On 2nd anniversary of his death, Gary to honor Michael Jackson
BY BOB KOSTANCZUK firstname.lastname@example.org June 22, 2011 5:32PM
Michael Jackson fans gather around a monument that was unveiled, Friday, June 25, 2010, in Gary, Ind., on the first anniversary of the pop icon's death. (AP Photo/John Smierciak)
Updated: May 9, 2012 9:36AM
The city of Gary will mark the second anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death with a memorial tribute on Saturday at his boyhood home.
“The world can expect a ‘Tribute to Michael’ every year in June in Gary, Indiana,” Mayor Rudy Clay said in a press release. “The world is invited.”
Gary will honor its “favorite son” from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the modest, one-level house at 2300 Jackson St. where the King of Pop lived before he and his family left Gary for California in 1969.
The free-admission tribute is expected to include vendors selling summer fare such as ice cream. The outdoor event is likewise scheduled to roll out the music of Jackson, who died June 25, 2009, at age 50.
A candlelight vigil at dusk will conclude the tribute in Gary. Those participating in the vigil are being asked to bring their own candles.
The Jackson salute will showcase Beautiful Soul, which features Gary talent, according to LaLosa Burns, mayoral press secretary and Gary’s special events director.
The city says Beautiful Soul is striving to be an integral part of the arts community in Gary, and has already performed in some major American cities.
Burns also said local officials are set to speak, including Mayor Clay.
Although the memorial tribute officially starts at 5 p.m., activity will apparently be taking place before that.
“We anticipate that people will gather earlier,” Burns noted.
Burns said Wednesday that she hopes the turnout during the course of the day will reach about 2,000 people.
In regard to Gary’s presentation of the tribute, Burns described the cost to the city as “minimal.”
Aside from recognizing the anniversary of Jackson’s death, Gary also is eyeing a bash in August that would again be centered at his childhood home on Jackson Street.
“It is the city’s plan to host a Michael Jackson tribute and birthday celebration,” Burns said. “That’s in the planning stages. We’re working to have sponsors for that.”
The entertainment legend was born Aug. 29, 1958.
Jackson’s death was tied to propofol intoxication and sedative use, according to a coroner’s report.
Contact Bob Kostanczuk at 648-3144.