Free, low-cost family activities featured; discount carnival tickets available in advance

Photo courtesy of the city of Dearborn
Plenty of wacky games, like the spaghetti slurp and the hula hoop contest, are free at Dearborn’s Homecoming festival Friday through Sunday. Winners receive medals and get the “Olympic” treatment.

Buy carnival tickets online now for best deal

DEARBORN – Families looking to have fun without breaking the bank can find plenty to do at Dearborn’s Homecoming festival Friday through Sunday, including carnival rides, children’s games, wacky contests, inflatable rides and live entertainment all weekend long.

Fireworks displays Saturday and Sunday evenings cap off these fun filled days. The Saturday fireworks are sponsored by Kenwal Steel Corp.

A tradition for 33 years, Homecoming is an event coordinated by the city of Dearborn and the nonprofit Dearborn Community Fund. This year’s presenting sponsor is Oakwood Healthcare. The festival is at Ford Field Park, 22051 Cherry Hill.

Wade Shows Inc. is again offering advanced sales of full-day carnival wristbands online for $12, plus a $1 service fee.

The bands allow ridership of all carnival attractions from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on one day. These bands can be ordered through 11:59 p.m. Thursday at

They can be used on any one day, Friday through Sunday.

Those who do not wish to purchase advanced wristbands can still buy them at the carnival at $13 for a half-day band (11 a.m.-5 p.m.) and $18 for a full day, as well as individual ride tickets.

An $8 companion wristband is also available for parents and guardians to ride with their children. Restrictions apply.

There is no refund for carnival ride tickets. Consider the weather forecast before buying tickets.

Homecoming has plenty of events that are free. Here is a rundown:

• Free giant inflatable rides for bouncing noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, sponsored by the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

• Free children’s games, including a small prize for kids under 12, from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

• Free wacky contests like the apple sauce slurp, pie-eating, hula-hoop and kick the shoe, for kids of all ages on both Saturday and Sunday.

• Strolling entertainers amuse the crowds throughout the festival.

• Free fishing derby. Grab your poles and try your luck at the Ford Field Pond from 8 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, sponsored and organized by the Dearborn Rotary Club.

• New this year is a Special All-Stars Day from 9 a.m. to noon Friday. This event is designed for children and adults with special physical, intellectual or emotional needs. Free rides for the Special All-stars will be offered from 9 to 11 a.m., with other activities during the three hours. Pre-registration ended July 31.

• For a small fee, children can participate in the Youth All-Star Games from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday. On Sunday, Basketball Training Camp is offered from 3 to 5 p.m. for ages 6 through 13 with the High School Excellence Program if from 5 to 7 p.m. The events are organized by Hype Athletics and are held at the tennis courts.

Go to for more information about Homecoming.