Homecoming activities include Healthy Dearborn initiatives — and they are all fun

DEARBORN – Healthy Dearborn comes to this year’s Homecoming for the first time with new events to make the festival activities more engaging, and focused on wellness, but without giving up any of the traditional fun.

An initiative prompted by a 2013 health assessment, Healthy Dearborn is a collaboration between Beaumont, the city of Dearborn, Dearborn Public Schools and other stakeholders throughout the community. It aims to build a “thriving, diverse community that fully embraces a unified culture of health.”

From Tai Chi to a family fun run, there are numerous ways to have a good time, and get some good exercise along the way, at this year’s Homecoming, slated for the weekend of Aug. 5 to 7 at Ford Field Park, 22051 Cherry Hill.

New for 2016 Homecoming

• Family Bike Ride — Nothing combines fitness and fun like the first Family Bike Ride. The free, police-supported ride will span seven miles, wending through northwest Dearborn neighborhoods.

It starts 10 a.m. Aug. 6, near the south side of the Homecoming festival grounds. There will be snacks and safe biking information provided at a mid-point break in Levagood Park. Registration begins 9:30 a.m. on the day of the ride, but waivers can be found at www.cityofdearborn.org/homecoming, printed, and filled out in advance.

Helmets are required for all participants. Those 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

• 5K Run or One Mile Fun Run — The day after the bike ride, festival goers have another chance to hit the pavement, but this time without pedals. The new one-mile Family Fun Run and 5K is set for Aug. 7.

Registration for the one-mile run is $15 before July 31 or $20 through race day, while the 5K is $32 before July 31 and $35 through race day. All registered runners receive a T-shirt for the inaugural event. The 5K runners get a commemorative glass and recognition for top finishers in various categories.

The fun run starts at 7:45 a.m. and the 5K starts at 8 a.m. Find registration information at www.cityofdearborn.org/homecoming.

• Cornhole — Also for the first time, Homecoming will feature a Midwest tailgate favorite: cornhole. The competition consists of players taking turns throwing bags of corn (or beans) at a raised platform with a hole in the far end.

It begins at noon Aug. 6, with check-in at 11 a.m. Cost is $25 per person; $50 for a two-person team. The tournament is limited to players 18 and older. Cash prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place.

Registration ends July 30. Sign up at dearborntheater.com ($2 online registration fee), by phone at 313-943-2354 or in-person from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at the Michael A. Guido Theater Box Office, 15801 Michigan Ave.

Returning in 2016

Back by popular demand, Heavner Canoes will offer free kayaking and canoeing on the Ford Field Park pond, which is fed by the Rouge River. “Paddling on the Pond” is from noon to 8 p.m.
Other high energy activities to get hearts pumping — and limbs moving — are the free wacky contests (hula hoop, baseball throw, kick the shoe) for children of all ages throughout Aug. 6 and 7, and for children, free giant bouncing inflatables from noon to 8 p.m. Aug. 6 and 7.

More healthy activities

The Healthy Dearborn team will offer activities at the festival grounds in a tent shared with Beaumont, which is the presenting sponsor of Homecoming.

Activities in the Beaumont/Healthy Dearborn tent are:
• Learn Tai Chi with Erin Reas, certified Tai Chi teacher, from 2 to 2:30 p.m. Aug. 5.
• Scavenger Hunt with free drawing for prizes from noon to 4 p.m. Aug 5 to 7.
• Yoga for Kids with Jamie Garrison, founder of Yoga Shala and Wellness, from 2 to 2:30 p.m. Aug. 6 And, Yoga for all ages from 10 to 11 a.m. Aug. 6. Those participating proved their own mat or towel.
• Healthy Eating with registered dietitians Lois and Cheryl from noon to 4 p.m. Aug. 6 and 7.
• Storytelling with Dearborn Public Library takes place from 1 to 1:30 p.m. Friday, and 11:30 a.m. to noon Aug. 6 and 7.
For more information about Homecoming, go to www.cityofdearborn.org/homecoming.