Paris and Prince Michael Jackson (photo: TMZ)Michael Jackson's children, Prince Michael, Paris and Blanket, are celebrating their father's 54th birthday in his hometown of Gary, Indiana. According to TMZ, the kids traveled with their grandmother, Katherine, aunt, La Toya, and co-guardian, T.J., to participate in the four-day Goin' Back To Indiana: Can You Feel It festival that began Wednesday, Jackson's birthday.
The events kick off with a Candlelight Tribute Vigil at 8 p.m. at the King Of Pop's old home located at 2300 Jackson Street. Reverend Jesse Jackson will open the program with a "message on love, peace and understanding," according to a statement on the ceremony's Facebook page.
On Thursday, the Jackson children will receive honorary uniforms from the Gary SouthShore RailCats, the city's independent professional baseball team, and will throw the night's first pitch. The game will be preceded by special musical performance by The Gratitude Project and will be followed by a moment of silence.
Blanket (photo: TMZ)Katherine will be recognized on Friday during a dinner reception hosted by Gary mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson. On Saturday, a musical salute will be held at the West Side Theatre Guild at West Side High School.
Paris posted a birthday greeting about her father on Twitter. "thru my joy & my sorrow, in the promise of another 2morrow, I'll never let u apart for ur always in my heart … happy birthday I love u daddy," she wrote Wednesday morning.
Jackson's family left Gary for Los Angeles in 1968 when he was 9-years-old. The Thriller singer said he had a rough childhood. During a 2003 interview for the "Living With Michael Jackson" television special, Jackson recalled being beaten by his father, Joe. Jackson said his dad would sometimes hold a belt in his hand as he watched the Jackson and his brothers rehearse. "If you didn't do it the right way, he would tear you up, really get you," Jackson said.