Oak Park, a US village, will celebrate its 100th birthday and first Betty White Day.
Businesses in screen veteran’s Illinois hometown, some nine miles west of downtown Chicago will pay tribute to White by serving her favourite foods and promoting her passion of animal adoption.
The award-winning actress died on New Year’s Eve aged 99, less than a month before her landmark birthday on January 17.
This event will not clash with the Martin Luther King Day in America and will take place on Saturday, January 15,
Lourdes Nicholls, organizer, said that White cardboard cut-outs would line Oak Park’s main street and that a large turnout was to be expected.
Vicki Scaman, the village president will make a proclamation. Meanwhile, the executive director for the local historical society (the one that White was born in) will talk about the area 100 years back.
Cindy Fee will be performing as a special guest at the event. Cindy Fee sang the theme song to the 1980s sitcom Golden Girls, in which White played Rose Nylund.
We were planning this party for Betty’s 100th birthday anyway but after her death we changed it so we are still celebrating her.
Ms. Fee also lives in Oak Park and will be performing a rendition of Thank You For Being a Friend in honor of the screen veteran.
White’s long and successful career will be celebrated by other businesses.
Local eatery Mickey’s will serve the “Betty White Special”, consisting of a plain hotdog, French fries and a diet coke – reportedly the singer’s favourite meal.
Turano Bakery will provide a large cake for the ceremony and animal charities will be promoting adoptions due to White’s love of animals.
“We were planning this party for Betty’s 100th birthday anyway but after her death we changed it so we are still celebrating her,”Ms. Nicholls spoke to the PA news agency.
“Before she passed she knew about this party.
“We’re just doing the things that Betty loved and encouraging businesses to have fun and participate.
“We want everyone to participate and come together to celebrate her life.”
White was also a star in hit sitcoms like Hot In Cleveland, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Betty White Show. His career spans more than 80 decades.
The public has responded with grief and fond memories to her death, including from Dolly Parton, Ryan Reynolds, and Michelle Obama.