Lennon Fans Protest Curfew

Annual tribute to late Beatle used to last all night.

A group of John Lennon fans is protesting the New York City

government's decision to impose a curfew on an annual tribute to the late

Beatle. The tribute is held each Dec. 8 in Central Park, commemorating

Lennon's death on that date in 1980. In the past, Lennon fans gathered

in the park until dawn, but in the past few years, police have imposed

a 1 a.m. curfew on the event, according to Tom Leighton, co-founder of

The Memorial Committee, a group of aggrieved fans. Members of the group

held a Nov. 20 protest near Gracie Mansion, the official residence of New

York City's mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, whom they blame for the curfew,

according to Leighton. New York City's parks commissioner, Henry Stern,

reportedly said Tuesday (Dec. 7) that the vigil attracted drinking and

illegal drug use, and he called it a "macabre celebration," according to

the New York Times. Lennon was fatally shot outside his Manhattan

apartment building, not far from Central Park. This year's vigil is scheduled

to begin around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday (Dec. 8) in the Strawberry Fields

section of the park, according to Leighton. The area is named after the

1967 Beatles song "Strawberry Fields Forever."