Monday, September 1
(Gary, IN) -- Michael Jackson certainly isn't forgotten in his hometown. Friday marks what would have been the late King of Pop's 56th birthday, and the three-day Michael Jackson Tribute Festival of the Arts is already under way in Gary, Indiana. Northwest Indiana's "Post-Tribune" says Michael's mom Katherine Jackson is behind the event, which takes place around the family's former home. Katherine was on hand for Thursday's kick-off, which included music and dance performances by local high school students.
While events have been staged at the Jackson's Gary home each year since Michael died in 2009, this year's festival is the biggest yet, with live performances, a trivia competition, a petting zoo and other activities. Michael's children will be on hand to judge a dance contest Saturday, which will also feature a car show and a fireworks show. Promoter Karvin Johnson says he's expecting crowds of five-thousand each day, with fans coming from all over the world. He adds that he's hoping the Michael Jackson Tribute Festival of the Arts will continue to grow, and become an annual event.