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The Malik Report

Ann Arbor plans on ‘dropping the puck’ on New Year’s Eve

On Wednesday, the NHL will reveal the details of the "Fan Zone" they're placing outside of Comerica Park for the Hockeytown Winter Festival, and on Thursday, the University of Michigan's Board of Regents will vote on a measure allowing fireworks to be used during the Winter Classic itself, which MLive's Kellie Woodhouse revealed is expected to yield $14-15 million in fan spending in the Ann Arbor area...

And if you plan on staying in Ann Arbor prior to the game, the Ann Arbor Chronicle reports that you will be able to ring in the New Year with the dropping of a...Puck?

Two events scheduled for New Year’s have received approval for their associated street closings from the Ann Arbor city council: The Puck Drops Here and the National Hockey League’s Winter Classic Game. Council action came at its Nov. 18, 2013 meeting.

In connection with the NHL Winter Classic Game to be played on New Year’s Day, the Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau is hosting a New Year’s Eve event called The Puck Drops Here, which will mimic the dropping of the lighted ball in Times Square, but with a 6-foot diameter lighted “puck” that is being fabricated by METAL.

The name of the event is a play on words. In the game of ice hockey, the start of action is marked with an official dropping of the puck between two opposing players – the puck drop. It’s similar to the tip-off in basketball. The name of the event also plays on the expression popularized by U.S. President Harry Truman: “The buck stops here.”

The Chronicle also lists all of the street closures expected for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day (and it states that "lawn parking" will be allowed in the neighborhood surrounding the stadium), and the Ann Arbor Convention and Visitors' Bureau has more information about the "puck drop":

The Ann Arbor Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is excited to host a New Year's Eve street party in downtown Ann Arbor.  The evening will feature six hours of live entertainment and a midnight ball drop.

Date: Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Time: 8:00 PM - 2:00 AM

The headlining musical entertainment artist will be Michelle Chamuel, star of 'The Voice' and former Ann Arborite.  Chamuel will perform with Tyler Duncan and their band, S/HE. Chamuel, who also performs under her electronic alias The Reverb Junkie, recently released her first solo album titled "All I Want." The night will also feature DJs Robert Lux, Ross Federman, DJ Scout and live drumming from Mike Shea. Matthew Altruda, host of Tree Town Sound on Ann Arbor’s 107.1 will be the master of ceremonies for The Puck Drops Here.

Local design and fabrication studio METAL is constructing the puck to descend at midnight. “In keeping with the theme of the event, we will actually be lowering a 10-foot puck lit with 6,000 LED lights,” says METAL visionary John Walters. There will be a lighting ceremony at 8 p.m. to kick off the event.

“We are very excited to welcome our out-of-town visitors, as well as members of our local community, to bring in the New Year with us,” says AAACVB President and CEO, Mary Kerr. “With the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic coming to Michigan Stadium, this is a great opportunity for us to share all that the area has to offer, including an electric downtown corridor, with an international audience.” Complete details, including the specific location of the free event will become available in the coming weeks.

If you're an "Out-of-Towner" planning on attending either the Hockeytown Winter Festival downtown and/or the Winter Classic itself I strongly recommend that you check out the Ann Arbor Visitors and Convention Bureau's website, the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitor Bureau's Visit Detroit website and the State of Michigan's "Pure Michigan" website.

The people who run these websites want to make your stay as pleasant as possible and will give you information about the area's attractions and accommodations. I know that some of you are planning high-profile trips and others are going to essentially be camping out in hotels on a shoestring budget, and both groups and everyone in between ought to know that you don't have to continue to plan your trip on your own.

Those of us who live in Southeastern Michigan want you to enjoy your stay here and we have resources that you can use regardless of whether you're coming in from Mississauga or Melbourne.

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About The Malik Report

The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.