Tons of lifelong Beatles fans are currently planning their trips into New York City for Saturday, Dec. 8. But instead of seeing the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, they’re probably on a trek to Central Park so they can honor John Lennon on the anniversary of his death.

The late Beatle was shot and killed by Mark David Chapman on Dec. 8, 1980 in front of the Dakota, his Central Park West apartment building. Every year on that date since then, dedicated fans have gathered around his nearby memorial to pay tribute to Lennon's legacy.

If you’re hoping to visit, there are a few things you should know. The first thing to keep in mind is the memorial’s location. For starters, it is located in Strawberry Fields, a 2.5-acre section of Central Park that’s dedicated to Lennon. Strawberry Fields spans between West 71st and 74th streets beside Central Park West, which runs alongside the park. In order to get there, you can take the A, B, or C subway lines to the 72nd Street Station, which puts you in front of the Terrace Drive entrance to the park.

Walking into the park, you'll soon see a sign that points the way to Strawberry Fields. Follow the arrow as the path curves to the right and you're almost there. Located in the center of Strawberry Fields, the Lennon memorial is a circular black and white mosaic design that says “Imagine” at its core. It was a gift from Naples, Italy, one of more than 50 contributions that came from around the world to help re-develop that section of the park.

There's often a group of people around the memorial, although it's considerably larger on both the anniversary of his death and his birthday (Oct. 9). Once you get to the the “Imagine” mosaic, join the crowd as they pay tribute to Lennon. Chances are high that people will be playing and singing various Beatles songs throughout the day, so feel free to sing along. Lennon’s fans will also be placing flowers and other mementos in or around the mosaic as a peaceful tribute to the late singer-songwriter whom they wish was still around today.

by Amanda Fama

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