Goin' Back To Indiana: Can You Feel It?

August is always a very special and exciting time within the Michael Jackson fan community. Whereas the month of June brings back painful memories of his loss and what his life became near the end, August is almost universally when our thoughts return to happier times-the celebration of Michael’s birth and his life. And going back to where it all began.

Perhaps especially in light of recent events, the celebration this year seems more important than ever. A few weeks ago, we weren’t even sure of Katherine Jackson’s safety or whereabouts, and the future of Michael’s children seemed uncertain as well. But now, with most if not all of those issues resolved for now, Katherine and the children will be back in Gary for the events taking place between August 29th and September 1st.

And now for the best part of all (you had to know this was coming, right?)-YOURS TRULY is going to be there, to bring all of the events of “Can You Feel It?” week home to those of you who cannot attend and to Michael’s fans throughout the world!

Katherine, Prince, Paris and “Blanket” Jackson (Seen Here At The Grauman’s Chinese Theatre Celebration Last January) Will Be Attending Events In Gary From August 29th-September 1st.

Here is a rundown of events as currently scheduled. This is from the official “Goin’ Back To Indiana: Can You Feel It?” Facebook page:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Wednesday, August 1, 2012 KATHERINE JACKSON ANNOUNCES JACKSON FAMILY HOMETOWN EVENTS Gary, Indiana Remembers The King of Pop

Los Angeles, California (Wednesday, August 1, 2012) — Katherine Jackson, Matriarch of the famed Jackson musical Family, and the Honorable Karen Freeman-Wilson; Mayor of Gary, Indiana, today announced “Goin’ Back to Indiana: Can You Feel It,” four days of events from August 29 through September 1, 2012 remembering the city’s most famous native son; Michael Jackson. For more information visit: www.facebook.com/jacksonstreet2012.
“I’m excited about the activities planned for “Goin’ Back to Indiana: Can You Feel It” as we pay tribute and remember Gary’s own Michael Jackson,” said Mayor Freeman-Wilson. “We have been working in partnership with Mrs. Katherine Jackson and her team to create events that will showcase Michael’s entertainment legacy and his wonderful birthplace of Gary, Indiana. As Mayor of this great city, I am enthusiastic about the opportunities that this celebration will bring. We envision this to become an annual event that will grow larger as the years progress.”
The City of Gary, Indiana and the Gary Chamber of Commerce; Chuck Hughes, President, have joined Los Angeles, California based Dumont Marketing under the direction of Mr. Jerry Olivarez authorized by Mrs. Katherine Jackson; Jackson’s mother, to support a series of activities to take place in his birthplace of Gary, Indiana.
On Wednesday August 29, a Candlelight Tribute ceremony will take place at the Jackson family residence at 2300 Jackson Street, Gary, Indiana. The ceremony, starting at 8:00 p.m., will include remarks by Gary Mayor Freeman-Wilson and a musical tribute by The Gratitude Project, presented by The Interactive Broadcasting Company (tibc.tv).
Neighboring streets will be closed starting at 3:00 p.m. to allow friends and fans to place ribbons and mementos at the home and share personal thoughts of the late singer on a commemorative banner. The event is free to the public.
On Thursday, August 30, Jackson’s three children; Prince, Paris and Blanket, will attend the Gary SouthShore RailCats baseball game when the team faces the St. Paul Saints. The RailCats will recognize their father with a musical performance by The Gratitude Project and a moment of remembrance. The Jackson children will be presented with honorary team uniforms and toss out the ceremonial first pitch. The event is open to the public and general admission applies. For ticket information visitwww.railcatsbaseball.com.
The Majestic Star Casinos & Hotel will serve as the official hotel for the event. On both Wednesday, August 29 and Thursday, August 30, the Majestic Star will host the official “Goin’ Back to Indiana” after event in its Lakeshore Lounge from 9:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m. with Jackson-themed music and drink specials. For hotel reservations call 1-888-225-8259 or visitwww.majesticstarcasino.com.
On Friday, August 31, the Gary Chamber of Commerce will present a dinner hosted by Mayor Freeman-Wilson at the Majestic Star Casino & Hotel honoring Mrs. Katherine Jackson. Jackson will receive recognition from the City of Gary. For ticket information contact the Gary Chamber of Commerce at (219) 885-7407 or visit www.garychamber.com.
Saturday, September 1, the West Side Theatre Guild under the direction of Mark Spencer will host the Goin’ Back to Indiana: Can You Feel It Tribute Concert.
The Gratitude Project will perform their original composition “Dear Michael” dedicated to Mrs. Jackson & the Jackson family. Additional tribute performances will be announced shortly.
Goin’ Back to Indiana: Can You Feel It Tribute Concert will have a matinee performance at 4:00 p.m. and an evening performance at 7:30 p.m. Both performances will be followed by a cast meet & greet. Tickets are $25 matinee and $35 evening and $50 for VIP Gold Circle seating and cast meet & greet. The event will also be streamed live.
For the latest event information visit and like us atwww.facebook.com/jacksonstreet 2012. #### City of Gary’s Mission To serve the current and future citizens of Gary by providing a safe, clean and working city that continuously improves the quality of life of its residents and establishes Gary as a national model for urban revitalization. City of Gary’s Vision
The City of Gary will be safe, smart, accessible, prosperous and green. City Hall will provide the citizens of Gary with effective and responsive service while maintaining high ethical standards and fiscal discipline.
ABOUT THE GRATITUDE PROJECT AND TIBC The Interactive Broadcasting Company (tibc.tv) founded by Jerome Picot in 2008 and later joined by Wendy Weir in 2009, is a new multimedia online broadcasting and entertainment company that facilitates the genius within individuals, giving them professional, positive platforms on which to present their creativity. TIBC is unique in that it also creates original content – including songs, videos, films, radio programs and TV shows, live events and multimedia projects in which these artists can participate.
Media Contacts: Mr. Jerry Olivarez (510) 719-2277 Jerryo1985@gmail.com
Theo Dumont President, Dumont Marketing  Office: (424) 228-2114 Mobile: (818) 943-7876  Fax: (888) 221-8660  theo@dumontmarketing.com  twitter.com/theodumont
City of Gary Chelsea L. Whittington Director of Communications (219) 881-1314 cwhittington@ci.gary.in.us
Mrs. Katherine Jackson & Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson cordially invite you for four days of events to remember the life and music of Michael Jackson in the Jackson family hometown of Gary, Indiana. Official Hotel: Majestic Star Casino & Hotel. For room reservations call 1-888-225-8259 or visit…
When I checked the event Facebook page today, I was also delightfully surprised to see this (just coincidence, of course, that they happened to name this the “All For Love” ribbon, lol!):
The “All For Love” Ribbon
You can support “Goin’ Back to Indiana: Can You Feel It” by purchasing an “All For Love” red ribbon to place on our virtual Jackson Family home for $5.00 to support 2300 Jackson Street preservation efforts. Click on “Concert Tickets” to buy.
There is a very good reason why I am always excited to support and promote events happening in Gary, especially any events that will contribute to the preservation of historic landmarks that are connected to Michael. As you may recall, I had very recently written an article on the urgent need for more preservation efforts in Gary to save what is left of the Jackson legacy there:
I will be attending the Wednesday night candlelight vigil at the Jackson home, the Railcats baseball game on Thursday (where Michael’s children will be in attendance) and the Chamber of Commerce banquet on the 31st honoring Katherine Jackson. I have not yet decided if I will be able to attend the tribute concert on Saturday (as always, these things depend on the money and time factor) but if it turns out to be feasible, I most likely will.
Right now I am in the process of finding out if Mrs. Jackson or the children will be doing any media, and if an interview will be possible (but please don’t get too excited yet, as I do not know anything for certain at this time. All I can say for now is that it is a possibility that is being looked into).
But at the very least, I will have plenty of opportunities to at least meet them and to be a part of this event, which in itself will be exciting enough! It will be a unique and rare opportunity to be in the company of  the four people who were dearest and most precious to Michael’s heart-his mother and his three children. And my better half-who takes much better photos and videos than I could ever even attempt!-will be accompanying me, so between the two of us, with his camera talent and my writing, we’ll be able to give you the most complete coverage of this event you are going to get anywhere, guaranteed!
Photo From The Everland Project Website. Michael Loved The People of Africa, and The Children of Africa Adored Him In Return

One other thing I am very proud to announce is that I have had the honor of being asked to gift to Katherine and/or the children a very special book from the Everland Project. Everland, as I’m sure many of you know, is a very special project whose ultimate goal is to build a home for orphans, disadvanataged, and misplaced children in Liberia in Michael Jackson’s name. It will be a haven where many of the most unfortunate children in this poverty-stricken nation can receive love, care, nourishment, medical treatment, and most importantly, hope for a better future.

You can read more about the Everland Project on their website:
And keep in mind that the 2012 King of Pop Fanvention will also be taking place in Gary and nearby Chicago the weekend of August 24th-August 26th, and will be featuring even more special events for MJ fans, including guests Joe Vogel and Cherylin Lee.
This event is also offering a chance for one lucky fan to be the first to place a brick at the new museum and culture facility.
You can read more details, as well as registration info, at their website:
All in all, the last week of August is going to be a jam-packed one in Gary, Indiana!
Remember that no matter how we might feel about the events of the last few weeks, Michael never forgot the debt that he owed to his family and to his roots in Gary, Indiana. I am looking forward to seeing Katherine and the children just relaxing and having some fun in the place where it all began. My fervent hope is that the family can start to heal and move forward.  This event is a small step, but a significant one.
I am very much honored and looking forward to being a part of it.
[tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMgg1CZw0hc[/tube]
[tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RZMRSRCF0I[/tube]
UPDATE: (8/14/12): Most likely, I will get to meet with Mrs. Jackson during the Friday night banquet. An interview is a possibility, though I may have to keep it brief! I will keep you posted. 

10 thoughts on “Goin' Back To Indiana: Can You Feel It?”

  1. Wow, Raven!

    This extravaganza sounds like it will be a once-in-a-lifetime kind of event. eclipsed only by being in Michael’s presence! If anyone can bring us the excitement and moment-to-moment thrill, you can, and will!

    I really wish I could go but not this year. One year, though. One year, definitely. I’m sure it will be a wonderful time for the Jackson family, especially Katherine and Michael’s children.

    Have a WONDERFUL time, Raven! We’ll be looking forward to re-living the event through your talented writing and your hubby’s great phtographic skills.

    Let the excitement build!

    1. You know, I had really gone back and forth with this. I hadn’t intended to do any traveling this year. I was going to hold out for next year, but when they announced that Katherine and the kids would be there, I just couldn’t pass that opportunity up again (they were in Gary last year, and I was unable to go). Katherine is 82 years old, and there may not be too many more opportunities like this left. It seems it is meant for me to make this trip, as all of the elements are falling into place to make it happen. I’m really excited to be going.

  2. Raven, I think it’s great that you are attending this fanvention. It sounds wonderful. I wonder if you would check out two things if you can. About the monument (you have displayed front and back in this blog), when it was first displayed in 2010, some blogs pointed out that one of the etched pix on the back was of a Michael impersonator! Not the genuine article! So I wonder if that part has been replaced. It’s obvious when seen up close, per the photos I’ve seen. Secondly, more an observation. I find it unsettling that Cherilynn Lee would be at fanvention. The description seems to mention her talking about what led up to Michael’s death. It seems terribly out of place, at what looks like a happy and memorable function. I would much prefer to hear Joe Vogel speak! Love his works on Michael; he’s such a great writer and researcher and so committed to Michael’s legacy. I hope you have a terrific time and take lots of pictures!

    1. I’m sure that Cherilyn may also have some happy memories of Michael’s last few months as well. Perhaps she will choose to dwell on those, although the Q&A may address issues pertaining to the trial since I’m sure some of the people attending will be curious and will no doubt have questions about it. I would love to hear Joe Vogel speak but I am not going to be able to leave to go up there before the 29th, so I will be missing out on those events, unfortunately.

      I know they had tried to get Frank Cascio as a guest this year but were not able to contact him.

  3. I wish I could go there, but I can´t this year. But I will go there another year to see MJ´s hometown ! Hope you have a great time over there and can´t wait to hear about it !

  4. Thanks Raven for some positive news regarding the Jackson family. I was truly burned out by all the family squabbles. It made me sad more that anything because it was really the opposite of everything Michael stood for. I too feel like June. I think it is rather odd to have his nurse at the fanvention. It just recollects the tortured final months. Very odd to me. I hope you have a great time and it would be great if you got to meet the kids. I hope that they read your blog…it would be interesting to know if they know YOU! Thanks for being such a dedicated MJ fan!

    1. I guess I will find out, lol. I don’t know if they read the blog, but it’s interesting that very shortly after I did the post questioning Paris’s motivation for tweeting with the likes of Gene Simmons and Nikki Sixx, Paris decided to make a HUGE statement to the world showing her loyalty to her father:

      http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/pic-paris-jackson-covers-bedroom-wall-with-photos-of-dad-michael-201278

      Actually, I’m sure that probably had more to do with recent events, which according to some news reports, had plunged her back into a state of grief for her father. That was sad in one way, but maybe it also gave her a much needed sense of grounding again, a sort of reexamining of recent priorities.

      Speaking of Gene Simmons, this is off topic, but I saw a very interesting article that shelly had posted on another board which explained how Kiss came to be on board the tribute show in Cardiff:

      http://www.mjjcommunity.com/forum/threads/123835-The-story-behind-quot-Michael-Forever-quot-Tribute

  5. I also wish I could go to this event! I’m glad you’re going, Raven, and I look forward to reading your reflections!!

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