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Michael Jackson fans get ready for Michael Jackson memorials

Michael Jackson anniversary: Michael Jackson fans across the world remember Michael Jackson on first anniversary of death.

By Nekesa Mumbi MoodyAP / June 25, 2010

Michael Jackson sand sculpture created by Indian sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik in tribute to Michael Jackson on a beach at Puri, some 65kms east of Bhubaneswar on June 25, 2010, to mark the first anniversary of the musician's death.

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As the first anniversary of Michael Jackson's death drew near, Julia Thomas clutched her "Thriller" liner notes and stood outside the Forest Lawn cemetery in Glendale, Calif., the final resting place for the King of Pop, with about two dozen other fans.

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"Michael has just always been a part of my life," the 40-year-old Thomas, who has a tattoo of Jackson'sdancing feet on her left wrist, said Thursday night. "I'm just hoping to embrace the fans from everywhere."

Barricades were already set up at the Los Angeles-area cemetery for the huge throng of fans and some ofJackson's family members expected to arrive on Friday, which marks a year since Jackson died at age 50. Five large wreaths of flowers and dozens of bouquets, drawings and photos of Jackson had been placed outside his private mausoleum.

Evdokia Sofianou, 46, and her 9-year-old daughter, Rebecca, traveled from Athens, Greece, to pay their respects.

"I came because I love Michael very much," Sofianou said. "I came to grieve."

Forest Lawn was to be just one of the many places around the world where Jackson's fans would gather to remember their fallen legend on Friday. But not everyone planned to be grieving.

On Friday, DJ Jon Quick was to spin Jackson tunes at the club Taj in Manhattan for a festive affair.

"They wanna celebrate his life and music," Quick said of the expected partygoers. "His albums are like timelines in your life. You can remember what you were doing ... when 'Thriller' came out."

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Some anniversary events began even before Friday. In London, a memorial was unveiled Thursday to a gaggle of press who packed the foyer of the Lyric Theatre, the site of an impromptu wake following the pop superstar's death last year.

Perri Luc Kiely, 14, a member of the dance troupe Diversity, pulled back a pair of dark purple curtains to reveal a small plaque featuring a young Jackson with a wide, beaming smile.

In Hong Kong, Jackson imitators performed to the late singer's classics at a suburban mall Thursday. Four-year-old Wang Yiming danced to "Dangerous" wearing Jackson's trademark black fedora hat, a black suit with a silver armband and white socks.