Vendors Criticized For Selling Souvenirs Outside Aretha Franklin Viewing

Its Day 2 of the public viewing of the late Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin in her adopted hometown of Detroit, and crowds are still literally circling the corner, according to reports.

Among the mourners and longtime fans of the irreplaceable and beloved icon: folks hawking various Aretha-inspired goods.

According to The Detroit Free-Press, by 6:30 A.M., at least 75 people had already lined up to see Ms. Franklin, whose body is in repose at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History until Thursday, when she will be moved to New Bethel Baptist Church, founded by her father, the late Rev. C.L. Franklin.

Some heartbroken fans arrived as early as 4 A.M. They were joined by vendors who have set up shop outside the museum, but some have said the presence of several vendors added a swap meet, flea market-ish air to the somber event.

Among the items reportedly up for sale: various souvenirs, T-shirts, and other memorabilia bearing Franklin’s image.

The museum itself passed out bottled water and set up portable toilets outside for the visitors–some of whom waited hours to see Ms. Franklin.

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