Local Current Blog

How purple fans across the globe plan to celebrate Prince’s ‘born day’

Prince at the NAACP Image Awards in 2005. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Although Minnesota has many opportunities to explore and celebrate the life and legacy of Prince during his birth week, fans from around the world come together in their own communities to celebrate the Purple One.

Craig Alexander, a Texas native, created the annual event Prince Day Houston, which is held in the city of Houston, Texas. The event, which is built around Prince’s June 7 birth date, recognizes Prince’s contributions to music and the community. In 2016 Alexander coordinated with the City of Houston and Mayor to proclaim June 7 “Prince Day” — the only Prince Day designated by a city outside of Minnesota.

Influenced by Prince’s attitude about life, music, and overall work ethic, Alexander strives to promote his event based on these core values.

“Prince taught me that if you get to work and get busy, you can do it all,” Alexander said in an interview with The Current’s Sean McPherson. “You don’t need to wait around for this or that — just get it done. Make sure you are always true to self.”

Alexander created the event to showcase local artists, giving them a platform to demonstrate their own abilities and talents. Inspired by Prince’s music, philanthropy, and influence on his own personal life, all of the proceeds from the annual event are given to local charities.

“I always made it a point to be close and connected to not just his music, but his philosophy and his thought process, as it’s deeper than the music,” Alexander said. “Without a doubt, he had an influence on others outside of Minneapolis, specifically in Texas.”

How are other Prince fans around the world celebrating his life and legacy around June 7? We asked fans to share their plans in an on-line Purple Current survey.

Along with the purple community of Atlanta, Georgia, one fan plans to attend a weekend-long set of Prince-related events.

Some find ways to celebrate privately, such as a fan in Portland, Oregon. Every year, to commemorate Prince’s life, this fan takes a bike ride. The city of Portland will also play the soundtrack to Purple Rain as a backdrop for a different anniversary celebration.

“Since Prince has been gone, I bake a guitar-shaped cake, make Prince-themed cupcakes, and I place them on an altar that I decorate in my office at work,” wrote a fan in Las Cruces, New Mexico. “My co-workers wear purple on that day at my request.”

A fan in Richmond, Virginia plans to attend a Prince-inspired cocktail party at their neighborhood bar. Across the globe, a fan in Glasgow, Scotland plans to stream Purple Current and listen to all things Prince. Another fan in Scotland plans to host a screening of  Under the Cherry Moon at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow.

Prince’s philanthropic values have created inspiration for one Seattle fan who plans on, “doing something for someone else, donating 100 books to a local Boys & Girls Club, and donating to an organization in Chanhassen all in his honor.”

Local events in the Twin Cities are drawing fans from around the world.

“I will be in Minneapolis with a group of purple buddies,” wrote a fan. “We are coming from different parts of the U.S. and outside the U.S.  We’re all friends on social media and it will be our first time meeting. What a better way to meet each other — on Prince’s born day.”

Many of the local and visiting fans plan to attend Twin Cities events including a Mazarati show, tours at Paisley Park, tribute shows, charity events, the First Avenue exhibit at the Minnesota History Center, an Ingrid Chavez performance at Electric Fetus, as well as other lined up week-long events.

Some intend to get purple symbol tattoos and purple pedicures, while others plan to meet up to talk about Prince’s life at a local restaurant.

The Minnesota History Museum plans to honor Prince with an event for fans at the museum on June 6. Partnering with Prince’s family members, the museum will host a “Prince: from Minneapolis to the World” talk.

For fans like Craig Alexander, we can all find connection with Prince’s music. “When all else fails, go back to the music,” Alexander said. “Prince’s music has something for us in his music no matter what your situation is.”

Listen to Craig Alexander’s full interview with Sean McPherson on Purple Current on June 7 at 11 a.m.

Marla Khan-Schwartz is a writer mostly inspired by music, deep conversation, and a bold glass of red wine. 

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