Judy Thorburn | Editor in Chief | Writer | ColumnistJudy Thorburn's 'Vegas Happenings' column

By Judy Thorburn This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Owner/Editor in Chief/writer - Las Vegas Round The Clock

Owner/Editor in Chief/writer - The Flick Chicks
Director of Communications - Nevada Film Alliance


Vegas Strong Benefit Concert Unites Unprecedented Lineup of Entertainers in Support of October 1 Tragedy

Vegas Strong Benefit Concert at T-Mobile Arena united the Las Vegas entertainment industry and close-knit community on December 1 for an evening of live performances and heartfelt video tributes honoring victims and survivors of the October 1 tragedy.

More than a dozen A-list entertainers and homegrown talent joined forces to benefit the Las Vegas Victims Fund in the largest fundraising concert in Nevada’s history. The full lineup included Jason Aldean, Blue Man Group, Kurt Busch, Boyz II Men, Carrot Top, Cirque du Soleil, David Copperfield, Celine Dion, Bryce Harper, Imagine Dragons, Elton John, The Killers, Las Vegas Golden Knights, Jay Leno, Wayne Newton, Penn & Teller and George Strait.

Blue Man Group Performs at Vegas Strong Benefit Concert
Blue Man Group Performs at Vegas Strong Benefit Concert - Photo credit: Powers Imagery

Boyz II Men Performs at Vegas Strong Benefit Concert
Boyz II Men Performs at Vegas Strong Benefit Concert - Photo credit: Powers Imagery

Brandon Flowers of The Killers at Vegas Strong Benefit Concert Credit Denise Truscello.Wireimage
Brandon Flowers of The Killers at Vegas Strong Benefit Concert - Photo credit: Denise Truscello.Wireimage

Bryce Harper Presents at Vegas Strong Benefit Concert
Bryce Harper Presents at Vegas Strong Benefit Concert - Photo credit: Powers Imagery

Celine Dion Video Tribute at Vegas Strong Benefit Concert
Celine Dion Video Tribute at Vegas Strong Benefit Concert - Photo credit: Powers Imagery

Chumlee Rick Harrison at Vegas Strong Benefit Concert
Chumlee Rick Harrison at Vegas Strong Benefit Concert - Photo credit: Powers Imagery

Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons Sings at Vegas Strong Benefit Concert
Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons Sings at Vegas Strong Benefit Concert - Photo credit: Powers Imagery

Imagine Dragons at the Vegas Strong Benefit Concert
Imagine Dragons at the Vegas Strong Benefit Concert - Photo credit: Powers Imagery

Jay Leno at Vegas Strong Benefit Concert
Jay Leno at Vegas Strong Benefit Concert - Photo credit: Powers Imagery

Kurt Busch at the Vegas Strong Benefit Concert
Kurt Busch at the Vegas Strong Benefit Concert - Photo credit: Powers Imagery

Penn Teller Perform at Vegas Strong Benefit Concert
Penn Teller Perform at Vegas Strong Benefit Concert - Photo credit: Powers Imagery

Performers from Cirque du Soleils Mystere at Vegas Strong Benefit Concert
Performers from Cirque du Soleils Mystere at Vegas Strong Benefit Concert - Photo credit: Powers Imagery

Scheana Marie at Vegas Strong Benefit Concert
Scheana Marie at Vegas Strong Benefit Concert - Photo credit: Powers Imagery

The Killers at Vegas Strong Benefit Concert. Credit Judy Eddy WENN
The Killers at Vegas Strong Benefit Concert. - Photo credit: Judy Eddy WENN

Wayne Newton Presents at Vegas Strong Benefit Concert
Wayne Newton Presents at Vegas Strong Benefit Concert - Photo credit: Powers Imagery

Carrot Top kicked off the evening by welcoming an arena of thousands of supporters. He introduced messages from Vegas Golden Knights players who shared their pride for being part of the Las Vegas community.

The program continued with Las Vegas native and Washington Nationals 2015 National League MVP Bryce Harper, who thanked the first responders as well as the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and hospital staff.

International songstress Celine Dion delivered a gracious video message, saying, “We are going to let these families know we are supporting them and we will help them through this tragic loss.”

Las Vegas native and 29-time NASCAR Cup Series winner, Kurt Busch, introduced Las Vegas headliners Boyz II Men. The multiple GRAMMY® Award-winning group delivered smooth vocal ballads including a soulful acapella version of “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday,” then brought the energy with “Motownphilly.” The group shared their love for the city and joy for the evening by saying, “This show is a testament to how strong Las Vegas really is.”

Jay Leno followed on stage and had the crowd laughing hysterically with a series of jokes in his signature style.

Las Vegas-based rock band Imagine Dragons took the stage in force, as front man Dan Reynolds said, “Today, more than ever, I am proud to be from this city. Music shows that there is nothing that should divide us. Tonight, we are one. We are Vegas Strong.” Recently nominated for two GRAMMY® Awards, Imagine Dragons played an impassioned set of songs including “Whatever It Takes” and “Believer” before initiating a moment of silence out of respect for those affected by the tragedy. At the end of the band’s set, the crowd all stood to sing along with “On Top of the World” and “Radioactive.”

Survivor and Route 91 Festival headliner Jason Aldean next shared a special video tribute, giving good wishes to the audience and sharing positive thoughts.

Following intermission, David Copperfield re-opened the stage bringing his own unique performance with an incredible illusion that left the audience in awe. Copperfield, a legendary Las Vegas illusionist, said, “This is for the selfless people who are the real heroes of 1 October. I’m so proud of this city.”

Applause spread through the crowd as country superstar and T-Mobile Arena resident George Strait appeared via video, saying, “Las Vegas is a second home to me. This is a community built on strength, community and resiliency. Thank you for coming out tonight to show your support.”

The memorable moments continued as Blue Man Group put on a tubular performance, entertaining the audience with its speechless wit and rhythmic talent. Artists from Cirque du Soleil’s Mystère followed with parallel energy, awing the crowd with a performance of acrobatic strength and precision timing.

Las Vegas illusionists Penn & Teller integrated the crowd into the show, allowing each audience member perform their own card-based magic trick. The elated cheer of surprise rippled through the arena as everyone applauded the charismatic duo.

Mr. Las Vegas himself, Wayne Newton, took the stage for an impassioned tribute, saying, “It is best to use our talent to lift people’s spirits and put a smile on their face.” He then introduced Elton John, who addressed the audience via video to send his love and support. His performance motivated everyone to join him in singing “Your Song” and “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me.”

Las Vegas hometown heroes, The Killers, closed with an energetic set of hits including “When You Were Young” and “Somebody Told Me.” Lead vocalist Brandon Flowers expressed his pride for his city by saying, “There’s enough love in this room tonight to light up Las Vegas.”

The band delivered a reflective performance of “Be Still” while the names of those lost in the tragedy were displayed on the screen. The band ended by sharing a little soul with “All These Things” and “Mr. Brightside.”

The cheerful conclusion brought all performers to the stage for a chorus of the late, great Elvis Presley’s “Viva Las Vegas,” with Dan Reynolds and Brandon Flowers exchanging lead vocals. The crowd swelled with emotion and pride for the Las Vegas community that has proven unbreakable.

Cirque du Soleil's Mystere Offers Unique Peek Into Rehearsals

For the past year and a half, Cirque du Soleil's “original must-see production” Mystere has been offering the public a special FREE sneak peek of their artists training in their element and what it takes to constantly evolve this awe-inspiring production. Every Monday from 4-4:30pm the doors are open at the Mystere Theatre in Treasure Island Resort & Casino for visitors to come in and watch their magnificent artists such as The Trapeze and Chinese Poles act rehearsing for their evening performances. It is a great way to pique interest in experiencing the actual production in its entirety.

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Brett Black, Marketing Manager, Resident Shows Division at Cirque du Soleil and Tim Smith, Mystere artistic director - Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

The look at the artists in training and what goes on to prepare for the show includes a question and answer period with the show's artistic director Tim Smith, who comes from a background in Broadway musical theatre, and has been with Cirque for seven years.

At a recent open rehearsal, while acts were busy training on and above the stage, Smith addressed visitors seated in the audience, revealing behind the scenes facts about Mystere, the longest running Cirque production in Las Vegas, which will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2018. With 10 shows a week and over 400 per year, there is a lot that goes into preparing for this captivating production.

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pole artists rehearsing - Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

The first thing you notice when entering the theatre is the set, which, we are soon told, was built to create an incredible, unique environment and to provide an equally unique entertaining experience.   Each Cirque show, including Mystere, has its own score written for each act with music that is all live, performed by bands and singers. A great deal of investment was put into the highly skilled, disciplined performers before they reach the stage such as training, costumes, eating well, working out, etc. As for the gorgeous, colorful costumes worn by the amazing Mystere performers, they are designed specifically for the show with each costume made specifically to fit each of the artist's body.

Smith stated, that as the artististic director, he works with the artists' coaches to be familiar with their discipline and to know what they can and cannot do. I must say it was surprising to learn that there are no understudies. On the average, an artist stays 6-10 years with Cirque. Working in about 16 languages a day (the cast features artists from around the world), about 100 people run the show each night, including 67 performing artists, 4 stage managers and 10 from wardrobe.

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Trapeze artists rehearsing - Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

To keep the show fresh, Mystere is constantly going through changes, and, for the 25th anniversary next year, will be adding new music, 3 or4 new acts and projections.

Mystère is Cirque's longest running show on the strip for several reasons.   Featuring amazing acrobatics, aerial stunts, costumes, original mesmerizing music and comedy performed in a magical environment, the production offers something that people of all ages will enjoy.

Tickets for Mystere at Treasure Island Hotel & Casino start at $69 (not including entertainment tax).

Performances are 7pm and 9:30 pm.; 4:30pm and 7:30 pm on Sunday (call the box office to find available dates).

Thousands of Santas Take Over Downtown Las Vegas for 13th Annual “Las Vegas Great Santa Run”

The Las Vegas Community rallied together for the 13th annual Las Vegas Great Santa Run, benefiting beloved local organization Opportunity Village on Saturday, December 2. Greeted by a sea of Kris Kringle lookalikes, Grand Marshal Holly Madison and Honorary Chairman Wayne Newton joined the fun run to welcome participants to another exciting year.

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Grand Marshall Holly Madison and Honorary Chairman Wayne Newton - Photo credit: Denise Truscello

Following a high-energy Zumba warm up, hosts introduced an array of special guests including acclaimed male revue stars The Chippendales; Opportunity Village Vice President of Philanthropy Adam Joseph; Opportunity Village President and CEO Bob Brown; and Mayor Carolyn Goodman and husband Oscar Goodman.

Donned in full Santa suits, 5K runners and walkers enjoyed energetic performances from Opportunity Village’s all Elvis dance troupe OV Elvi and singer George Dare with “Run, Santa Run.” Additionally, showgirl and entertainer Gabriella Versace from SEXXY got everyone in a holiday spirit with “What Christmas Means to Me.” Mr. and Mrs. Claus also serenaded the crowd with “White Christmas.”

Madison and Newton greeted the energetic runners and led the crowd in a JEEP sponsored by SAHARA Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram to the start line for the 5K. After a jolly performance by Lorena Peril of FANTASY and a traditional countdown with confetti showers, thousands of Santas were off as they made their way through Downtown Las Vegas. From there, The Chippendales led the rest of the crowd to the 1-mile Kris Kringle Jingle Walk. Celebrations commenced after the race as participants were given commemorative Santa medals.

The Las Vegas Great Santa Run is Opportunity Village’s largest annual fundraiser and to date and has raised millions of dollars toward the charity’s support of more than 2,000 individuals with intellectual disabilities in the Las Vegas Valley.

Las Vegas Fashion Council and Saks Fifth Avenue Hosted Fourth Annual Little Black Dress Event

The Las Vegas Fashion Council (LVFC) hosted its fourth annual Little Black Dress Event benefiting the Art Institute of Las Vegas and the LVFC's scholarship fund at Saks Fifth Avenue inside Fashion Show on Thursday, Nov. 30. One-of-a-kind little black dress designs hit the runway as 11 Art Institute students competed for a $500 tuition grant toward their education.

Students Compete for Best Little Black Dress Design at the 2017 LVFC Little Black Dress Event Photo Credit Jacquelyn Samano
Students Compete for Best Little Black Dress Design at the 2017 LVFC Little Black Dress Event - Photo Credit Jacquelyn Samano

The Art Institute of Las Vegas 2017 Designs at the 2017 LVFC Little Black Dress Event Photo Credit Jacquelyn Samano
The Art Institute of Las Vegas 2017 Designs at the 2017 LVFC Little Black Dress Event - Photo Credit Jacquelyn Samano

"We applaud each design student for their creativity and courage to share their unique vision with us for the fourth year of our Little Black Dress Event," said LVFC Founder and President Carrie Cooper. "The future looks bright for these designers and we're honored to provide an opportunity for students and emerging artists to showcase their talents in the fashion industry."

2017 Runway Show for the LVFC Little Black Dress Event Photo Credit Jacquelyn Samano
2017 Runway Show for the LVFC Little Black Dress Event - Photo Credit Jacquelyn Samano

Dress Designs By Students of the Art Institute of Las Vegas Photo Credit Jacquelyn Samano
Dress Designs By Students of the Art Institute of Las Vegas - Photo Credit Jacquelyn Samano

Guests at the event casted their votes for their favorite look of the evening. Cooper and the LVFC awarded Salvador Aceves first place for his two-piece, tailored simple-yet-feminine design with an official check presentation following the runway show. Guests entered to win fashionable prizes including a luxury Gucci handbag, Vera Bradley weekender bag, Vince Camuto gold cuff bracelet and Kate Spade mini wallet with all monies benefiting the LVFC's scholarship fund.

LVFC President Carrie Cooper Little Black Dress Event Design Winner Salvador Aceves and Model Photo Credit Jacquelyn Samano
LVFC President Carrie Cooper Little Black Dress Event Design Winner Salvador Aceves and Model Photo Credit Jacquelyn Samano

Saks Fifth Avenue presented little black dress trends by major fashion brands including Parker NY, Alice and Olivia and Rebecca Taylor as models mixed and mingled with guests as they enjoyed champagne, live entertainment and hors d'oeuvres. LVFC members and staff joined local bloggers, fashion enthusiasts and Las Vegas professionals for this one-night-only fashionable, feel good night out.

The LVFC is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance the Las Vegas fashion industry and expand the economy by cultivating relationships between fashion professionals, students, emerging artists, community leaders and organizations. For more information visit lasvegasfashioncouncil.com

Evel Pie Celebrates First Anniversary

The all-American, Evel Knievel-themed pizzeria Evel Pie, located in Downtown Las Vegas, celebrated its first anniversary on Wednesday, Nov. 29 with a performance by The Rhyolite Sound and the debut of the restaurant's exclusive Evel Brew "Ales on Wheels."

The festivities kicked off with a special performance by Las Vegas' "desert honky tonk" band, The Rhyolite Sound on Evel Pie's back patio to the delight of fans.

Evel Pie celebrates first anniversary
Evel Pie celebrates first anniversary - Photo credit: Amit Dadlaney

The Rhyolite Sound plays to a packed patio at Evel Pie
The Rhyolite Sound plays at Evel Pie s first anniversary celebration - Photo credit: Amit Dadlaney

Later in the evening, Evel Pie managing partner Branden Powers debuted the pizzeria's newest beer addition, "Ales on Wheels," made exclusively for Evel Pie by local Las Vegas brewery Tenaya Creek. Each attendee received a sample to accompany complimentary slices of classic pizza favorites like "Balls to the Wall" topped with Evel's special homemade meatballs, Ricotta cheese and onions; and "World Famous Snake River Special" featuring rattlesnake jalapeno sausage, onions, bell peppers and fresh garlic.

Evel Pie General Manager Joey D Amore serves up slices to guests
Evel Pie General Manager Joey D Amore serves up slices to guests - Photo credit: Amit Dadlaney

Evel Pie s Managing Partner Branden Powers celebrates with his family
Evel Pie s Managing Partner Branden Powers celebrates with his family - Photo credit: Amit Dadlaney

Monti Rock III celebrates Evel Pie s first anniversary
Monti Rock III celebrates Evel Pie s first anniversary - Photo credit: Amit Dadlaney

Evel Pie's newest pizzas including the award-winning, gluten-free deep dish "Olivia Gluten-Free John" topped with Evel's marinara sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese, basil and Sicilian sea salt; and "Viva Las Vegan" with Evel's marinara sauce, vegan cheese and veggie toppings were also showcased at the event.

"Thank you all for coming and celebrating with us tonight," said Powers. "It's been a kick-ass year of celebrating Evel Knievel and, more importantly, the Las Vegas community. Evel inspired us at the beginning of this dream and the community's support and positive response continues to inspire us on this crazy journey. Cheers to many more years of serving the best slices to the best people."

Evel Pie is located at 508 East Fremont Street, Las Vegas, NV 89101 and is open Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. - 2 a.m. and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. - 4 a.m

Additional recent and upcoming “happenings” in and around Las Vegas include:

Insult comedian VINNIE FAVORITO ended his residency inside the Westgate Hotel & Casino on Sunday evening, December 3. During his final performance in the venue of “Unfiltered” he delivered his usual sharp “shtick” aimed at anyone in the audience within eye shot. Uncensored, politically incorrect, with no holds barred, all races, religions, nationalities, sexuality, and more are subject to Vinnie's cutting, but very funny, verbal attacks meant purely in jest, that consistently leave audiences roaring with laughter. Last performance in Vegas or not, he was right on the mark. Vinnie told the audience he is moving back to his native Boston and taking a break (at least for the time being) to spend more time with his wife and two young children. We at Las Vegas Round the Clock wish him all the best.

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Vinnie Favorito - Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

For the first time ever, HOFBAUHAUS LAS VEGAS hosted a keg tapping of its holiday beer on Saturday, Dec. 2. Tapping the keg of the limited edition Hofbräu beer were THE BRONX WANDERERS, who took over the Hofbräuhaus stage with a live performance that brought everyone in the beer hall to their feet. The celebrated top-notch band, who perform nightly at Bally’s Las Vegas, treated guests to a medley of treasured Four Seasons tunes, followed by Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk.”

The Bronx Wanderers
The Bronx Wanderers - Photo courtesy of Hofbräuhaus Las Vegas

On Monday, November 27, the legendary New York City staple, THE HALAL GUYS, opened its first location on the Las Vegas Strip, located inside the Forum Food Court at Caesars Palace. The Halal Guys at Caesars Palace marks the first halal restaurant of its kind to open inside a United States casino resort. The menu features the signature sandwiches and platters with a choice of chicken, beef gyro, chicken and gyro combo or crispy falafel- all seasoned to perfection. Meals are made to be customized with toppings, smooth hummus, smoky baba ghanoush, golden fries and more.With quality Halal-certified meats as well as vegetarian-friendly dishes, The Halal Guys offers something for everyone. This opening at Caesars Palace marks The Halal Guys’ second location in Las Vegas.

AID FOR AIDS OF NEVADA (AFAN) and the Las Vegas community showed its support in the global fight against HIV and AIDS on WORLD AIDS DAY on Friday, December 1, with a series of commemorations around town honoring those living with or affected by the disease.

The day began at Las Vegas City Hall where a representative from Mayor Carolyn Goodman's office presented AFAN Executive Director Antioco Carrillo with a proclamation recognizing the significance of the day in Las Vegas and the importance of AFAN's work in the community.

"AFAN is dedicated to continuing the fight against HIV/AIDS until there are no more infections," said Carrillo. "Our goal has been and always will be making Nevada AIDS-free, and when we do we will throw a huge celebration!"

Starting at 8 p.m., Las Vegas casinos and landmarks turned their marquees and buildings red.

In addition, for any donation made to AFAN on World AIDS Day, a donor who wishes to remain anonymous will match up to $50,000. To make a donation, visit afanlv.org.

In the spirit of the season,THE FORUM SHOPS AT CAESARS PALACE presents its second annual GREAT GIVE from Dec. 1-15. Partnering a number of its world-renowned retailers with a variety of local and national non-profits the two-week shopping event benefits a wide variety of charities and causes. Each participating retailer has a designated charity and will either donate a portion of sales from specific items, donate a flat percentage of sales or raise funds directly to benefit their partner charity. Local Charities, Shops and Restaurants include Links of London, Mulberry, Sandro, Anne Fontaine, Hugo Boss, Donald J Pliner, Charlotte Olympia and more with a Variety of Non-Profits including American Red Cross, Candlelighters, Nevada Ballet Theatre, Make-A-Wish and others The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace has designated that all coins from the iconic fountains will be donated to the Las Vegas chapter of the American Red Cross.

Comedian, actor and writer, PATTON OSWALT, who performed at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on Saturday, Dec. 2, has pledged to DONATE HALF OF HIS PERFORMANCE FEE to the LAS VEGAS VICTIM'S FUND organized by Clark County Commission Chairman, Steve Sisolak. “I love Vegas and to be able to perform there and give back to the Victims’ Fund means a lot to me,” said Oswalt. “Plus, the Hard Rock comps my drinks.” To donate directly to the Las Vegas Victims’ Fund, please visit https://www.gofundme.com/dr2ks2-las-vegas-victims-fund. Funds will be used to provide relief and financial support to the victims and families of the 1 October tragedy.

In its continued effort to support the local community, WET’N’WILD LAS VEGAS in partnership with Dark Knight Entertainment, will “Make Positive Waves” this holiday season by donating a bulk of tickets to nonprofits that support Southern Nevada for the water park’s first-ever LAS VEGAS CHRISTMAS TOWN. Each organization can distribute the tickets however they would like to raise funds or give to donors, volunteers and staff as a token of appreciation.Las Vegas Christmas Town offers sensational sights at every turn, daily through Sunday, Dec. 31. The nighttime winter wonderland features one-of-a-kind entertainment and attractions including a skating rink, a 40-foot Christmas tree, 100-foot sledding hill, 40-passenger Polar Express train ride, paintball zone, free photos with Santa Claus, nightly snowfalls, over 3 million glistening lights and much more.

Las Vegas Christmas Town is open 5:30 to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. Friday to Saturday. The park will be closed on Sunday, Dec. 24 and Monday, Dec. 25. General admission tickets are $20 per person. Wet‘n’Wild is located at 7055 S. Fort Apache Road near I-215 and Sunset Road.

Give a toy, enjoy a night of music as local hip hop / rap artist, MIKE XAVIER and friends sponsor a HOLIDAY TOY DRIVE on Thursday, Dec. 7 at The Arts Factory in Downtown Las Vegas (107 E. Charleston Blvd.). Entry is a toy or gift card donation and guest must RSVP at www.MikeXavierMusic.com to attend as space is very limited to this evening of music and holiday giving (no RSVP needed for children under three). This all-ages event will benefit HELP of Southern Nevada. Other artists scheduled to appear are Xavier’s son Jaylyn Thai, Jessica Manalo, Camden West, Halsey Harkins, Zack Gray, and Sonia Barcelona.

TOPGOLF LAS VEGAS hosts nightly viewings on the big screen inside The Yard beginning Thursday, Dec. 7 from 7 – 10 p.m. Take a spin and have some rodeo fun with the mechanical bull, operating on Dec. 7, 8, and 11 – 15 from 2 – 10 p.m. and Dec. 9, 10, and 16 from 3 – 11 p.m. Fans can also enjoy drink specials and get the chance to meet the newly crowned Miss Rodeo America on Saturday, Dec. 9. DJ Quira will also be spinning the latest tracks on Friday, Dec. 8 from 3 – 6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 9 from noon – 6 p.m., and Friday, Dec. 15 from 3 – 6 p.m. No waiting in line, grab a photo with Santa Claus as he roams the venue and greets all the guests on Saturday, Dec. 9, 16, and 23 from 1 – 4 p.m.

Offering the most dedicated Pickleball courts of any hotel/casino,The Plaza Hotel & Casino is partnering with the city of Las Vegas Parks and Recreation Department to hold FREE PICKLEBALL MIXERS on Thursday, Dec. 7 and again on Thursday, Jan. 4. The mixers will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on the rooftop Pickleball courts at the Pool at the Plaza. Guests can play for free while enjoying music from a local DJ, complimentary pizza and water from Pop Up Pizza, and drink specials from the Pool at the Plaza cocktail bar. Before each mixer, from 5 to 6 p.m., a beginner’s Pickleball clinic will be held. Taught by USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) 5.0 Tournament Competitor, Isaac Johnson, the clinics will teach new players about the country’s fastest growing leisure sport, including rules of the game and basic techniques.

Local and tourist rodeo enthusiasts are invited to saddle up for GARY LEFFEW'S BUCKING BALL EVENT at Tropicana Las Vegas December 7 – 16.  In honor of the 2017 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR), this ten day event will boot scoot into the Trinidad Pavilion and feature a series of nightly activities - for the ultimate Western lifestyle rodeo affair. Guests are invited to kick off the evening with a glimpse of the most prestigious rodeo event in the world with a special closed circuit viewing party, along with a WNFR-inspired pop up shop featuring cowboy inspired apparel and gifts for the rodeo enthusiast with hats, boots, belt buckles and accessories for purchase. The true after-party will feature live music from the legendary Texas Jamm Band featuring members of George Strait's Ace in the Hole Band, as well as country recording artist, Scotty Alexander.  In addition, guests will also be able to enjoy a rodeo arena style dance floor, drink specials, giveaways featuring exclusive offers including one of a kind six-string acoustic guitar autographed by multiple country stars and much, much more.

TAYLOR HICKS, one of the most beloved and popular AMERICAN IDOL winners of all time, will perform in concert at The Rocks Lounge inside the Red Rock Hotel & Casino on Friday, December 8, 2017 at 8 p.m. Tickets are priced at $40 plus tax and applicable fees for general admission.

Las Vegas restaurant chain NACHO DADDY has partnered with VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS to not only host a handful of viewing parties and events, but also develop the official nacho of the team with a portion of its proceeds going to the Vegas Golden Knights Foundation.The official Vegas Golden Knights Nacho is available at all locations.  $1 from every nacho will be given to the Vegas Golden Knights Foundation to support one of their five initiatives, to fight hunger and homelessness in the Las Vegas community.In honor of this partnership, Nacho Daddy invites hungry fans to celebrate in style with their FIRST OFFICIAL WATCH PARTY of the season at the location on West Sahara on Friday, Dec. 8 beginning at 5 p.m.   Guests will be treated to a fun red carpet experience with a photo op upon entry, photo booth, balloon artist, raffles throughout the evening including team sweaters, and drink specials including ‘Knights Score, We Pour’ with free shots of vodka every time the Golden Knights score.  The official watch party is at the West Sahara location only.

CANDLELIGHTERS CHILDHOOD CANCER FOUNDATION OF NEVADA will partner with CURE 4 THE KIDS FOUNDATION to host its ANNUAL HOLIDAY PARTY on Saturday, Dec. 9 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at GLOWZONE (6330 Arroyo Springs, Suite 1200, Las Vegas). This private event is for Candlelighters and Cure 4 The Kids Foundation families whose diagnosed child is aged 17 and under, giving them the opportunity to enjoy the holiday season in a safe environment with a visit from Santa, Skyscraper Ropes Course, Bazooka Ball, music, treats and more!

PANCHO'S MEXICAN RESTAURANT, located in downtown Summerlin, presents a WINTER WONDERLAND CELEBRATION, featuring signature holiday cocktails, live music, giveaways and more beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 15. Partygoers will enjoy festive décor, live music performed by acoustic artist Michael Johnson; photo opportunities in a winter-themed photo booth; and complimentary peppermint hot chocolate for children ages 12 years and under. Seating for the soirée is available on a first come, first serve basis.

Legendary music group, EARTH,WIND & FIRE, will make their debut residency n Las Vegas with very special limited engagement at The Venetian Theatre inside The Venetian® Las Vegas. The show will be held on May 2, 4, 5, 9, 11 and 12, 2018 at 8 p.m. The Earth, Wind & Fire live tour legacy is considered groundbreaking with rich history of state-or-the-art production and surprises. The residency will showcase a spectacular stage production, like never seen before. In response to the tragic Las Vegas shooting that took place October 1, for every ticket sold to each of their six Las Vegas shows, Earth, Wind & Fire will donate $1 to the Las Vegas Victims Fund to aid the victims and their families. Grazie loyalty members and Live Nation and Ticketmaster customers will receive access to a pre-sale beginning Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 10 a.m. PST. All presales will end Thursday, Dec. 7 at 10 p.m. PST. Tickets ranging in price from $59 to $299, plus applicable fees, go on sale to the general public Friday, Dec. 8 at 10 a.m. PST. Tickets will be available for purchase at any box office at The Venetian or The Palazzo,

JIM GAFFIGAN, three-time Grammy-nominated comedian, actor, writer, producer and best-selling author, will return to Las Vegas to perform two nights at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace as part of The Fixer Upper tour. Gaffigan is scheduled to perform Sunday, May 27 and Friday, July 20, 2018. Tickets go on sale to the public Friday, Dec. 8 at noon PT.Ticket prices are $99.50/$79.50/$69.50/$55 (prices include 9% Live Entertainment Tax.)

ANIMAZING GALLERY AT GRAND CANAL SHOPPES inside The Venetian and The Palazzo Las Vegas will welcome ORIGINAL CATWOMAN, JULIE NEWMAR on December 9 for an EXCLUSIVE MEET & GREET from 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. To kick-off the opening of the newest flagship exhibit, the much anticipated event will feature an exclusive autograph signing, giving guests first dibs on a limited edition canvas by famed comic artist, Alex Ross. With only 66 prints available, commemorating the year of the 1966 Batmobile, the special edition piece debuts Alex Ross's first and only rendering of Newmar. Paying homage to one of her most famed roles, Newmar will be taking guests back in time with a grand entrance in the classic 1966 Batmobile.

The Department of Fine Arts Music Program at CSN presents the CALYPSO STEEL DRUM BAND AND PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE IN CONCERT, Wednesday, December 13, featuring rhythmic musical surprises including faculty and students performing on all things percussion and steel drums. The evening will include both groups performing a wide variety of traditional music, pop tunes and much more! The concert event is scheduled at 7:00 p.m. in the Backstage Theatre at the North Las Vegas campus. General Admission is $8.00 and $5.00 for students and seniors. For more information, call the CSN Box Office at 702-651-LIVE (5483). The CSN Performing Arts Center is located at 3200 East Cheyenne Avenue in North Las Vegas.

Children’s Heart Foundation supporter and star of HISTORYS “PAWN STARS,” CHUMLEE RUSSELL, invites people to participatein the Children’s Heart Foundation’s ‘ADOPT A HEART FAMILY' PROGRAM by coming down to his candy store, Chumlee’s Candy on the Blvd., and donate until Dec. 15. Guests who come in and donate will receive a special photo op with the star. All funds raised will be donated to Children’s Heart Foundation and their ‘Adopt a Heart Family’ program. Due to the financial toll having a child with a congenital heart defect takes on a family, the Adopt a Heart Family program is often times the only way these families will have a holiday.

For those who wish to give an entire family hope for the holidays, they can contact Children’s Heart Foundation by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., online at www.chfn.org, or phone at 702-967-3522 to adopt a family.  They will then be matched with a family and provided a wish list of items to choose from.  After gathering the goodies, including a $50 grocery card for the family’s holiday meal, return all items to the organization for distribution by Friday, Dec. 8.

Grammy Award-winning norteño group INTOCABLE perform on Saturday, Dec. 9 at the Star of the Desert Arena in Primm. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $25. House Seats presents: Rocky Horror Picture Show – Live! featuring an all-star Vegas cast at the intimate House of Blues Las Vegas on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017.Doors open 7:30 p.m. Show starts 8pm. Ages: 18+. Tickets for Rocky Horror Picture Show – Live! start at $10, plus applicable fees

SANTA WILL VISIT TITANIC: THE ARTIFACT EXHIBITION inside Luxor Hotel and Casino to spread holiday cheer on Saturdays, Dec. 16 and 23 from 1 - 3 p.m., The jolliest man from the North will greet guests and pose for photos on the luxurious replica of Titanic’s Grand Staircase. After exploring the Exhibition, which features more than 300 artifacts and several room replicas, guests can purchase high-quality images with Santa inside the gift shop.Additionally, holiday shoppers can purchase Titanic-themed treasures inside the gift shop. Guests will be thrilled to fill stockings with the only authentic artifact available for sale; a commemorative piece of coal that was part of the 5,982 tons loaded on board R.M.S. Titanic and a perfume recreation inspired by the original vitals of Adolphe Saalfeld, a 1st class passenger and Titanic survivor who aspired to sell his scents in New York City.  Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition takes guests on an emotional journey through the life of the legendary ship. Along the way, visitors learn countless stories of heroism and humanity, paying tribute to the indomitable force of the human spirit in the face tragedy. Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition is open daily from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. with the last admission at 9 p.m.

Sun City Summerlin presents Planet Hollywood Headliner/Magician MURRAY'S FAMILY MAGICAL HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR, his 5TH ANNUAL CHARITY SHOW benefiting FRIENDS FOR LIFE HUMANE SOCIETY AND ROCKIN 4 RESCUES on December 20 at 7pm in the Starbright Theatre (located at 2215 Thomas Ryan Blvd in Summerlin). Featured guests include Lefty (murray's stage sidekick and master slight of hand card trickster), Zowie Bowie, Linda Suzanne, Kacy Machacyk, Jarrett & Raja, Lenny Windsor, Rusian (chair balancing act) and guest star Pia Zadora. All Profits go to Friends For Life Humane Society. Tickets are $20. Call (702) 240-1301 or go to http://www.suncity-summerlin.com/News…/starbrighttheatre.htm

Murray Poster

Tickets are on sale now for 98 DEGREES' "AT CHRISTMAS" TOUR on Saturday, Dec. 23 at the Star of the Desert Arena in Primm, featuring holiday classics from their new album "Let it Snow." Doors open at 7 p.m. and the shows begins at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $20.

Celebrity sightings:

Sunday night December 3...

Olympic gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi made a special appearance at Las Vegas’ hottest production, Magic Mike Live at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. In support of her friend, cast member Mark Romain, Yamaguchi was seen taking in the steamy performance and dancing with her close friends for most of the night.

Kristi Yamaguchi Second from left poses with cast of MAGIC MIKE LIVE Dec. 3 2017
Kristi Yamaguchi Second from left poses with cast of MAGIC MIKE LIVE Dec. 3 2017 - Photo courtesy of Magic Mike Live Las Vegas

Saturday, December 2...

Pop star and member of Backstreet Boys, Nick Carter, dined at La Cave Wine & Food Hideaway at Wynn Las Vegas. Carter, who is living in Las Vegas during the Backstreet Boys: Larger Than Life residency at Planet Hollywood Las Vegas, was joined by his wife, Lauren Kitt, and another couple for a double date.

Wednesday, November 29...

Reality television celebrity and star of “Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man” Kendra Wilkinson let loose with three of her closest friends at Magic Mike Live, the sultry 360-degree dance and acrobatic striptease spectacular offered exclusively at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Earlier in the evening, she and five friends  dined at MB Steak at Hard Rock Hotel & Casinoin Las Vegas.

Kendra Wilkinson and friends savor in private meet and greet with the cast of MAGIC MIKE LIVE Nov. 29 2017
Kendra Wilkinson and friends savor in private meet and greet with the cast of MAGIC MIKE LIVE Nov. 29 2017 - Photo courtesy of Magic Mike Live Las Vegas

Sunday night, November 26...

Vegas Golden Knights left wing Erik Haula was spotted attending the 8 p.m. performance of ABSINTHE at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. After the show, Haula went backstage for a photo with The Gazillionaire and to express his enjoyment of the performance.

Erik Haula Attends ABSINTHE 11.26.17 Courtesy of JosephSanders Spiegelworld
Erik Haula Attends ABSINTHE 11.26.17 - Photo credit: JosephSanders Spiegelworld

Actress Abigail Breslin dined at Beauty & Essex in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas with her mother and boyfriend.

Saturday, November 25...

TV personality Ross Matthews , who was in town to serve as a judge for the Miss Universe pageant at The AXIS at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, was spotted attending the 8pm performance of ABSINTHE at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Earlier in the evening Matthews dined at Beauty & Essex in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas with his mother.

Ross Matthews at ABSINTHE at Caesars Palace 11.25.17 credit Joseph SanderSpiegelworld
Ross Matthews at ABSINTHE at Caesars Palace 11.25.17 - Photo credit: Joseph SanderSpiegelworld

“Jersey Shore” star JWoww spent Saturday afternoon at LAVO Party Brunch in The Palazzo with husband Roger Matthews and friends.

Jwoww at LAVO Brunch1
JWoww at LAVO Brunch - Photo credit: Brandon Pearson/Tony Tran Photography

Television personality, actor and designer Carson Kressley, best known for "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy", took in his former co-star Jai Rodriguez's smash-hit comedy "Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man" at Paris Las Vegas. Rodriguez happily reunited with his former TV co-host and his co-star in "Sex Tips," Kendra Wilkinson, after the hilarious production.

Friday night,, November 24...

Actor Lucas Grabeel and his girfriend Emily Morris and “High School Musical” co-star Emily Morris continued the celebratory weekend with dinner at LAVO Italian Restaurant in The Palazzo before heading to Marquee Nightclub in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Thursday night, November 23...

Recording artist Timothy B. Schmit was seen enjoying dinner with friends at LAVO Italian Restaurant in The Palazzo.

“The Challenge” contestant and “Real World” star Chris ‘CT’ Tamburello celebrated his girlfriend Lilianet Solares’ birthday at TAO Nightclub in The Venetian.

Wednesday, November 22...

Actor Lucas Grabeel celebrated his birthday at Beauty & Essex in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas with his girlfriend Emily Morris.


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