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Noel Night lights up Detroit

Holiday celebration opens festive season with activities, tours

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Posted: Thursday, November 29, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 11:49 am, Fri Apr 5, 2013.

The 40th annual Noel Night celebration is right around the corner; the time where Midtown’s businesses and cultural institutions can show what they have to offer. The 40th annual Noel Night celebration will be held Dec.1 from 5:00 to 9:30 p.m. This may be Noel Night’s biggest celebration yet.

“The event continues to grow,” said Annmarie Borucki, special projects manager for Midtown Detroit Inc. “This year we now have over 75 different venues participating.”

This year’s event stretches as far north as Palmer Street and as far south as Watson Street. Noel Night is a cultural open house for businesses and institutions in Midtown Detroit to showcase what they have. Most of the venues will open their doors to the public free of charge. Midtown Detroit Inc. begins preparations for Noel Night very early in the year.

“For some of the bigger acts, like Irma Thomas, we begin working on that at the beginning of the year,” Borucki said. “Then the real planning starts towards the end of the summer.” Borucki said, because the event is such a huge production, planning and

preparation can sometimes continue up until the day before Noel Night.

Avalon International Breads will be participating in Noel Night to show appreciation for their customers near and far. “We like to thank all of our patrons that come from the suburbs and also those who are local (and welcome them to) have a festive time with us,” sales associate Elizabeth Wahl said. Avalon International Bread has been serving the community of Midtown for 16 years. For Noel Night, they will be serving holiday treats such as cranberry orange bread and peppermint hot chocolate. Patrons will also be able to enjoy live performances in store, from local artists such as Xiao Dong Wei, Tracy Cash Thomas, the Pat Shanley Duo and Rev. Robert B. Jones Sr.

In honor of the 40th annual celebration, Midtown Detroit Inc. has added lots of new things for Noel Nighters. This year, there will be over 200 performances including Irma Thomas, the New Orleans Queen of Soul. Shuttles will be available for the community and a new express shuttle will be available on Woodward Avenue all night.

Also special to this year’s celebration, a live broadcast by WDET will be going on during the night’s festivities. The “Holiday Listening Room” will be hosted by Nick Austin and Chris Campbell in the Detroit Public Library. Listeners will be invited to participate in an open mic segment with Satori Shakoor to tell their Noel Night stories. Also in the library, a special Noel Night exhibition will be on display. Posters and brochures from past Noel Nights will be out for public viewing. As always, Noel Night ends with the Salvation Army Band conducting the holiday sing-a-long on Woodward Avenue. During this time, all Noel Nighters join together to sing holiday favorites.

“Noel Night provides a really amazing opportunity for Midtown,” Borucki said. “It really does showcase how vibrant the community is becoming.” Borucki said Noel Night is one of the restaurants’ and businesses’ biggest selling nights. “It provides great economic opportunities for restaurants, bars and businesses in the neighborhood,” she said. Midtown Detroit Inc. advises anyone who would like to participate in this year’s event to arrive early and check their website at

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