32nd Annual Homecoming: Fireworks, Food, Car Cruise

DEARBORN, Michigan – The City of Dearborn’s Homecoming festival will celebrate its 32nd year August 5-7 at Ford Field Park, 22051 Cherry Hill.  The annual event is made possible in part by presenting sponsor Oakwood Healthcare.

As always, it will feature spectacular fireworks Saturday and Sunday, courtesy of major fireworks sponsor Westborn Chrysler Jeep, with additional support from sponsor Kenwal Steel Corp.

Dearborn Homecoming Fireworks

Dearborn Homecoming Fireworks

And, the festival is famous for nationally known entertainment Saturday and Sunday, along with three days of fun for the whole family.

This year, the City is joining with the nonprofit Dearborn Community Fund in organizing the festival, which is a major fundraiser for 30 service clubs and youth, cultural and charity groups.

Frontiers! The Journey Tribute— 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Main Stage

Frontiers! The Journey Tribute is headlining this year’s Homecoming on Saturday night on the Main Stage.

Touring across the United States and performing at venues such as The House of Blues, the group is known as “THE national full-time touring tribute to Journey.”

Featuring vocalist Jeremey Hunsicker, the group caught the attention of Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain and founding member and guitarist Neal Schon.

The band, which became a fulltime endeavor in 2008, also features guitarist Stephen Chesney, bass player Greg Eanes, and drummer Chris Castelda, with touring keyboard players Chad Campbell and Billy Jones alternating shows.

Hotel California, “A Salute to the Eagles”

Capping off the eclectic musical weekend on Sunday will be Hotel California, “A Salute to the Eagles”.

This band, comprising five respected, multi-talented top music industry professionals, presents a dynamic exciting show saluting the music of The Eagles, a supergroup whose music has proven to have a staying power that few bands lay claim to. Finally, audiences can once again experience the energy and magic of this timeless music.

Members of the band have opened separately for groups such as Boston, The Little River Band, and Van Halen. They take the Main Stage together at 8:30 p.m. Their explosive, on-stage energy will be the perfect lead-in to Sunday night’s fireworks display.

Dearborn Homecoming Car Cruise and Car Show

Dearborn Homecoming Car Cruise and Car Show

Car Show

The Cruisin’ Dearborn car cruise organized by the Dearborn Chamber of Commerce will begin at the 19th District Court at 7 p.m. on Friday and travel down Michigan Avenue to Outer Drive to Cherry Hill and into Ford Field Park beginning about 7:30 p.m. The classic car show will last until about 10 p.m.

Other stage entertainment

Starting off the Main Stage festivities on Friday will be Larry Lee and the Back in the Day Band. Former Detroit Lions player and Vice President Larry Lee leads the group in exciting performances of songs from the past and present, from 8:30-10 p.m.

Throughout the weekend, music will play on three stages, including Bugs Beddow Band, Bomb Squad on Friday; Gratitude Steel Band, Redhill, Howlin Mercy and Riot House on Saturday; and Rockestra, Laith Al-Saadi, Annabelle Road on Sunday.

Dearborn Homecoming Carnival Rides

Dearborn Homecoming Carnival Rides

Carnival Rides

The carnival runs Friday-Sunday from 11 a.m. -10:30 p.m. Half-day wristbands can be purchased for $13 at Homecoming, while all-day wristbands will be available for $18. Other prices apply.  $13 online specials for all-day wrist bands (advanced sales only)

This year, the Ferris wheel returns, along with 25 other exciting rides. Advanced sales of all-day wrist bands are $12, plus $1 service fee from July 1 through 11:59 p.m. on August 4 at www.wadeshowsinc.com. No refunds on any carnival tickets or wrist bands.

Fireworks Saturday and Sunday

Homecoming wouldn’t be Homecoming without spectacular fireworks on Saturday and Sunday, beginning at about 10 p.m.  They are sponsored by Westborn Chrysler, with additional support from Kenwal Steel Corp.

Blankets on the hill

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

The size of a blanket is limited to no more than 8 feet by 8 feet to accommodate as many families as possible on the hill.

Other favorites

The Dearborn Community Arts Council’s Craft Show will take place on Friday from 5-8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

And back again is the Living History Hill with historical re-enactors, musical entertainment, crafts, antique firearms, a high tea and more.

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

Nonprofit groups raise money

And Dearborn service clubs and charitable organizations will be selling food, beverages and other items from about 40 booths in the Food Court and other areas to raise money for their good causes that support Dearborn residents.

Also part of the fundraising is the sale of Labatt Blue products. Labatt Blue is the festival’s beer sponsor.

High School Reunions

Homecoming got its name from the festival’s draw of current and former residents, and Dearborn school alumni. High school reunion picnics for Dearborn, Edsel Ford and Sacred Heart high Schools are on Saturday; picnics for Fordson, Lowery and St. Alphonsus high schools are on Sunday.

Plenty of low-cost, free children’s events

Free, “gentle” carnival-style games for children are offered Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Every child receives a small prize at every game.

Free inflatable rides are offered for children noon to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, sponsored by the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

And “wacky games” for all ages, like hula hoop on Saturday at 4 p.m., sponsored by Said Deep/deepsaidwhat.com; bubble gum blowing at 4 p.m. Sunday, sponsored by Dearborn patch.com, and spaghetti slurp at 3 p.m. Sunday, sponsored by the Italian American Fraternal Club. Other games take place from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.

The Dearborn Rotary Club, along with Eppinger Manufacturing, will again sponsor the Free Fishing Derby at the Ford Field Pond on Saturday morning.

Free shuttles

There is free parking and free shuttle service from Dearborn High School, sponsored by Henry Ford Health System, 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 of Homecoming weekend. 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 may apply in the west Dearborn business district.

Ford Field parking is $10

The Ford Field parking lot also provides a limited number of spaces, including handicapped parking, for $10 per car.

Elderfest on Friday

As usual, the festival begins with activities for senior citizens, but this year, they will be centered inside the Italian Tent on the north side of the bridge.

A Fun Walk with Mayor O’Reilly starts at 8:30 a.m., followed by events until 1:30 p.m., including music, a free breakfast for senior citizens, anniversary waltz, bingo, dancing and a free lunch for seniors.

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Free Outdoor Concert Series Continues in Dearborn

DEARBORN, Michigan – The City of Dearborn is boosting the opportunities to hear free music in outdoor settings by offering three Music Under the Starts Concerts in July and August.

Music Under the Stars is a long-standing tradition in the city, and this year concerts began on Thursday, July 21, at the Dearborn Hills Golf Course, featuring Rockestra.

On Thursday, August 11, regional favorite Sun Messengers will entertain swimmers and park-goers at Dunworth Pool at Levagood Park.

Fifty Amp Fuse

Fifty Amp Fuse will appear in concert at the Dearborn Hills Golf Course on August 25.

And on Thursday, August 25, Fifty Amp Fuse will return to the Dearborn Hills Golf Course.

All concerts are at 7 p.m. Seats are available at Dearborn Hills, but people are also allowed to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets.

Music Under the Stars complements free concerts sponsored by the East Dearborn Downtown Development Authority on Wednesdays, and the West Dearborn Downtown Development Authority on Fridays.

The DDDA concerts are as follows:

Wednesdays, east Dearborn, 7 to 9 p.m., in City Hall Park

  • August 10: Straight Ahead
  • August 17: Urban Jazz Collection
  • August 24: Alexander Zonjic All Stars

In the event of rain, the concerts will be moved inside the Arab American National Museum, 13624 Michigan Ave.

For more information, visit www.eastdowntowndearborn.com.

Fridays, West Dearborn, 6-9 p.m. Muirhead Plaza next to Bryant Library

  • July 29: Justine Blazer, modern country sound
  • August 12: Metro Jazz Voices performing selections from all eras of the Great American Songbook
  • August 26: Crush, sounds of classic rock and more

In case of rain, the concerts will be held in the Henry Ford Centennial Library auditorium.

 

Discounted Tickets for Homecoming On Sale Now

DEARBORN, Michigan – Act now and save money when purchasing all-day wrist bands for the carnival at the 2011 Homecoming at Ford Field Park in Dearborn August 5-7.

Advanced sales of all-day wrist bands are $12, plus a $1 service fee, from now until 11:59 p.m. on August 4 at www.wadeshowsinc.com.

Dearborn’s Homecoming festival Aug. 5-7 will feature 26 rides. All-day wrist bands can be purchased at a discount online through 11:59 p.m. August 4 at www.wadeshowsinc.com

Dearborn’s Homecoming festival Aug. 5-7 will feature 26 rides.

The carnival is open 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 5-7. Online purchasers print a receipt, and bring that, along with their I.D., to the carnival ticket booth onsite at the festival to exchange it for an all-day wrist band for that day. Purchasers do not have to specify online which day they will be using the wrist band.

The online savings is significant. All-day wrists bands purchased onsite Aug. 5-7 are $18.

Half-day wristbands can be purchased onsite for $13 and cover ridership from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Companion tickets, meant for adults to accompany children on certain rides, have remained at $8. Other prices apply. (There are no refunds on any carnival tickets or on wristbands.)

This year, the Ferris wheel returns, along with 25 other exciting rides.

Homecoming is a project of the City of Dearborn and the nonprofit Dearborn Community Fund. Oakwood Healthcare is the presenting sponsor. Sponsorships cover a significant amount of the cost of the festival.

More than 30 Dearborn-based nonprofit groups use the festival as their major fundraiser of the year, returning those dollars to the community through positive activities and scholarships.

The festival is known for its spectacular fireworks on Saturday and Sunday, which are sponsored by Westborn Chrysler Jeep, with additional support from Kenwal Steel Corp.

Headline entertainment is Frontiers/The Journey Tribute on Saturday and Hotel California “A Salute to the Eagles” on Sunday.

For more information, call 313-943-2285 or visit www.cityofdearborn.org.

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Hotel California to Headline Dearborn Homecoming

DEARBORN, Mich. – Dearborn won’t have to “stop believing” as “Frontiers— The Journey Tribute,” takes center stage at this year’s 32nd Homecoming festival August 5-7.

The band will rock out on the Main Stage at Ford Field Park in Dearborn on Saturday, Aug. 6, starting at 8:30 p.m.

Touring all across the United States and performing at venues such as The House of Blues, the group is known as “THE national full-time touring tribute to Journey.”

Featuring vocalist Jeremey Hunsicker, the group caught the attention of Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain and founding member and guitarist Neal Schon.

The band, which became a full-time endeavor in 2008, also features guitarist Stephen Chesney, bass player Greg Eanes, and drummer Chris Castelda. Touring keyboard players Chad Campbell and Billy Jones round out the performances during alternating shows.

For more information on Frontiers, visit their website at www.journeytributeband.com.

Sunday night will feature another performance by a nationally acclaimed cover band, “Hotel California—A Salute to the Eagles,” who will take the Main Stage at 8:30 p.m. on August 7.

The quintet features members Dicky, Scott, Wade, Steve, and Kenny, who share vocals and musical skills. The members have opened separately for groups such as Boston, The Little River Band and Van Halen.

For more information on Hotel California, visit www.hotelcal.com.

Starting off the Main Stage festivities on Friday, Aug. 5 will be Larry Lee and the Back in the Day Band. Former Detroit Lion player and vice president Larry Lee leads the group in exciting performances of songs from the past and present, from 8:30-10 p.m.

Oakwood Healthcare System is the presenting sponsor of the 2011 Homecoming. This year, the festival is being coordinated by the City of Dearborn with its new partner, the Dearborn Community Fund, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to enhancing cultural and recreational experiences.

As is tradition, all shows at Homecoming are free and all are invited to stay for fireworks on both Saturday and Sunday nights.

The festival features 20 food booths operated by not-for-profit groups that raise money for their community activities, beer and wine coolers for purchase, free children and family activities, a carnival, three entertainment stages, Living History Hill, craft fair organized by the Dearborn Community Arts Council and class reunion picnics from all of Dearborn’s high schools.

Look for more information soon at www.cityofdearborn.org or call 313-943-2285.

Danny Brooks and Sarah Dalton at 4thFridays on June 24

DEARBORN, Michigan – This Friday night, June 24th, beautiful melodies will be wafting through the walls of the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center.

4thFridays, a monthly coffeehouse event, will be showcasing blues artist Danny Brooks and singer/songwriter Sarah Dalton. As always – Rufus Harris and band will also share some tunes.

Danny Brooks

Danny Brooks

Danny Brooks is an original. He “walks the walk”. With stories that can make your arm hair prickle and melodies  infused with redemption, his music weaves authenticity and passion together. He considers performing an act of service and display of love, rather than a spectacle of self. Brooks says: “I’ve learned there’s a great power in music. I can do things with the gifts I’ve been given that may make people’s lives a little better, give them some hope”.

Brooks has played in prisons all over Ontario since 1991, telling stories of his spiritual journey. “I volunteer,” he explains. “To whom much is given, much is required. Having spent time in jail myself — six months of a 15-month sentence for robbing a gas station and several break-ins — I figure it’s the least I can do. Besides, I’m doing what I’ve been doing all along, what any songwriter does — putting my own experience into musical form. …  I’m not hiding, either…. from God, and the ideas and feelings that are important to me. As as songwriter, I’ve learned there’s a great power in music.”

Sarah Dalton‘s beautiful music is sung from a tender heart. “My songs are reflective of how Jesus has pursued me even when I’ve been unfaithful. He has brought me through heartbreak, a crushing career disappointment, an eating disorder and relapse, and more… His grace is sufficient for me. His power is made perfect in weakness.”

Sarah Dalton

Sarah Dalton

Rufus Harris is founder of The CAMP, has released three albums with two more underway, and, when not performing at churches or coffeehouses, enjoys sharing his music in prisons and nursing homes. Rufus was born in Alaska and was exposed to a wide variety of music from a young age. His style is inspired and smooth, vocally and melodically similar to Seal, a bit of funk, and “guitar work like Toto” – all stemming from a spiritual focus.

Rufus was, not too long ago, one of the most requested recording engineers in Metro Detroit. He has worked with artists such as George Clinton, Earl Klugh, The Four Tops, Marvin and BeBe Winans, and The Commodores.

4thFridays is held in Studio A at the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center located at 15801 Michigan Ave. in Dearborn. Doors open at 8pm. Show starts at 8:30pm. Admission is $10.

Free Outdoor Concerts All Summer in Dearborn

DEARBORN, Michigan – Free outdoor concerts highlight the summer in Dearborn, with music playing Wednesdays and Fridays in east and west Dearborn, respectively. Bring lawn chairs or blankets and stake out a good spot for great music on a summer evening.

On Wednesdays, the East Dearborn Downtown Development Authority (EDDDA) teams up with V98.7 Smooth Jazz HD and WWJ Newsradio to present Jazz On The Ave at Dearborn City Hall Park, 13615 Michigan Avenue at Schaefer.

Alexander Zonjic Headlines Dearborn Free Concert Series

Alexander Zonjic Headlines Dearborn Free Outdoor Concert Series

Sponsors for the series include Oakwood Healthcare, the Dearborn Community Fund, The Times-Herald, Press & Guide and Metro Times newspapers.

On Fridays, the West Dearborn Downtown Development Authority (WDDDA) offers free concerts at the Muirhead Plaza, adjacent to the Bryant Library, 22100 Michigan Ave.

Wednesdays, east Dearborn, 7 to 9 p.m., in City Hall Park

  • July 13: Alexander Zonjic & Friends
  • July 20: Universal Xpression
  • July 27: Lin Rountree
  • August 10: Straight Ahead
  • August 17: Urban Jazz Collection
  • August 24: Alexander Zonjic All Stars

In the event of rain, the concerts will be moved inside the Arab American National Museum, 13624 Michigan Ave.

For more information, visit www.eastdowntowndearborn.com.

Fridays, West Dearborn, 6:30-9 p.m. unless otherwise noted, Muirhead Plaza next to Bryant Library

  • June 17: Big band sound of Al Tedrick Combo featuring Bill Heart
  • July 1: Beat Club, a Beatles Tribute Band
  • July 15: Big Will and the 360 Degree Band. Rock to hip-hop, jazz, Latin and classic top 40 with Big Will, former lead singer of the Sun Messengers.
  • July 29: Justine Blazer, modern country sound
  • August 12: Metro Jazz Voices performing selections from all eras of the Great American Songbook .
  • August 26, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.: Crush, sounds of classic rock and more

In case of rain, the concerts will be held in the Henry Ford Centennial Library auditorium.

Visit www.dearbornwestonline.com for more information.

Free Summer Concerts Scheduled for West Dearborn

DEARBORN, MI — Residents, businesses and visitors to Dearborn are encouraged to reserve Friday evenings to attend a free outdoor mini-concert series sponsored by the West Dearborn Downtown Development Authority (WDDDA).

All concerts take place in the Muirhead Plaza, adjacent to the Bryant Library on Michigan Avenue. All are 6:30 to 9 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

  • June 17:  The first concert features the Big Band Sound of Al Tedrick – Combo Featuring Bill Heart.
  • July 1:  Concert goers will be entertained by a return performance of the Beat Club – a Beatles Tribute Band. This band looks like and sounds like the lads from Liverpool.
  • July 15:  Big Will and the 360 Degree Band with be entertaining. Big Will is the former lead sing of the Sun Messengers.
  • July 29:  Justine Blazer’s Modern Country Sound will be featured.
  • August 12:  Metro Jazz Voices will perform selections from all eras of the Great American Songbook. From standards like “Pennies from Heaven” and “Over the Rainbow” to modern classics like “Me and Julio, Down by the Schoolyard.” The sound is comfortable and yearning, the harmonies sweet and fascinating.
  • August 26:  Crush – Bringing the sounds of classic rock and more, will entertain from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

In case of rain, the concerts will be held in the Henry Ford Centennial Library auditorium.

The WDDDA recommends that concert-goers bring chairs and blankets for outdoor seating while they relax and enjoy the music.

Maps and other information are also available online on the WDDDA’s website.

4thFridays Features Chuck Tocco, Mleczko and Harris

DEARBORN, Michigan – Kick off  a memorable Memorial Day weekend with great music at the 4thFridays coffeehouse this Friday, May 27th — at the Dearborn Community and Performing Arts Center in studio A.

Chuck Tocco and Dan Mleczko will be sharing their music, along with Rufus Harris.

Chuck Tocco is motivated and driven by love. He aims to deliver a message of hope to man, and glory to God. His musical influences stem from the Beatles, the David Crowder Band, and Bob Dylan and his voice has been likened to that of Damien Rice, John Lennon, and David Grey.

Chuck began playing guitar when he was 20, and started trying to write music from the time he first struck a guitar chord. The first several years he spent 4-5 hours a day dedicated to learning guitar. He spent a lot of time trying to imitate one of his favorite childhood bands, the Beatles. One day God spoke in his heart, and said, “Stop trying to be like everyone else, and be who I called you to be.”  His music stirs the hearts of many.

Dan Mleczko is in inspirational songwriter from St. Clair Shores, Michigan. Dan’s musical style has been described as soft, airy, mellow, blended – easy listening music. His musical influences include Kenny Loggins, Peter Cetera, Dan Fogelberg, Wayne Watson, Phil Keaggy, and Bryan Duncan.

Dan’s journey began at age 19, when his passion for music was sparked, and soon after, his passion for serving God.  Dan Mleczko’s mission statement is:  “To live as Jesus taught us through His Word, to hunger and thirst after righteousness — and with passionate desire — to please God in all I do…”  Dan has enjoyed his pilgrimage for the past 27 years, and is excited to share his music, as he continues on the journey with each new day.

Rufus Harris’ diverse music is well received.

In the video below, David Mainse talks with Rufus Harris about his background… being born in Detroit, and relocating to Anchorage, Alaska as a child. Rufus told about living through the 1964 earthquake in Alaska.  That event is remembered by many as the Good Friday earthquake of March 27, 1964. It registered 9.2 in magnitude,  and was the second most powerful earthquake ever recorded at that time.

Later in the interview he talks about returning to the Detroit area, and working at the Ford Wayne truck plant — years before beginning his music ministry

Rufus Harris has released three albums with two more underway, and, when not performing at churches or coffeehouses, he enjoys sharing his music in prisons and nursing homes.

Great coffee is always available at the 4th Fridays coffeehouse. The specialty coffee flavor this month is Apple Crumb Pie.

4thFridays is held in Studio A at the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center in Dearborn located at 15801 Michigan Ave in Dearborn. Doors open at 8pm. Show starts at 8:30pm. Admission is $10 at the door. Please make checks payable to “The CAMP”.

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Violin and Cello Student Recital May 21

DEARBORN, Michigan – Local students from Dearborn and surrounding communities will present a free violin and cello recital in the classical tradition at the Henry Ford Centennial Library Auditorium on Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 12:30 pm.

The students range from beginning to advanced performers and have been preparing under the direction of both Joseph Deller and Brandon Cota.

A cello student practices at the Henry Ford estate by the Rouge River

A cello student practices at Fairlane - the Henry Ford Estate - by the Rouge River in Dearborn (2008)

Deller conducts at the Dearborn Youth Symphony and also has an outreach program in Flint called the Troubadours.

Cota is a local musical instructor. Both men are involved with the Michigan Philharmonic, the Flint Symphony and the Dearborn Symphony.

Vanguard Voices to Premier in Six New Choral Works

DEARBORN, Michigan – Vanguard Voices, directed by G. Kevin Dewey, will present its Vanguard Premieres concert on Saturday, May 21 at 8 p.m. at the Michael A. Guido Theater, 15801 Michigan Avenue, Dearborn. Reserved tickets for the concert are $12 and $8 and are available from the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center box office at (313) 943-2354.

The concert will feature two winning and four honorable mention compositions from the fourth Vanguard Premieres Choral Composition contest, which received 105 entries from composers of 15 nationalities and 13 different countries.

Vanguard Voices

The winning compositions are The Divine Image by Frank La Rocca (California) and Sicut Cervus by Mark Buller (Maryland).

Honorable mention compositions were submitted by Erin Aas (Washington), Ivo Antognini (Switzerland), Christopher Cooley (New York), and David Jones (Texas).

Composer biographies, notes about the compositions, and additional information about Vanguard Voices and Vanguard Premieres are available at www.vanguardvoices.org.

In its eight-year existence, the Vanguard Premieres program has introduced 35 new choral works, including the six selections to be premiered on May 21.

Additional concert repertoire includes choral works by William Byrd, Larry Christiansen, Giuseppe Verdi, and Ralph Vaughan Williams. Also participating in the performance will be accompanist Gerrie Ball as well as Vanguard Brass Ensemble.

Vanguard Voices, established in 1992, is sponsored by the Dearborn Recreation Department, and is choir-in-residence at Henry Ford Community College. The members of the 65-voice mixed chorus enjoy singing a cappella, with Vanguard Brass, and with area symphony orchestras.

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