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A tribute bench surrounded by purple flowers already is installed outside the Henderson Event Center. The $5,000 bench was made by McGraw Monuments, located outside of Henderson, and was funded by $100 donations from Prince fans. Photo courtesy Joel King

HENDERSON — Prince fans soon will converge on Henderson to celebrate what would have been the music legend's 60th birthday and to dedicate a mural and other memorials.

Henderson resident Joel King, who once worked with Prince, is organizing the tribute with fellow Prince fans from Mankato, Maryland and New York.

Fans from around the world chipped in to fund a bench, street sign and mural that are being permanently installed in downtown Henderson.

Members of Prince's family are coming to the festival, King said, but he wouldn't name names.

The festival was born from friendships formed between King and Prince pilgrims who've come to Henderson to see where parts of the movie “Purple Rain” were filmed.

Cinzia Inzinna of Rochester, New York, said she visited Henderson last fall as part of a quest to “find places off the beaten path that were connected to Prince.” She found a “hidden gem” of a town and a special Prince fan, she said.

King worked as a camera operator on Prince's last film, “Graffiti Bridge,” and on some of Prince's music videos, and has been volunteering to show many Prince pilgrims the sights of Henderson.

“You instantly feel the love he has for Prince,” Inzinna said of King.

Staying connected on social media, Inzinna and Norvis Long-Parker, another fan who is from Frederick, Maryland, teamed up with King and Paul Olson of Mankato, to organize a three-day Prince celebration in Henderson that starts June 7.

The festivities will include bus tours of “Purple Rain” filming locations, a screening of the iconic 1984 film and live music from over a dozen acts.

Portrait artist Moises Suriel has come from New York to paint a mural on the wall of a downtown Henderson business depicting Prince learning on a little red Corvette in front of First Avenue.

A stone bench and a sign celebrating Prince have been placed nearby and also will be dedicated during the celebration.

Online donations from fans funded the bench and the sign and helped fund the mural. Festival-goers are asked to make a donation toward the mural.

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Staff Writer

Public safety and K-12 education reporter 507-344-6354