Gary, Indiana is Hosting a Michael Jackson Birthday Party. Road Trip?

Not since “The Music Man” has Gary, Indiana gotten so much attention.

Last week, I read a story in the New York Times about how the movie business in Gary is on the rise because it looks like a bombed out wasteland, the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse.

“Unable to afford the costs of demolition, Gary has been left with an abundance of large, abandoned structures that have proven to be an attractive destination for urban explorers, photographers and filmmakers,” the story said. “‘When they are bombing Tokyo, they are bombing Gary,’ Mr. Clement said of the city’s role in ‘Pearl Harbor.'”

Today, the AP reports that the city of Gary is planning a four-day block party to celebrate the birthday of Michael Jackson, who was from Gary. Jackson, who died in June 2009, would have been 53 this year.

Before gassing up the car and making a run for the Indiana border, I decided to poke around and see what, exactly, a Michael Jackson birthday party looks like. I found You Tube video from last year’s party, and it basically looks like a bombed out zombie-pocalypse of a town with a Michael Jackson soundtrack blaring in the background. Same goes for the 2009 party. Note the higher attendance here, probably because it was a mere two months after his death, and Jackson’s animation was barely suspended in his cryogenic chamber.

The party, which is being presented by LGR Partners Inc., the city of Gary and the Jackson Family Foundation, will be held outside the childhood home of Jackson, at 2300 Jackson Street. According to the Northwest Indiana Times, there will be continual music and a circus, because, not surprisingly, Jackson liked circuses. I, too, like circuses. And I just may have to make the trek to check this thing out. It sounds like the event could be the biggest circus of all times.


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