On Sunday, 24th,the Stage was set fro the 6th Annual MJ Birthday celebration. Interesting note, since his passing, this is the longest running event in Newark celebrating the music of Michael Jackson”King of Pop”, and the longest continuous celebration event in the tri-state area, The event is alway a special event, said one of the performer in the Look-like Michael impersonators part of the program. The event has been a tradition for Jessie Daniels of the 80’s band the Forced MD’s. Though best known for the band’s #1 hit, “Love is a House,” its lead singer donned full MJ regalia for Sunday’s event.
From curly wig to glitter socks, Daniels energized the audience with a medley of Michael’s greatest hits. His enthusiasm set the tone for the fiercely competitive “Move Like Mike” contest, which attracted over 20 impersonators, dancers, groups, and singers that had previously participated included local, national and international showcases.
Also notable were the young entertainers in the competition who embodied the enthusiasm of the next generation of Michael fans.
Rivaling the energy and showmanship of the on-stage performers were the throngs of attendees assembled in Washington Park. Whether clad in bedazzled gloves, challenging one another’s moon-walks or simply singing along to their favorite MJ hits, the attendees were just as committed to showing their love and appreciation for Michael’s trademark moves and his contribution to music history. Surely, the famed humanitarian would have been moved by the event’s success in drawing together a crowd so diverse in age, race and cultural background.
Swaying, stomping and sashaying together to MJ’s “Rock with You” and “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” allowed all of us to indulge once more in what is perhaps the most enduring aspect of Michael’s legacy: the experience of letting the music melt away our differences. For a brief moment, grooving to “The Way You Make Me Feel” made us feel like we were once again in the presence of the King, one of the few places where we could transcend our divisions and dance side by side. Clustered within the expanse of grass and gravel between the Washington Park Light Rail Station and the majestic architecture of the Newark Public Library, we transformed our humble park into a makeshift Neverland ranch that would have made the pop culture legend himself proud.
The closing line-up, was brought home by the voice of John (Skyes) Feva, with band had the audience swaying to the favorite Michael Jackson classic songs.
If you’re kicking yourself for having missed this momentous occasion, “You Are Not Alone.” An encore Michael tribute will be held today during “the W@W Wednesday at Washington Park” music series’ regular lunchtime hours.