Noel Night 2022: What to know about Detroit holiday tradition

Celebrate the holidays in Detroit this weekend with an annual tradition – Noel Night.

The free event on Dec. 3 includes live music, more than 90 participating venues, art installations, visits with Santa, and more.

Find more holiday things to do here.

Activities will be held from 5-9 p.m. in the Cultural Center and 5-10 p.m. in Midtown.

"Noel Night is designed as a really special experience for everyone with beautiful outdoor art installations, holiday shopping at small businesses, live music, and free activities for all ages," said Sue Mosey, Executive Director of Midtown Detroit, Inc. "We are grateful to our partners and the over 90 participating venues for their excitement in bringing this tradition back this year."

Noel Night performers

Manual Cinema’s "A Christmas Carol" - 4:30-5:30 & 7-8 p.m.
Manual Cinema takes on Dickens’s holiday classic with an inventive shadow play adaptation. 
Location: Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit Film Theatre, 5200 Woodward Ave, Detroit

Myriam Phiro with Nuage Rhythm – 5:30-6:30 p.m. & 8-9 p.m.
Myriam Phiro is an internationally-recognized French-Canadian performer, band leader and cabaret chanteuse who offers a fresh take on jazz and French standards, as well as the famous tunes of the Great American Songbook.
Locations:  1st performance - Detroit Shipping Company, 474 Peterboro St, Detroit; 
2nd performance – The Scarab Club, 217 Farnsworth St, Detroit

Black and Brown Theatre perform "A Snow Queen" - 6-6:30, 7:00-7:30 & 8-8:30 p.m.
Black and Brown Theatre is a 501c3 non-profit theatre company that seeks to create opportunities for theatre artists of color in the professional Michigan theatre scene.
Location: Michigan Science Center, Toyota Engineering Theater, 5020 John R Street, Detroit

Audivi - 6-6:45 & 7:15-8 p.m.
Audivi is Detroit’s professional vocal ensemble. Equally at home with familiar and unusual repertoire, the professional singers frequently perform one-on-a-part, and present music rarely heard from other ensembles. 
Location: First Congregational Church, 33 E Forest Ave, Detroit

Frontier Ruckus - 6-6:45 & 7:15-8 p.m.
Since the release of their 2008 debut album, the songs of Frontier Ruckus have delivered a singularly detailed representation of the glorious yet grim minutiae of Midwestern suburban life.
Location: Magic Stick, 4120-4140 Woodward Ave, Detroit

Alina Morr/Urban Tropical - 6:45-7:45 p.m. & 8-9 p.m.
Alina Morr/Urban Tropical plays classic salsa, Son Montuno, mambo, and cha cha cha, reflecting the groups deep roots in Latino American music. 
Location:  Hannan Center, 4750 Woodward Ave, Detroit

Olivia Dear - 7-9 p.m.
Olivia Dear (formerly Olivia Millerschin) captivates audiences with her celestial voice, wrapping them in a gossamer blend of modern pop and folk songwriting. 
Location:  Smith & Co., 644 Selden St, Detroit

Etienne Charles’ Creole Christmas - 7:30-9 p.m.
Trinidad-born Etienne Charles is a performer, composer and storyteller, who is continuously searching for untold stories and sounds with which to tell them. 
Location: The Wright Museum, 315 E Warren Ave, Detroit

Nessa - 7:45-8:45 p.m.
Celtic fusion band led by flute virtuoso/vocalist Kelly McDermott
Location: International Institute of Metro Detroit, 111 E Kirby St, Detroit

The Brubeck Brothers Quartet - 8-9 p.m.
Brubeck Brothers take the stage continuing in the tradition of their father, jazz giant Dave Brubeck. Although the Quartet’s style is rooted in "straight-ahead" jazz, their concerts reveal an inherent ability to explore and play odd time signatures while naturally integrating the influences of funk, blues, and world music. 
Location: Detroit Symphony Orchestra – The Cube, 3711 Woodward Avenue, Detroit

stoop lee - 8:30-9:15 p.m.
Take your favorite Saturday morning cartoon, a bowl of your favorite cereal, add some dope beats and you’ve captured the nostalgic experience that is stoop lee. 
Location: Woodside Bible Church, 80 W. Alexandrine, Detroit

Shara Nova - My Brightest Diamond – 9-10 p.m.
Shara Nova is a classically trained vocalist and self-taught multi-instrumentalist who records dazzling, shapeshifting music as My Brightest Diamond.
Location: First Congregational Church, 33 E Forest Ave, Detroit

Thornetta Davis - 9-10 p.m.
Crowned "Detroit’s Queen of the Blues" in 2015, Thornetta Davis, a multi-talented international singer/songwriter from Detroit, is the winner of over 30 Detroit music awards.
Location: First Unitarian Universalist Church, 4605 Cass Ave, Detroit

Luke Winslow-King Band - 9-10 p.m.
Guitarist, singer, producer, and songwriter Luke Winslow-King's music is an eclectic mix that combines Mississippi delta blues, folk music, traditional jazz, and roots rock & roll. 
Location: Magic Stick, 4120-4140 Woodward Ave, Detroit

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe - 9-10 p.m.
In 2023, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe celebrate their 25th anniversary as a band. KDTU has electrified audiences around the world from the fields of Naeba in Japan at the infamous Fuji Rock Festival to the hallowed stage of Madison Square Garden where they previously joined the Dave Matthews Band and The Godfather of Soul, James Brown.
Location: Motor City Brewing Works Warehouse, 441 W. Canfield Street, Detroit

The Soul Rebels - 9-10 p.m.
The Soul Rebels started with an idea – to expand upon the pop music they loved on the radio and the New Orleans brass tradition they grew up on. They took that tradition and blended funk and soul with elements of hip hop, jazz and rock all within a brass band context. The band has built a career around an eclectic live show that harnesses the power of horns and drums in a deep pocket funk party-like atmosphere. 
Location: Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), 4454 Woodward Ave, Detroit

Outdoor Art Installations at the DIA (5-9 p.m.):

Hump The Grinder's Holiday HAIR WARS
Hosted by Hump "The Grinder" with The Notorious DJ Snake on the 1's and 2's. Be a part of this strolling hair show featuring holiday-themed hairdos by Tropicana, Tanya Shaw, Torenda Spencer, Keith Matthews, Little Willie, Teddie The Braid Artist, Weaven Steven, and Tony Hair Weave KillaH. 
Location: The DIA’s North Lawn

snow angels by Mariana Carranza
snow angels is an interactive video art installation by Mariana Carranza. The visitor is reflected in a video mirror with wings of white plumage, like a magical mirage. Now it is winter and shiny snowflakes are falling. Users can play with the snow with their angel wings.
Location: The DIA’s John R Façade near the Calder Sculpture

Animal Land: Noel Night by Lauren Strohacker and Kendra Sollars
Animal Land: Noel Night, a video art installation by Kendra Sollars and Lauren Strohacker, is a visual metaphor for wildlife in the industrialized world, an unfolding narrative that wavers between displacement, reintroduction, and loss. 
Location: The DIA’s Kirby Facade

Sidewalk Ballet AKA the Arkestral Procession by Corktown Studios
Sidewalk Ballet AKA the Arkestral Procession, an interactive sculptural installation by Corktown Studios, is a novel series of mechanical archways that amplify a visitor’s movements into light and sound. 
Location: The DIA’s North Lawn

Detroit Puppet Company
Detroit Puppet Company presents, "The Story of Time," a new holiday-themed shadow puppet show set to classical music, staged with live video projections, and a holiday make-and-take workshop for all ages.
Location: The DIA’s South Lawn

The Ice Scrapers Demonstration Returns
For over 20 years, the Ice Scraper demonstration has been an annual tradition at Noel Night where students from College for Creative Studies and Wayne State University come together to learn the fine art of ice sculpting, this year under the tutelage of Ice Guru Randy Finch. Organized by Sioux Trujillo and Joseph Ferraro. This demo will delight visitors as they watch the artists sculpt ice-blocks into public art. 
Location: The DIA’s Woodward Frontage

Places to visit with Santa

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
City Bird
Detroit Historical Museum
Detroit Institute of Arts – Outdoors – South Lawn
Detroit Public Library – Outdoors – Woodward Lawn
Detroit Symphony Orchestra – The Cube
Hannan Center
Scarab Club
University of Michigan Detroit Center
Wayne State University Press

Holiday shopping marketplaces

The College for Creative Studies annual alumni and student artist sale in the Walter B. Ford II Building
Fleatroit Junk City pop-up shop in The Majestic Theatre Complex
Shinola’s Midtown Makers Market
Third Man Record’s Holiday Record fair featuring pop-up shops from local record stores selling their vinyls
Wayne State University Winter Art and Retail Market at the Woodward/Warren Park
The Noel Night Marketplace curated by Ask Jennyfer also located at the Woodward/Warren Park

Noel Night map

Can't see the map below? Click here.