Community-based event YpsiGLOW plans to light up downtown Ypsilanti to showcase diversity and creativity on Friday, Oct 28.
YpsiGLOW is meant to be a night of artistry organized to offer the Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor communities a space to highlight a variety of creative glowing displays.
Organizers plan to transform N. Washington Street into a display of music, dancing, costumes, and street art. This year’s event’s theme is Where the Wild Things Glow.
The organizers collaborated with local artists and businesses to curate a novel experience for the community. Each of this year’s artists has prepared a unique interpretation of the theme.
Some installations include Allida Warn’s Sail into the Night, an interactive childlike sailboat meant to journey to "the land of the Wild Things." Steve and Her Hoops have utilized LEDs to form optical illusions and execute a circus-style multi-hooping show. Additionally, Illuminatus Lasers has created Dancing with an Alien, inviting the viewer to stand in front of the alien as it copies their actions.
Showcasing more theatrical talents, Blue Moon Dance and Music presents the "Wild Thing, You Make My Heart Sing" performance pop-up by creators, CM Sears and Friends, featuring a concise movement experience, a playful selfie station, and live music. Shadow puppet plays inspired by fictional and nonfictional stories will be performed by author and puppeteer, Patrick Elkins.
Guests will be able to use fake bones, fur, and lights to create wild beast wearables, courtesy of This, That & the ODDer Thing. To encourage people to immerse themselves in the wild theme, Angel Vanas will transform into a friendly Wild Glow Monster named Glowma, a friendly character with a unique story and purpose.
"It really came from meeting with different business and community leaders and volunteer organizations and crafting something that the community was asking for." Stephanie Mclntyre the event producer for YpsiGLOW said.
These diverse performances allow guests of all ages and interests to be engaged and expose them to new fascinations. This people-centric event will take over downtown the weekend before Halloween.
Local businesses on N. Washington Street have extended their workspaces as part of the art celebration. Clever Creations, Dreamland Theater, Neighborhood Theatre Group, and Betty Green Salon will all be presenting installations and interactive activities to highlight their performers, students, and skills. Moreover, a luminary procession will start at S. Washington Street, meandering through Michigan Avenue before finally arriving at the event.
"There's some sort of energy that’s just different when everyone is in the same spot at the same time," Mclntrye said. “Considering this would be the first YpsiGLOW at this level of involvement since the beginning of the pandemic in 2019, these community bonding moments are essential to restoring that spirit.”
The event will take place from 7 pm to 10 pm on Oct 28, with no prior registration needed. The event’s stage line-up will begin with the Ypsilanti Community High School Choir, followed by Boylesque Michigan an Ypsilanti-based drag troupe, and end with a dance party led by DJ Nitro.