Betty White Day: Star's Illinois hometown to host special celebration
Oak Park, Illinois - The Illinois village of Oak Park will hold its first Betty White Day later this month to honor the late actress and celebrate her 100th birthday.
Businesses in Oak Park, the screen veteran's hometown some nine miles west of downtown Chicago, will pay tribute to White by serving her favorite foods and promoting her passion of animal adoption.
The event will take place on Saturday, January 15, so as not to clash with Martin Luther King Day.
Organizer Lourdes Nicholls said cardboard cut-outs of White would line the main street of Oak Park and a large turnout was expected.
Village president Vicki Scaman will make a proclamation and the executive director of the local historical society will give a talk about the area as it was 100 years ago when White was born.
The event will also feature special guest singer Cindy Fee, who sang the theme tune to the 1980s sitcom Golden Girls, in which White played Rose Nylund.
Ms Fee, who also lives in Oak Park, will perform a rendition of the song Thank You For Being A Friend in honour of the screen veteran.
A town united in celebrating White's life
Other businesses will pay tribute to White and her lengthy career in their own way.
Local eatery Mickey's will serve the "Betty White Special," consisting of a plain hot dog, French fries, and a diet coke – reportedly the star's favorite 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 told 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 appeared in other hit US sitcoms including Hot In Cleveland, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Betty White Show, and Life With Elizabeth during a career spanning more than 80 years.
Cover photo: IMAGO / UPI Photo