Australian fans to brave cold for Jackson farewell
Die-hard Australian fans of Michael Jackson are to brave icy temperatures in the pre-dawn darkness for a public screening of the star's farewell, beamed live from the other side of the world.world Updated: Jul 07, 2009 16:14 IST
Die-hard Australian fans of Michael Jackson are to brave icy temperatures in the pre-dawn darkness for a public screening of the star's farewell, beamed live from the other side of the world.
A giant television screen in Melbourne city's central plaza, Federation Square, will show Jackson's lavish memorial service live at 3 am local time (1700 GMT), a city spokeswoman said.
Intense public interest prompted the decision to show the broadcast in the square, said Jan Sydenham Clarke.
"Fed Square has become a place for the community to come together both in celebration and in times of mourning," Sydenham Clarke said.
It is to be the largest public gathering for Australia's Jackson fans, with many choosing to watch the ceremony from home due to the early hour and cool weather -- with a chilly three degrees Celsius (37 degrees Fahrenheit) expected.
A funeral home and crematorium in the country's tropical north will open its doors to hundreds of fans ahead of the broadcast for a public wake.
"There will be tears but it is also a celebration of his life," funeral director Reyad Hage told reporters in Cairns city.
"We will be roping off an area to let people dance in the carpark if that's what they want to do."
Fans in Sydney, Australia's largest city, gathered in the Martin Place plaza on Saturday for a mass moonwalk and memorial service, led by tribute artist Jason Jackson.
Jackson said he would be watching the pre-dawn service at home to grieve with his family.