Arts & Culture, children's programs, City Transformation, Events, Food, Music, Must See, News, Retail, Walkable

N-O-E-L! N-O-E-L! It’s time to celebrate the holidays in Midtown this weekend


Noel Night is back in Midtown this weekend.

Now in its 43rd year years, this cultural-wide open house will be held Saturday, December 5, from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. to celebrate Detroit’s diverse holiday traditions.

Best of all, it’s free.

Noel Night activities take place 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.

You can see and do it all as well as check out cultural institutions, historic churches, galleries, and a growing circle of small businesses and restaurants in Midtown.

There will be horse-drawn carriage rides, carolers, music, dance, theatre, children’s make & take activities, unique shopping, holiday delectables, and visits with Santa.

No matter what you do don’t miss the annual community sing-along led by the Salvation Army Band at the Woodward Avenue Bandstand at 9:30 p.m. There is nothing like hearing thousands of voices singing Christmas carols.


It will be easy to get around and take in as much Noel Night as you can squeeze into five hours. A free shuttle service will run continually between participating venues and there will be 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.

There’s so much to do we thought we’d lay it all out here to help you with your logistics strategy. So here goes.

The Ice Scraper Challenge is back at the DIA Plaza. You can watch students from Wayne State University and the College for Creative Studies transform blocks of ice into unique sculptural creations throughout the day.

Check out Midtown’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 will also be in full swing and features hand-made items by local artists offering a wide range of products and price points.

There will be more than 70 different venues and you can take in more than 200 performances.

Here are some of the headliners:

  • 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. It has independently sold more than 100,000 singles, racked up more than 26 million streams on Spotify. With songs such as “Further On” and “Shake, Shake, Shake,” the group has 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 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 7:00 and 8:15 p.m. (3711 Woodward).
  • Imani Winds will perform in the Detroit Institute of Arts’ Rivera Court at 8:45 p.m.  This Grammy-nominated wind quintet has carved out a distinct presence in the classical world with its culturally poignant programming and inspirational outreach programs.
  • Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys is back again this year and will be at a location so you can dance to the music. The band will deliver great, pack-the-floor renditions of Creole classics and other holiday songs with contemporary Zydeco flair. The group will perform at The Garden Theater (3929 Woodward) at 9:00 p.m.


Other performances and installations include:

  • The ‘bots are back! Apetechnology’s new project for Noel Night, “Father Winter and his Icicle Army,” features 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. Apetechnology is a Detroit-based electromechanical and sound collective that operates out of Detroit’s New Center area.
  • Jake Chidester and Alisyn Malek of Corktown Studios will present “The Seussian Arkestra,” an art installation outside of the Detroit Institute of Arts’ John R Entrance. It will create an interactive visual and audio playscape so you can 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 will present “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. It’s a wonderful tale about an angel with a broken wing who heals with the help from friends and is told with a Mardi Gras flair.

There are a number of new venues as well:

  • 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, a Corktown-based scent company, and Subtrakt, a Detroit-based design firm, 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.

There’s more. Here are other great things to do and see.

You will get hungry. If you’re looking for a full dinner try one of these spots.

Check out the food court on the Detroit Public Library’s 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 have food trucks in its parking lot.

To be sure you have the most recent updates on all road closures, detours, shuttle routes, and recommended parking before driving to Midtown for the most up-to-date visit You can also call 313.420.6000 for more information on Noel Night.

Noel Night is sponsored by the Henry Ford Health System, Wayne State University, Arts Academy in the Woods, Trent Creative, Inland Press, MGM Grand Detroit, WDET 101.9 FM, WWJ 950 AM, Detroit Metro Times and Fox 2 Detroit.


About the Author

3 comments on “N-O-E-L! N-O-E-L! It’s time to celebrate the holidays in Midtown this weekend

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *