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belleisle_63762.jpgIt’s almost here! The 3rd annual “Light Up the Aquarium” holiday fundraiser to support the Belle Isle Aquarium will be held on Friday, Dec. 4, 2015. This year’s event is sponsored by Flagstar Bank and will raise funds to maintain and operate the aquarium, continue the restoration of the building and improve exhibits. It also includes a celebration of the restored ceiling tiles which have created the theme of “A Glass Act!” Guests will enjoy a wonderful evening in the Albert Kahn designed aquarium with food, libations, entertainment and a silent auction. Ticket prices range from $65 for general admission to $250 for a bubbly preview and donor recognition.

For the first time, the silent auction will open several days early thanks to the mobile bidding app, Handbid. Event attendees will be able to download Handbid to their smartphones or tablets in advance, and set up a profile which will unlock auction bidding opportunities days before the actual event. Auction participants will be able to browse auction items, set up bid increments, and see how they are doing against the competition, beginning on Black Friday which is the official closing date for ticket purchases.

Among the items already donated for the auction are two Shinola watches, a Disney package, “Dine with the Fishes” dinner for eight at the Aquarium, a Detroit writer’s basket, many theater, hotel and restaurant gift certificates, jewelry and antiques. There is truly something for everyone in a variety of price ranges.

Vance Patrick, co-chair of the Belle Isle Aquarium Committee and Belle Isle Conservancy board member adds, “Less apparent than new exhibits and skylights are important building improvements. Public support of this event will allow us to continue restoration of the oldest operating, volunteer-run, free public aquarium.”

Event Name: Light Up the Aquarium: A Glass Act!

Date: Friday, Dec. 4, 2015

Time: 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.; VIP bubbly preview begins at 5:30 p.m. (for $100 and $250 ticket holders)

Location: Belle Isle Aquarium, 900 Inselruhe Ave. in Detroit

Online ticket sales will be available until Friday, Nov. 27 through the Belle Isle Conservancy website,http://belleisleconservancy.org/annual-events/luta/. Guests may also view auction items on the Facebook page, Belle Isle Aquarium “Light Up the Aquarium” Event after Nov. 18.


The Belle Isle Aquarium will also be open to the public on Friday, Dec. 11 for the Holiday Stroll. On this night, the Aquarium, Conservatory, and Dossin Great Lakes Museum open their doors for guests to enjoy holiday music and decorations. The event is free and runs from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.


The Belle Isle Aquarium operates through the Belle Isle Conservancy. The organization formed in 2012 by merging four groups: Friends of Belle Isle Aquarium, Friends of Belle Isle, Belle Isle Botanical Society and Belle Isle Women’s Committee.

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