Bakersfield is invited to say goodbye to Merle Haggard at a family-sanctioned local memorial to the country music legend.

Haggard’s sister, Lillian Haggard Rea, is planning the service for 10:30 a.m. May 10 at Valley Baptist Church in northwest Bakersfield, according to Jim Haggard, the singer’s nephew.

“This is for the family and community,” Jim Haggard told The Californian Wednesday. “Because we needed something down here in Bakersfield. He still had some good old friends here.”

Haggard’s close family and friends were invited to a private memorial service at the singer’s home near Redding days after his April 6 death at the age of 79.

Jim Haggard said his aunt is working with the women who spearheaded the effort to move the Haggard family home to the Kern County Museum last July.

“It won’t be a celebrity-type deal,” Haggard said of the service. “It’s just on Merle’s spiritual side and his belief in God. Even though Merle didn't live here, he was still part of the community.”

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