Dearborn prepares for 38th annual Homecoming Festival, new events added to old favorites

The City of Dearborn is readying to welcome residents past and present, as well as its neighbors, with the city's 38th annual Homecoming Festival. Several new events and features have been added to this year's event, complementing decades worth of old favorites.

Between 125,000 to 150,000 people are expected to attend this year's event, which takes place Aug. 4th through the 6th at Ford Field Park.

Homecoming began as a way to entice former residents back to their hometown. While the festival offers something for residents and non-residents alike, it also retains its original intentions. The city expects graduating classes from Dearborn high schools dating as far back as the 1940s and '50s to hold class reunion picnics at Homecoming.

"Homecoming is a tradition in Dearborn," says Mary Laundroche, Director of the city's Department of Public Information and a co-chair person for the festival. "People look forward to this all summer. People from all over the world and the country come back for it, and plan vacations around it."

"Everyone knows that the first full weekend of August is Homecoming."

This year's features are many, and the traditional festival mainstays remain. There will be two dozen carnival rides and an abundance of food options. Fireworks begin at 10 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.

This year, two old standbys, the Italian American and Polish American Shelters, are joined for the first time by the Arab American Tent. The new tent will feature music, food, and other programming unique to those communities.

It's the second year that Healthy Dearborn will be involved in the festivities. A family bike ride, 5K run, and a Cornhole tournament are among the planned activities.

Popular cover bands Fifty Amp Fuse and Square Pegz top the list of live entertainment acts. Headlining this year's event is former STYX singer Dennis DeYoung, who will be performing as Dennis DeYoung and the Music of STYX.

Homecoming runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. each of its three days. Entrance to Homecoming is free. Full-day wristbands for the carnival cost $22, though they can be purchased at a discount online for $15 plus a one dollar service fee. That special runs through 11:55 p.m. on Aug. 3.

For wristbands and a full list of events and activities, visit the Dearborn Homecoming Festival online.

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.