Midtown’s big holiday open house is about to get bigger.
Annmarie Borucki, special projects manager at Midtown Detroit Inc., the nonprofit that produces Noel Night, says this year’s event will be the largest one yet.
“We have over 20 brand-new venues and so many new businesses,” Borucki says. “It really reflects the growth of the Midtown district.”
The 44th annual Noel Night will take place from 5-10 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3. Over 100 institutions such as Detroit Institute of Arts, the College for Creative Studies, the Detroit Public Library, and the Michigan Science Center will open their doors, free of charge, to the public. Horse-drawn carriage rides, ice sculptures, and children’s activities are among the highlights, and shops and museums will be open for holiday shopping and workshops.
For the kids, Santa and/or Mrs. Claus will visit various stops throughout the night.
More than 200 performances by local and international talent will enhance the festive atmosphere. At the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Sonny Knight and the Lakers will be performing two back-to-back shows at 7 and 8:15 p.m. in the newly branded Cube space in the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center.
One highlight is Lindi Ortega, Canadian alternative country singer-songwriter, who will give a free concert at Motor City Brewing Works at 9 p.m.
“That’s a pretty big show,” Borucki says. “We have people driving out of the state to see her.”
The evening’s festivities culminate with the long-standing Noel Night tradition of a community sing-along on Woodward Avenue led by the Salvation Army Band.
One brand-new event taking place is hosted by Midtown Shangri-La. Carrie Morris Arts Production will present “A Menagerie of Shadow Animals,” 20-minute performances about different animals on the patio.
Daevipa Woods, manager of Shangri-La, says the kid-friendly show will be told through imagery and music, making for one unique production. The restaurant decided to host the art-centered event “to pay homage to the neighborhood,” Woods says.
Food and drink options include Treat Dreams, Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Co., and La Palma Mediterranean restaurant, which will be open until midnight to play host to the Noel Night After Glow, with live Christmas music at 10:15 and 11 p.m.
For transportation, shuttle service is available between participating venues and parking is available. Noel Night is also partnering with Lyft as the official ride-share for the first time.