Homecoming festival presents Dennis DeYoung and the Music of STYX, affordable family fun, carnival, 5K run, bike ride, cornhole tournament, fireworks
Healthy Dearborn brings back high energy to event
Dearborn will celebrate its 38th annual Homecoming festival August 4-6 with two dozen carnival rides; delicious festival food; world-class entertainment, including headliner Dennis DeYoung and the Music of STYX ; as well as scores of healthy, family-fun activities against the backdrop of spectacular fireworks.
It takes place at Ford Field Park, 500 Monroe, in Dearborn.
This year, the festival adds an Arab American Tent, with food and entertainment. It joins the festival favorites of the Italian American Shelter and Polish American Shelter, and more than 20 other non-profit organizations raising funds through food and beverage sales, or other activities.
Homecoming is organized by the City of Dearborn in conjunction with the nonprofit Dearborn Community Fund. The presenting sponsor is Beaumont. The festival attracts 150,000 people and is made possible largely because of generous businesses, organizations and individuals whose sponsorships pay for the entertainment and activities.
The festival generally runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday-Saturday Aug. 4-6, although some activities may start earlier.
Dennis DeYoung and the Music of STYX headlines on Saturday
Dennis DeYoung and the Music of STYX takes the Main Stage on Saturday, Aug. 5 to play classic rock hits like “Come Sail Away,” “Lady,” “Babe,” and more. DeYoung, a founding keyboardist of STYX, is a prolific songwriter with one of the most distinctive voices in rock history.
Fireworks begin at 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Free family fun
The Homecoming festival is adding another day of children’s activities on Friday, in addition to the Saturday and Sunday regular features. So now on Friday, kids can enjoy free inflatables noon to 5 p.m., as well as on Saturday and Sunday, noon to 8 p.m.
Also, the Dearborn Community Arts Council’s popular Paint-A-Picture Tent will be open on Friday noon- 5 p.m, and its usual 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. times on Saturday and Sunday.
Free crafts will also be offered by ACCESS and the Arab American Museum kids’ tent at the top of the hill on Friday noon to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Other free kids’ activities are at the top of the hill throughout the weekend, including gentle carnival-style games for young children, organized by the Recreation Department’s Summer Playground Program.
Car cruise, Detroit-style blues on Friday
At 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 4 on the Main Stage, Howlin’ Mercy will delight the Homecoming audience with its guitar-driven, brassy blues.
It’s followed by Sunglasses After Dark at 8:30 p.m., with its alternative, Brit-pop garage style of rock that is sure to get the audience on their feet.
Classic cars will be arriving at Ford Field Park at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Organized by the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce, the car cruise and classic car show draws more than 100 vintage vehicles.
Stage Acts Saturday and Sunday
The main stage entertainment kicks off Saturday, Aug. 5 with Kaleido at 6 p.m. The band’s signature sound—a blend of Guns N’ Roses meets No Doubt—earned them seven Detroit Music Award nominations in 2014 and Best Band in Detroit by Real Detroit magazine in both 2013 and 2014.
The main stage entertainment begins on Sunday, Aug. 6 at 6 p.m. with Square Pegz, a “totally awesome” 80s tribute band, playing a nostalgic set for the masses.
At 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Fifty Amp Fuse will rock out to hits from the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and now, along with a video spectacle and light show.
Throughout the weekend, the Food Court Stage entertainment includes Pete “Big Dog” Fetters Band, Gordon Russ the Magician, United Snakes 70s Rock Tribute, the Joel Tacey Show, Bombsquad, and Holly and the Johnnies!
Other entertainment, offerings in cultural tents
Arab, Italian and Polish music, including the Kielbasa Kings, also will be offered at the festival.
Of course, there are more than enough opportunities to take a break from the action and get some delicious food and cold beverages at the Food Court, staffed by nonprofit groups, and from Food Trucks.
At the festival for the first time, the Arab American Tent, organized by ACCESS and the Arab American National Museum (AANM), will offer food and entertainment and will be located on the western edge of the Main Parking Lot, which is also the east side of the carnival area.
Discounted carnival wristbands available through Aug. 3.
The carnival, open all three days from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., boasts two dozen rides, including the return of a roller coaster. A full-day wristband is $22. However, they can be purchased for $15 (plus $1 service fee) at cityofdearborn.org/homeco
ming through 11:55 p.m. Aug. 3.
Free shuttles and parking
A free shuttle service will be provided from Dearborn High School, 19501 W. Outer Drive, in addition to free parking. Handicap accessible shuttles will be making continuous trips from the school to the festival 6 to 11 p.m. Friday and noon to 11:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
There will also be limited free shuttle service from West Village Drive to Ford Field Park from Military to Monroe on Friday and Saturday from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. and Sunday from 12:30 to 5 p.m.
Ford Field parking costs $10 beginning 11 a.m. all three days. The initial fee comes with a $7 parking coupon for a second entry over the weekend.
Free parking is available throughout the nearby west Dearborn downtown business district.
Healthy Dearborn brings back activities
A wide range of fitness and wellness activities will once again be available at Homecoming and offer the chance to work off that festival food and even engage in some friendly competition. Here’s a shortlist, either sponsored by Healthy Dearborn, or offered in the spirit of promoting active
- Family Bike Ride – The free, police-supported ride will span seven miles, wending through northwest Dearborn neighborhoods. It starts at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 5, near the South Shelter (Polish Shelter) at Ford Field Park. Registration begins at 9 a.m. Helmets are required. Children 13 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.
- 5K Run– The one-mile Family Fun Run and 5K is set for Sunday, Aug. 6. Registration for the one-mile run is $15 and starts at 7:45 a.m., while the 5K is $35 and starts at 8 a.m. The 5K runners get recognition for top finishers in various categories. Find registration information at cityofdearborn.org/homecoming.
- Cornhole Tournament - This year, there are social and competitive categories. The tournament begins at noon on Saturday, Aug. 5. Cost is $50 for two-person teams. Registration deadline is July 29 can be completed online at dearborntheather.com (a $2 online fee per registration will apply); by phone at 313-943-2354; or in person Tuesday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Box Office, 15801 Michigan Ave.
- Paddling on the Pond – this returning activity allows festival-goers to paddle on the Rouge River pond for a small fee, in a canoe. Cost is $5 per person, $2.50 age 7-12, free age 2 to 6. It takes place 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. all three days.
- Yoga Tent will offer a variety of yoga classes
A variety of yoga classes will be offered throughout the weekend at the new Yoga Tent, organized by Healthy Dearborn. It will be in the Large Activity Field at the festival. For a complete schedule, visit www.cityofdearborn.org/homecoming.
Rest assured, returning are crowd favorites, like free children’s games, crafts and inflatable rides; and wacky games for all ages.
Visit www.cityofdearborn.org/homecoming for more information about the festival and registration for events, as well as a complete schedule for entertainment and activities.