks and music.
- University Prep Science & Math Middle School (5100 John R) – UPREP will offer holiday craft activities for children age 12 and under, as well as showcase a number of their school music and dance groups.
- Will Leather Goods (4120 Second) – Check out Midtown’s newest boutique featuring high-quality leather goods. Holiday drinks and entertainment will also be offered.
- Z Ballerini (4215 Cass) – Enjoy this pop-up shop showcasing travel and everyday bags made in Detroit.
- The Ice Scraper Challenge – Watch students from Wayne State University and the College for Creative Studies transform blocks of ice into unique sculptural creations throughout the day.
- Discover the best gifts of the season at the area’s galleries and gift shops, including special Noel Night-only opportunities like the annual College for Creative Studies Student and Alumni Art Sale (201 E. Kirby) and pop-up spaces by The Build Institute in The Majestic Theater (4140 Woodward), and Live Coal Gallery and MINT Artists Guild in Wayne State University’s Old Main building (4841 Cass).
The Detroit Artists Market’s Annual Art for the Holiday Show is another favorite shopping experience featuring all hand-made items by local artists offering a wide range of products and price points.
And there’s even more shopping at these other participating Noel Night venues:
- 71 Garfield Building: LTGraphics Artist Studio & Showroom, Lynne Ford Studio, Sharper Vision, SocraTea and Sugar Hill Clay Studio.
- The Shops in the Auburn Building (4240 Cass): Cass Corridog, Hugh, Midtown Interior Finishes, Nora and Source Booksellers
- Avalon International Breads (422 W. Willis)
- AYV (4100 Woodward, Suite 201)
- Back Alley Bikes and Ocelot Print Shop (3535 Cass Avenue)
- The Black Dress Company (87 E. Canfield)
- Bob’s Classic Kicks (4717 Woodward)
- The Shops at The Park Shelton: Busted Bra Shop, Fourteen East Café, Frida, Goods Detroit, The Peacock Room, and Serene Medi-Spa (15 E. Kirby)
- City Bird and Nest ( 460 W. Canfield)
- Detroit Institute of Arts Museum Shop (5200 Woodward)
- Detroit Yoga Lab (69 W. Forest)
- Flo Boutique (404 W. Willis)
- The businesses located within The Green Garage Detroit (4444 Second)
- Hannan House Holiday Market by Operation Able (4750 Woodward, Suite 201)
- Michigan Science Center Explore Store (3408 John R)
- Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit Store (4454 Woodward)
- The N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art (52 E. Forest)
- Run Detroit (441 W. Canfield, Suite 5)
- The Scarab Club (217 E. Farnsworth)
- Shinola Detroit (441 W. Canfield)
- Simone DeSousa Gallery (444 W. Willis)
- The Small Mall on Second (4246 Second)
- Spiral Collective – Dell Pryor Gallery and Tulani Rose (4201 Cass)
- Wayne State University Bookstore (82 W. Warren)
Conclude your evening with the annual community sing-along, led by the Salvation Army Band at the Woodward Avenue Bandstand at 9:30 p.m., a time-honored Noel Night tradition.
The Detroit Public Library will also host a Food Court on their front Woodward lawn, along with a beer tent sponsored by 8° Plato Detroit.
The Scarab Club will host its annual food truck rally in its parking lot, and the Michigan Science Center will also host food trucks in their parking lot.
Full dinner options are available at: The BLOCK Detroit, Byblos Café and Grill, Café 78 at MOCAD, CaféDIA, Cass Café, Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails, Falafill Detroit, First Congregational Church of Detroit, Goodwells Natural Food Market, Go! Sy Thai, Hannan House Café, Honest John’s Bar & Grill, Hopcat, Jolly Pumpkin, The International Institute Cafe, La Feria Detroit, La Palma, Lefty’s Lounge, Macabee’s at Midtown, Majestic Café, Mario’s Italian Restaurant, Michigan Science Center Cosmic Café, Motor City Brewing Works, Northern Lights Lounge, Pho Lucky, Plymouth United Church of Christ, The Scarab Club, Selden Standard, Seva Detroit, Shangri-La Midtown, Slow’s to Go, Starters Bar & Grill, Tony V’s Tavern, Traffic Jam and Snug, Union Street, Wasabi Korean & Japanese Cuisine, The Whitney, Whole Foods, and Z’s Villa.