By: Stevie Soul
The future of Detroit is looking super bright…literally. Have you seen the colorful lights up and down Woodward Avenue? The holiday spirit is in the air!
As a musician who’s been living downtown for years, I haven’t seen the city this alive before. Detroit is in full motion with the Warren Buffet endorsement, the election of a new mayor, and the construction of The Z parking/retail structure that will accommodate more drivers (and shoppers) downtown.
In addition to these developments, there are two areas that are housing some incredible holiday festivities this season: Campus Martius/Cadillac Square and the 1200 Woodward Block.
Let’s take an inside look at what not to miss this year…
Campus Martius is celebrating this year’s holiday season in high fashion. With a sixty-foot, well-dressed Christmas tree, grandiose ice rink, carriage rides, fire performers, and carolers, there’s nothing lacking to get you in the holiday spirit.
It’s Cadillac Square, however, that really caught my attention this year! Up until December 22nd, the Square transforms into a completely activated holiday paradise every weekend. They put together the “Holiday Marketplace” which is divided into four different parts.
The first part – which also happens to be my favorite part (for obvious reasons) – is the holiday music series. The music series consists of local Detroit talent playing an assortment of genres through intimate, up close and personal sets.
The second part of the marketplace consists of the artisan huts. On any given weekend, you can stroll through the huts and explore a bunch of unique, handmade products from local artisans. I discovered one new place I really like called “The Wooden Hanger,” which specializes in cool vintage apparel along with custom bow ties!
Sprinkled among the artisan huts are five local food trucks including Rollin’ Stone Pizza, which makes fresh wood-fired pizzas to order. They serve one of the best thin crusts I’ve ever indulged in.
To top it all off is the Beer Garden…a massive heated tent offering local brews with a full-service bar. The beer garden has another venue for live music performances, plus TVs to make sure you’re able to catch all the live sports games. Go Lions!
While you’re downtown hanging out at Campus Martius and Cadillac Square, you have to check out the 1200 Woodward Block. It’s located directly across the street from the Hudson site. You can’t miss it – all the buildings are dressed with a net of tightly-strung decorative lights.
The 1200 Woodward Block features six unique retailers: some permanent and some pop-up shops for the holidays. At 1201, is The Detroit Shoppe…part-museum, part-store, but all Detroit. A few doors down at 1213, there is a pop-up shop called Rock Paper Scissors, an Ann Arbor-based company that sells artsy DIY crafts. Neighboring Rock Paper Scissors is The Handmade Company at 1219, another trendy pop-up that believes “Michigan is shaped like a hand for a reason.” Once you make it to the end of the block, you’ll find City Loft, which houses many booths of higher-end retailers. There are several other stores stretching across the Woodward Block, be sure to take a few laps before you head out
NOTE: Occasionally, City Loft has one of the best Frank Sinatra impressionists on this side of Vegas!
With all these attractions (and more!), there’s no reason to not support local and enjoy downtown Detroit this season while it’s at its best! In this era of cookie-cutter…well, everything…these festive attractions are sure to provide you with a unique and authentic holiday experience.
So? What are you waiting for?
See you downtown!
Stevie Soul is a Detroit-area musician with a passion for this city, making music, and capturing moments. Get the latest on Stevie Soul on his website, Facebook, or Twitter pages! Learn more about Stevie in his CBS 62 Detroit Proud interview HERE.