Annual Noel Night Showcases Detroit's Midtown District
Now celebrating 43 years, Noel Night on Dec. 5, continues to be a Cultural Center-wide “Open House,” celebrating 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, providing the perfect backdrop for a festive evening packed full of performances to enjoy with family and friends—all free of charge.
Horse-drawn carriage rides, carolers, music, dance, theatre, children’s make and take activities, unique shopping, holiday delectables, and visits with Santa are all part of the evening’s festivities. Noel Night continues to grow each year, now featuring over 70 different venues and recently attracted 35,000 visitors in 2014. More tjhan 200 performances are sure to bring the sounds of the season to life, including these headlining performances:
Madeleine Peyroux is 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 is 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 p.m. at the Motor City Brewing Works Warehouse (441 W. Canfield).
The Diving Bell is 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 and 8:15 p.m. (3711 Woodward).
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.
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.
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.
Perennial favorite, the Ice Scraper Challenge, returns to the DIA Plaza. 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.
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. Noel Night visitors should 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. It is advised that all visitors 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: noelnight.org.