Jackson family returning to Gary for King of Pop’s birthday
By Carole Carlson email@example.com/648-3154 August 17, 2012 3:42PM
MJ Fanvention coordinator Karen Williams(Center) and Gary Mayor Karen Freeman -Wilson(Right) have a laugh as founder of the Chicago Blues Museum Gregg Parker offers the Mayor a chance to try on a replica of Michael Jacksons famous glove during a press conference announcing activities scheduled to honor the late great King of Pop at City Hall in Gary. | Jeff Addison for Sun-Times Media
‘Goin’ Back to Indiana’
Jackson family visit events
Candlelight Tribute Ceremony - 8 p.m., 2300 Jackson St.
Held at the Jackson Family childhood home, the event will feature a performance by The Gratitude Project performing “Dear Michael,” a moment of remembrance/prayer service and a candlelight tribute to the late singer. Fans are invited to place ribbons and flowers at the house and sign a commemorative billboard poster.
Streets will be closed starting at 3 p.m.
9 p.m. – 1 a.m., fans and guests 21-and-older are invited to a party with Katherine Jackson at the Lakeshore Lounge at the Majestic Star Casino & Hotel.
7:10 p.m. - Michael Jackson’s children Prince, Paris and Blanket, will throw out the first pitch as guests of the Gary SouthShore RailCats baseball team. The game will feature a musical tribute by The Gratitude Project, presentation of team uniform and video presentation moment of remembrance.
From 9 p.m. – 1 a.m., fans and guests 21 and older are invited to the after party at Lakeshore Lounge at the Majestic Star Casino & Hotel.
6 p.m. - Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson will host a tribute dinner reception honoring Katherine Jackson at the Majestic Star Pavilion. Presented by the Gary Chamber of Commerce, the event will feature a musical tribute by The Gratitude Project and a special presentation to Mrs. Jackson.
7:30 p.m. - Michael Jackson Tribute Concert will include a musical salute to the King of Pop at the West Side Theatre Guild, West Side High School, 900 Gerry St.
For updates and the latest information visit www.facebook.com/jacksonstreet2012.
For MJFanvention activities, visit: www.mjfanvention.com
The MJFanvention takes place in Gary from Aug. 24-26.
Updated: September 19, 2012 6:07AM
GARY — The family of Michael Jackson is giving the struggling city a hometown discount when they return Aug. 29 to mark the late King of Pop’s 54th birthday.
Family matriarch Katherine Jackson and Michael’s children, Prince, Paris and Blanket, will take part in a candlelight vigil at the family home and throw out the first pitch at a Gary SouthShore RailCats baseball game.
Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said Friday the family isn’t charging for the appearances.
“This is something she wants to do, she understands what our challenges are,” Freeman-Wilson said of Katherine Jackson who along with husband, Joe, raised their musical family of seven children here in a modest, white ranch home just east of Roosevelt High School.
Jackson family representative Jerry Olivarez said Katherine Jackson and her grandchildren are excited to return to Gary.
“There won’t be any grandstanding, just a show and tell,” said Olivarez. No mention was made of Joe Jackson coming with the family.
“Gary and Michael Jackson have become synonymous,” said Freeman-Wilson at a Friday press conference touting the upcoming events. “Even though he’s no longer with us, his contributions will live on in the years to come.”
In 2009, while preparing for a new concert tour, Jackson died after being given Propofol, a general anesthetic, and suffering a heart attack. His personal physician was convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
In the year after his death, Jackson’s albums led all sales with 35 million sold worldwide.
Also, Gregg Parker, the CEO of the Chicago Blues Museum, will present an exhibit Aug. 25 on the history of the Jackson 5 and Michael Jackson at the Marshall J. Gardner Center for the Arts at 540 S. Lake St.
The exhibit is part of the MJFanvention events Aug. 24-26.
Parker said he’s donating the exhibit and it will stay in Gary.