The holiday season is a perfect time to create family memories. That’s the whole idea behind “Noel,” a dazzling and uplifting show presented by Shipshewana Majestic.
Touted as two full hours of nonstop Christmas excitement, “Noel” is returning to the charming Amish town of Shipshewana, Ind., at the Michiana Event Center, 455 E. Farver St., on Dec. 9-10 and 13-17 at 7 p.m., and Dec. 10 and 17 at 1 p.m.
“It’s a wholesome family show with longevity,” says Karen Flanhardt, director of the Michiana Event Center. “‘Noel’ gives you a warm, loving, family-togetherness type of atmosphere.”
Along with the Michiana Event Center, “Noel” is made possible by Water 2 Wine Family Entertainment. A family-owned company, Water 2 Wine specializes in producing family-friendly programming with an emphasis on sharing their love of Christ.
Audience members at “Noel” can witness equestrian performances, featuring impressive horses and riders alike, in addition to singers, dancers, aerialists, performing dogs and more. The show also emphasizes “the reason for the season,” the birth of Jesus Christ. “Noel” features a large living nativity complete with a re-creation of the stable and manger in Bethlehem where Jesus was born. The audience watches as angels, wise men and real-life camels come out to witness the birth of their Savior. Other animals including sheep, goats, a donkey and a cow also make appearances.
While the two-hour production is full of Christmas-themed entertainment, there’s also festive pre-show and intermission activities at “Noel.” Doors open two hours before the main event, and for $10 per activity, guests can take photos with Santa Claus, ride a camel, and/or get their faces painted.
Camel rides are also available during intermission, as well as taking photos with the “Noel” hog.
As another treat, guests can opt to enjoy a feast that begins 1.5 hours before the show. The menu features a mixed garden salad garnished with cranberries, a main course of turkey and gravy, ham, mashed potatoes, green beans and garlic biscuits, and dessert of chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream and peppermint shavings. Drinks include water, lemonade and coffee.
Tickets for the meal must be purchased in advance and in addition to the main event tickets, and cost $20 for adults and $10 for children ages 4-11. Children ages 3 and under can eat at no cost.
During the meal, guests are able to enjoy a juggling and comedy variety show from Niels Duinker, a Netherlands native who has performed in more than 40 countries and holds eight Guinness World Records.
Clubs and machetes are just a few things he may juggle, and comedy mixed with audience participation is to be expected during his performance.
After the main show, guests can also take advantage of the VIP experience, which includes a backstage tour. VIPs get to meet the cast, take pictures, have souvenirs autographed, see the animals up close and even ride the horses.
Tickets for “Noel” cost $34.95 for adults and $19.95 for children ages 4-11. Children 3 and under can enter free. The VIP experience is an additional $10 per person, but groups of 12 or more can receive a discount by calling (260) 768-4990 ahead of time.
In addition to “Noel,” The Michiana Event Center has a long lineup of family-friendly entertainment scheduled for next year.
“There are nearly 150 events happening in 2023,” Flanhardt says.
Built in 2017, the Michiana Event Center sits on 26 acres of land and has a 5500-seat coliseum, a 100,000-square-foot trade/expo center and a 340-stall horse barn. Events include everything from auctions, horse sales, craft shows and fundraisers to go karting, tractor pulls, rodeos, the circus and more.
For more information about “Noel” or future events at the Michiana Event Center, visit michianaevents.com, call the box office at (260) 768-4990, or the main line at (260) 768-3300. ❚