Will Michael Jackson's final tour start at Neverland Ranch?
Michael Jackson is going on his final tour.
But the opening venue is still uncertain.
CNN had reported that Michael's body would return to Neverland Ranch on Thursday, leaving Los Angeles with a 30-car motorcade at 10 a.m., headed for his former ranch, about 1 1/2 hours north of Santa Barbara. Their report included information on a mass public viewing to be held at Neverland on Friday and a private memorial service Sunday.
But according to L.A. Now, these weekend celebratory memorials may not take place. Law enforcement officials had expressed concerns about traffic on the narrow mountain road to Neverland. Santa Barbara County sheriff's Lt. Butch Arnold told The Times that his department was discussing how to make the route to Neverland safe. Santa Barbara County spokesman William Boyer said Wednesday that despite meetings to prepare for the possibility of a memorial service, county officials had not heard from the Jackson family.
Latest word is that Jackson will not be buried at Neverland, though the funeral itself is still in flux. County officials couldn't quickly get around legal restrictions against burial at a private residence.
Sounds like Michael's funeral will be as confusing as his life was.
Where should Michael be buried? Should Neverland be turned into Graceland?
How about his birthplace, Gary, Indiana? It's a possibility. Read on.
The singer's hometown of Gary, Indiana, has already asked the family to send Michael's body there, according to the mayor's spokeswoman, who spoke to CNN Tuesday.
The mayor told a Chicago radio station he expects Jackson's body will be taken to Gary for a memorial service at the US Steel Worlds ballpark next week.
It would be "a memorial that's fit for the prince of peace and a memorial that's fit for Gary, Indiana's favorite son, the greatest entertainer that ever lived," Clay said.
A burial site for the singer could be located near a proposed Jackson family museum and a performing arts center.
Jackson's father, Joe, visited the city last year and talked with Clay about a Jackson museum.
Where do you think Michael's memorial should be? Neverland or Gary, Indiana?
More Michael Dish:
Photo: Michael Jackson in final rehearsals for his planned tour, shortly before his death. Credit: WireImage