Homecoming full of festival fun Aug. 2-4: Blues Traveler is headline act Saturday

DEARBORN – The city will celebrate the 34th annual Homecoming festival Aug. 2 to 4 with outstanding entertainment led by Blues Traveler, spectacular fireworks, 27 carnival rides, family activities, art demonstrations, green living expo and plenty of festival food.

It will also help more than 20 nonprofit groups fundraise for, and increase awareness of, their good works in Dearborn.

Homecoming is a project of the city of Dearborn and the nonprofit Dearborn Community Fund. It is at Ford Field Park, 22051 Cherry Hill, at Brady, north of Michigan Avenue.

Homecoming is made possible because of businesses, organizations and individuals that fund a significant amount of the cost of the festival. It is once again presented by Oakwood Healthcare Inc.

Blues Traveler plays Main Stage on Saturday
The headline entertainment is Blues Traveler on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. The five-man jam band played at Woodstock ’94, opened for the Rolling Stones and is best known for its top 40 hits “Run Around” and “Hook.”

In 2012, Blues Traveler, fronted by original singer/harmonica player/guitarist John Popper, released its 11th studio album, “Suzie Cracks the Whip.”

The band gained mainstream exposure after an early 1990s appearance on David Letterman’s late-night talk show and has since made more appearances there than any musical artist.

The group founded the Horizons of Rock Developing Everywhere Festival in 1992 with other jam bands.

Other entertainment
Main stage entertainment at 8 p.m. Friday is acclaimed Detroit country band Annabelle Road,

Led by singer Amanda Bailey, the quartet has toured with Clint Black, and played Detroit ‘s Downtown Hoedown with Zac Brown and Willie Nelson.

Performing at 8:30 p.m. Sunday on the Main Stage is Papa Doo Run Run, which calls itself America’s Music – California’s Band. The group focuses on Beach Boys songs and recently played at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center.

Formed in 1965, the band has toured with surf music icons Jan & Dean and performed for 15 years as the celebrity house band at Disneyland.

Music will also be on Stage B and the Food Court Stage throughout the weekend. Performers are Whiskey Rebellion, Pete “Big Dog” Fetters Band, Bomb Squad, Armed and Dangerous, Kaleido, Dearborn Big Band and Junction Groove.

Carnival — $14 online specials for all-day wrist bands (advanced sales only)
The carnival is open 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

Advanced sales of all-day wrist bands are $13, plus a $1 service fee, until 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 1 at www.cityofdearborn.org.

The online savings is significant. All-day wrists bands purchased at the festival Aug. 2 to 4 are $20. Other ride options are available.

There are no refunds on any carnival tickets.

Free shuttles
There is free parking and free shuttle service from Dearborn High School, sponsored by Henry Ford Health System and SMART, and free shuttle service from the west Dearborn business district along West Village Drive, from Military to Monroe.

The Dearborn High shuttle runs from 6 to 11 p.m. Friday, and noon to 11:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Parking is free.

Another free shuttle is available on West Village Drive, from Monroe to Military, from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Parking fees apply in the west Dearborn business district.

Ford Field parking is $10, with $7 re-entry rate
Parking rates at Ford Field Park during the festival are $10. Coupons will be given for $7 re-entry.

Parking fees apply starting at 11 a.m. each day.

Festival parking rate in west Dearborn business district
All-day festival rate parking of $5 Saturday and Sunday applies in most lots in the west downtown. The festival rate is $3 in the parking decks on West Village Drive after 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

New for 2013
The festival will host the family-friendly Art in Action at the top of the hill 11 a.m. from 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday featuring demonstrating artists and a Children’s Activity Tent presented by the Detroit Institute of Arts.

It will complement the return of the Living History Hill from 4-7 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

The Green Alternatives Expo will expand its reach this year, in an area south of the main bridge from 3 to 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Also new to Homecoming will be food trucks. They will donate a portion of their proceeds to nonprofit organizations in Dearborn, while offering festival-goers new menu options, including gourmet selections.

The food trucks will operate from 2 to 11 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, enhancing the traditional Food Booths run by nonprofit organizations, which are open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day.

There are two new free fitness opportunities — Adult Cardio Tennis from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday and Sunday on the tennis courts, and Zumba Fitness from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday on Stage B.

Blankets on the hill
Blankets can be put on the hill to view the fireworks after 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. All blankets must be removed by midnight both nights.

Blankets cannot be more than 8 feet by 8 feet.

Class cars will be on display once again at Ford Field from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Friday.
Car Show
The Cruisin’ Dearborn car cruise organized by the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce will begin at the 19th District Court at 7 p.m. Friday and travel into Ford Field Park about 7:30 p.m. The classic car show will last until about 10 p.m.

Nonprofit groups raise money
Dearborn service clubs and charitable organizations will be selling food, beverages and other items from about 15 booths in the Food Court and other areas to raise money for their good causes that support Dearborn residents.

Plenty of low-cost, free children’s events
Free, “gentle” carnival-style games for children are offered from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. This is sponsored by Village Community Credit Union.

Free inflatable rides are always a hit at Homecoming.
Free inflatable rides are offered for children from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, sponsored by Hansons

And “wacky games” for all ages take place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The Dearborn Rotary Club will again sponsor the Free Fishing Derby at the Ford Field Pond at 8 a.m. Saturday.

The Turbo Turtle Race returns for its fifth year at 4 p.m. Sunday to raise money for the Kiwanis Club of Outer Drive’s children’s projects.

Activities for people with special needs Friday
Returning this year from 9 a.m.-noon Friday is an event for people with special needs, presented by the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce. Pre-registration is required by July 31 www.dearbornareachamber.org.

Tell me more
Go to www.cityofdearborn.org for the complete schedule.