About UsSeen On 7


Detroit Riverfront kicks off annual 'Winter at Valade Park' celebration

Holly Jolly Riverfront.jpg
Posted at 5:34 AM, Dec 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-11 09:21:38-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy’s popular Winter at Valade celebration, which features free family-friendly programming at Robert C. Valade Park every weekend this season, kicks off with “Holly Jolly Riverfront” on December 10-12.

Holly Jolly Riverfront will feature free photo opportunities with Santa, wreath building, a dance party for kids, ice sculptures, live music, carolers and more.

The 12 weekends of Winter at Valade are presented by Huron-Clinton Metroparks, and visitors to Valade Park can experience a plethora of winter fun every weekend from December 10 through February 27. In addition to oversized outdoor fires and marshmallow roasters along the riverfront, Winter at Valade will feature hot seasonal alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, delicious food, sledding, synthetic ice curling and great programming for all ages every weekend.

During Winter at Valade, there are five special enhanced weekends where the Michigan winter will be re-imagined through ice sculptures, cultural events, live music and more.

In addition to Holly Jolly Riverfront, the enhanced weekends include the following:

Jan 14-16 Fire and Ice Festival, presented by Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort

Jan 28-30 Winter Around the World, presented by Visit Detroit

February 11-13 Motown Love

February 25-27 Mardi Gras at Valade

Robert C. Valade Park is located at 2670 East Atwater along the East Riverfront in downtown Detroit. The hours for Winter at Valade each weekend are 4 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Noon to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Noon to 7 p.m. on Sunday.

Holly Jolly Riverfront Schedule

Holly Jolly Riverfront features something for guests of all ages, including:

· Photos with Santa from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday and from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

· Free craft making for kids with Conservancy volunteers from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday and with Arts & Scraps staff from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

· Purchase and decorate a wreath to take home from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, from Noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday and from Noon to 7 p.m. on Sunday.

Roaming carolers will sing holiday classics from 4 to 9 p.m. on Friday and from 2 to 7 p.m. on Sunday. Additional Holly Jolly Riverfront musical performances by local entertainers, include:

Saturday, December 11

1 to 3 p.m. Kevin Devine Kids Dance Party (Children’s Music)

3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saxappeal & Friends (Jazz/Soul)

5 to 6 p.m. Julianne Ankley & Roscoe (Americana)

6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Corktown Popes Holiday Trio (Rock)

8 to 9 p.m. The Keez Trio (Jazz)

Sunday, December 12

2 to 2:45 p.m. Chiara Clayton (R & B/Soul)

3:15 to 4 p.m. Jennifer Westwood & Dylan Dunbar (Honky Tonk Soul)

4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Marquette (Alternative R & B)

6 to 7 p.m. Sheen (George Friend & Laura Rain) (Soul)

Winter at Valade Has Something for Everyone Every Weekend This Season

Every weekend features hands-on activities and winter games, including curling on synthetic ice and box hockey. The “Sled Shed” is sponsored by Chip and Sarah McClure and will be open when it snows to lend out free sleds for visitors to use on the hills at Valade Park. Several giant outdoor fireplaces are placed throughout the park to help keep guests warm. Conservancy volunteers have free gloves and hand-warmer pouches available for guests during select hours.

Additionally, there will be no shortage of delicious food and drink this and every weekend during Winter at Valade. The Shed Bar will feature hot seasonal alcoholic and non-alcoholic classics for purchase like hot chocolate and cider and Granny’s Hot Toddys. Marshmallow kits for roasting at the park will also be available for purchase.

Since opening in 2020, the two eateries operating out of The Shed at Valade Park have gained quite a following among Detroiters. Smokey G’s menu includes pulled pork, brisket, ribs, macaroni and cheese and other delicious items. The menu of Geisha Girls Sushi features crab Rangoon, shrimp tempura, Panko chicken tenders and more. Both eateries are open Wednesday through Sunday from Noon to 8 p.m. year-round.

The safety of all riverfront visitors is of paramount concern to the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, so social-distancing protocols will be in place for all activities during Winter at Valade. For more information, visit detroitriverfront.org.