Experience the Largest 2013 New Year’s Eve Ball Drop in Michigan

It’s just about time to ring in the new year! Today, Lindsay Gilbert from Go Great Lakes Bay gives us a preview of Michigan’s largest New Year’s Eve ball drop in Downtown Midland. 

The stage is set for Downtown Midland’s New Year’s Eve Midnight on Main.  From a softball tournament, 5k run, and entertainment for all ages to fireworks and the largest Times Square-style ball drop in Michigan, this party is one to be remembered!

Main Street is transformed into one huge gala, complete with warming tents, food and drink vendors, entertainment, and the lighting of the ball. At midnight, all eyes will be on the dropping of the ball, complete with fireworks.

A free hour-long concert for kids will begin at 5:30 pm. Free teen activities can be found at Journeys Coffeehouse located at the corner of Main Street and McDonald Street.  Karaoke and board games begin at 7:00 pm and end at midnight.

The entertainment begins at 8:00 pm and will keep you going until the ball drops.

Get in the New Year’s Eve mood with the opening act of Soul Xpress. You won’t be able to sit or to stand still as these energetic and experienced musicians play soul and funk music. The seven-piece band’s members have a rich history, playing with artists such as the Commodores, KC & the Sunshine Band, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, Edgar Winter, Foghat and Davy Jones.

Mr. Belding, aka Dennis Haskins, from “Saved by the Bell” will perform karaoke in one of the warming tents. The Moose Brew Tent will feature local country music artists Dani Vitany & Ten Hands Tall. Last summer, they were showcased in Bay City with American Idol’s Chris Daughtry.

Chicago-based cover band, 28 Days, will be the headlining Midnight on Main.  Performing at festivals throughout the Midwest, 28 Days was featured on the soundtrack of Hollywood’s “Keeper of the Pinstripes”.

The night ends with the drop of the 7’8” diameter ball.  The ball was constructed using 2,380 RGB LED lights and 340 individually controlled nodes with millions of color variations.  Fireworks will also light the sky as we welcome in 2014. This is one New Year’s Eve Extravaganza that shouldn’t be missed!

If you’re not in the Great Lakes Bay area, there are plenty of other New Year’s Eve events happening across the state! Below is a round up of just a few of the many.  For more, visit michigan.org/events.

New Year’s Eve at Boyne Mountain:

December 31, 2013 – Boyne Falls
Ring in the New Year at Boyne Mountain with parties galore for adults and kids. Dance the night away with DJs, party favors, Torchlight Parade and fireworks celebration, teen party, and a lot more. For complete event details, call (800) 462-6963.

Traverse City New Year’s Eve CherryT Ball Drop:
December 31, 2013 – Traverse City
Ring in the New Year in Downtown Traverse City with live music, food vendors, and watch an enormous lit cherry drop from the sky as we count down to 2014. Fee.

2014 Resolution Ball
December 31, 2013 – Detroit
Metro Detroit’s largest & most exclusive annual New Year’s Eve event! 8pm. Ages 21 and over with valid ID. Ticketed event. For information call (248) 543-1000.

2014 New Year’s Eve Ball Drop
December 31, 2013 – Downtown Ludington
It’s a high-energy, FREE event packed with fun for everyone! Beginning at 9:30pm in the North James Street Plaza, come enjoy music, an entertainment tent, commemorative light-up glasses, fireworks and of course the highlight of the evening, Michigan’s largest environmentally friendly New Year’s Eve Ball, dropped at the strike of midnight. Bring your family and friends to experience this amazing night! Also a featured highlight of the New year Celebration is the Resolution Run 5K. December 31st at 9am at OJ DeJonge Middle School North Gym.

The Puck Drops Here – A New Year’s Eve Celebration
December 31, 2013 – Ann Arbor
Join us for ‘The Puck Drops Here’, a New Year’s Eve ‘puck drop’ on the streets of downtown! Ring in the New Year in downtown Ann Arbor and enjoy six hours of live entertainment starting at 8pm. The headlining musical entertainment artist will be Michelle Chamuel, star of ‘The Voice’ and former Ann Arborite. Matthew Altruda, host of on Ann Arbor’s 107.1, will be the master of ceremonies for The Puck Drops Here. A 10-foot puck with 6,000 LED lights will be lowered at midnight. There will be a lighting ceremony a 8pm to kick off the event.

New Year’s Fest
December 31, 2013 – Kalamazoo
As a Kalamazoo tradition, New Year’s Fest brings the community together for a night of fun-filled activities for the entire family. Entertainers surround Bronson Park as well as performance venues located indoors. Fireworks happen at midnight. The entire event is walkable.

Downtown Marquette Ball Drop
December 31, 2013 – Marquette
Ring in the New Year at the 25th Annual New Year’s Eve Ball Drop in Downtown Marquette on Tuesday, December 31, 2013. Count down to midnight with friends and family and watch as the illuminated ball is lowered from the historic Savings Bank Building on the corner of Front and Washington Streets. Share in the magic of the twelfth strike marking the beginning of 2014 at this family friendly community celebration.

What are your plans on New Year’s Eve in Pure Michigan?

3 Things to Know about Ann Arbor and the 2013 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic

Are you heading to the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic in Ann Arbor on New Year’s Day? Laura Berarducci from Visit Ann Arbor brings us a few know-before-you-go tips for enjoying the event.

Photo courtesy of Visit Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor is no stranger to thousands of sports fans converging at the corner of Stadium and Main Street to cheer as their team battles within The Big House.  However, New Year’s Day will bring a host of different fans — and a sea of red and white will be welcome in Wolverine territory as the Detroit Red Wings face off against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®.

Many are anticipating that the game will set a new world record for attendance at a hockey game. The previous record was set in 2010 between University of Michigan and Michigan State University at Michigan Stadium. There are also hopes of breaking the Big House attendance record of 115,109 set this year during the night game against Notre Dame.

For those coming to town, here are three key things you may want to know about Ann Arbor and the event to help make your visit as enjoyable as possible.

#1: More than Just Hockey

Coming to town early or staying an extra night? Perhaps you are accompanying a hockey fan to town but aren’t going to the game. Regardless, Ann Arbor has plenty to do leading up to, during, and after the game. A number of businesses are extending their hours and remaining open on New Year’s Day. Check back often as the list is updated weekly. Go to VisitAnnArbor.org for more information about the vibrant, walkable downtown area and a full listing of dining, shopping, and attractions.

#2: New Year’s Eve Ball Drop

The NHL is working closely with the City of Detroit and The Detroit Red Wings to offer an array of events in Detroit to help commemorate the occasion. However, those not heading east for New Year’s Eve should join the “The Puck Drops Here” street party taking place along Main Street in Downtown Ann Arbor from 8 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. Headlining the event is Michelle Chamuel, runner-up on NBC’s ‘The Voice’ last season. The grand finale will be the midnight countdown as we lower a 10-foot puck lit with 6,000 LED lights designed and fabricated by local artists. More information is available at VisitAnnArbor.org.

#3: Game Day Specifics

109,901 fans in a city with a population around 114,000? Even with a majority of the University of Michigan students heading home for the holidays, knowing how to get in and around the city is going to make the experience much smoother. Complete details including an area map, road closures, and fan guide are available at nhl.com/winterclassic.

  • Photo courtesy of the NHL

    Buses and Shuttles: The NHL is coordinating a school bus shuttle system from designated areas to the stadium from 9am-noon and then again after the game. On game day, Winter Classic Shuttle wristbands can be purchased at participating hotels and from attendants at designated parking lots. Click here for a complete list of routes and more information.

  • Parking: Check the Shuttle Routes to take advantage of the Park & Ride lots that will be operating on New Year’s Day. You may also park in any of the Downtown Ann Arbor parking garages for the set special event price of $5. Pioneer High School will be open for anyone tailgating before the game, but the golf courses will be closed. More parking details are available here.
  • The Big House: In order to ensure you make it into the game you must observe the strict no bag policy. This includes all bags, backpacks, purses, camera and binocular cases, etc. Click here for a complete list of prohibited items.

Laura Berarducci is the Director of Marketing for the Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and has been an Ann Arbor resident for more than 30 years. She attended both record-setting games mentioned above and plans to keep her own record intact by cheering on the Detroit Red Wings at the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. It will be the only time she wears red in the Big House. For more information about Ann Arbor and the New Year’s Events, check out www.VisitAnnArbor.org