If you want to pay your respects to Michael Jackson in person, there will be a public viewing of the late music icon, on Friday, July 3, at Neverland Ranch. Jackson died at age 50, on June 25.
According to CNN:
Michael Jackson’s body will be taken to his Neverland Ranch on Thursday morning for a public viewing Friday, a law enforcement source said Tuesday.
Planning is under way for a 30-car motorcade carrying Jackson’s remains to leave the Los Angeles area at 10 a.m. for Santa Barbara County, California, on Thursday, a source said.
Private ceremony arrangements are being made as well, but complete details aren’t available yet.
A private memorial service is slated for Sunday, according to CNN.
There is still no word on where Jackson will be buried, but his hometown of Gary, Ind., is hoping the family to send him there.
“I believe that his body will lie in state in Gary, Ind.,” Gary Mayor Rudy Clay told Chicago radio station WGN Tuesday. “Now, it may not happen, but I believe it will.”
At the very least, Clay said he hopes Jackson’s body will be taken to Gary for a July 10 memorial service at U.S. Steel Works ballpark.
The memorial would be “fit for the prince of peace and a memorial that’s fit for Gary, Indiana’s favorite son, the greatest entertainer that ever lived.”
Gary officials may even propose that that the singer be buried near a proposed Jackson family museum and a performing arts center, Clay’s spokeswoman Lalosa Burns said.
“The mayor had spoken with a contact of the Jackson family and expressed our interest in having that to be a part of the history of this great family,” Burns said. “We have not received confirmation on that.”
On Tuesday, fans gathered for a public tribute to Jackson at Harlem’s Apollo Theater, where the singer performed as a child.
I wonder if Michael’s children understand the magnitude of their father’s popularity? I suppose they might have a sense of it, but to them he’s probably just daddy.
Update: The Jackson family has issued a statement, stating there is NO public viewing at this time. From TMZ:
“Contrary to previous news reports, the Jackson family is officially stating that there will be no public or private viewing at Neverland.
Plans are underway regarding a public memorial for Michael Jackson, and we will announce those plans shortly.”