By: Thomas P. Tafelski

The greatest strength found in Dearborn rests with our traditions. For me, one of the greatest traditions is our Homecoming celebration. In fact, this year, Aug. 7-9 marks the 30th anniversary of Homecoming.
Begun in 1979, Homecoming was not much more than a way for graduating classes to renew old friendships and recall old memories. While the reunions and picnics of graduates from over the years still are part of the celebration, Homecoming has evolved to represent much more.
The thing that strikes me every time my family and I cross that covered bridge is the way in which our city opens its doors to others. While the majority of the 150,000 or so people attending Homecoming annually are Dearborn residents, I’m proud of the way we welcome anyone who wishes to join us in the celebration. As a city, it’s clear that we also open our doors to those who just might choose Dearborn a place to come home to.
It’s evident from seeing the thousands of Dearbornites walking across that bridge that we are proud of being good neighbors and good friends. Homecoming is community pride at its best. I want to commend all involved, from city workers to the volunteers for putting together and sponsoring Homecoming 2009. Doing so takes countless hours of community dedication.
I hope you and your family join mine for all the activities, fun and food offered this year. Some of the many groups that come together to make Homecoming a success are community organizations and service clubs; local businesses; the Police and Firefighters’ associations; participation from area places of worship, hospitals, and schools; veteran’s organizations; historical groups; and last but not least, Dearborn ethnic and fraternal clubs.
What could be better than three days of great food, entertainment, music and dancing, and activities for everyone, from kids’ games to Elderfest, all capped off by Saturday and Sunday night fireworks?
I want to thank everyone, in advance, for attending and making Homecoming the kind of celebration and tradition that we can all be proud of. Our Homecoming celebration is a great way to showcase our city and welcome people to Dearborn. Homecoming reminds us why Dearborn is a great place to live, work and raise a family.
(Thomas Tafelski is Dearborn City Council president and a 1988 graduate of Fordson High School.)