With several high-profile celebrities and a former president expected to attend, thousands will gather to honor late boxing legend and civil rights activist Muhammad Ali on Friday in Louisville, Kentucky.
The former three-time heavyweight champion passed away last week at age 74 after a 32-year bout with Parkinson’s disease, and his hometown plans to cap a near-week’s worth of ceremonies with a funeral procession throughout the city.
The city will begin a funeral procession in the morning going north on Bardstown Road, then west on Watterson Expressway, head back north on Interstates 65 and 64, then proceed down Ninth Street near the Muhammad Ali Center and end on Muhammad Ali Boulevard.
Ali will be laid to rest at Cave Hill Cemetery in a private service, but following the burial a public ceremony will be held at KFC Yum! Center beginning at 2 pm. ET.
Louisville’s celebrations began Wednesday with the “I Am Ali Festival,” which honored his legacy and was meant to teach children about his life and trials and tribulations. On Thursday, more than 14,000 mourners gathered at Freedom Hall for an Islamic prayer service, or jenazah.
Beginning as an Olympic gold medalist and winding his way through one of boxing’s greatest eras, Ali would make an immeasurable mark on the civil rights movement throughout the 1960s and 1970s that reached well beyond his career as a boxer.
Such incredible work both in and out of the ring, along with his slick showmanship, cavalier attitude and philanthropy for the better part of 50 years, changed the country and led to Ali collecting some very famous friends. Former President Bill Clinton, along with comedian Billy Crystal and “Real Sports” host Bryant Gumbel, are scheduled to deliver eulogies.
Start Time: The funeral procession will begin at Friday at 9 a.m. EDT, followed by the public celebration at 2 p.m.
TV Channel: Several cable stations will air the funeral service, including CNN, HLN, TV One, Bounce TV and ESPN
Live Stream: The Ali Center will send out a live stream of the event at alicenter.org