JudyThorburn1 Judy 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
Founder - Nevada Film Critics Society

Side Piece Pizza Hosted Pizza-Making Competition in Honor of National Pizza Week

Side Piece Pizza, located inside Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa in Summerlin, got a head start on National Pizza Week with a ‘Build Your Dream Pizza’ competition featuring local media and celebrity personalities on Tuesday, Jan. 4.

Side Piece Contest Judges a
Judges Drew Belcher, Mariah Rivera, and Al Mancini. - Photo courtesy of Side Piece Pizza


To enter, contestants submitted their dream pizza topping combination through the Side Piece Instagram account and the top three recipes were chosen for in-person judging. The pizzas, made by the chefs at Side Piece, were judged on taste, creativity and presentation by a panel of local judges including Mariah Rivera, performer of FANTASY show at Luxor Hotel and Casino; Drew Belcher, owner of foodie Instagram account @UNLOKT; and Al Mancini, food and dining expert and founder of the new “Food and Loathing” podcast.

The winning recipe, “French’s Choice,” featured pesto alfredo sauce; grilled chicken; peppers; Parmesan cheese; and arugula. Created by Vegas local @realfatboyfrench, the recipe was inspired by pizzas he used to make in his hometown of Washington, D.C. He received free pizza for a week and had his recipe featured on the Side Piece Pizza menu during National Pizza Week, Sunday, Jan. 9 – Saturday, Jan. 15.

Boyd Gaming Announces Winners of 2021 ‘Wreaths of Hope’ Holiday Competition

Boyd Gaming awarded a prize pool of nearly $65,000 to 34 southern Nevada charities that participated in the Company’s seventh annual holiday competition, “Wreaths of Hope.” Non-profit organizations that decorated wreaths at The Orleans, Aliante, Gold Coast, Suncoast, Sam’s Town, Cannery and Main Street Station received prizes based on more than 47,000 customer votes cast from November 22 through December 17.

This holiday season, seven participating Las Vegas properties each awarded an $8,500 prize pool, with a first-place prize of $3,000 and a guaranteed minimum cash prize of $1,000 for all participants. For the first time, the competition also welcomed some of Las Vegas’ favorite sports teams: the Las Vegas Aviators, Henderson Silver Knights, Las Vegas Raiders and UNLV Athletics. The sports teams competed at The Orleans and prizes will benefit their respective charitable foundations. 

In addition to the nearly 37,000 in-person votes at the seven properties, more than 10,000 votes were cast online through the Wreaths of Hope social media contest. An additional prize pool of $5,000 was awarded to the best-performing charities in the social media competition, with a $2,500 first-place prize, $1,500 second-place prize and $1,000 third-place prize (in addition to any prize money the charities received  from in-person voting).

The results for the 2021 Wreaths of Hope competition are as follows:

The Orleans Hotel and Casino
1. Las Vegas Raiders (benefiting the Raiders Foundation)
2. Las Vegas Aviators (benefiting the Aviators Foundation)
3. Henderson Silver Knights (benefiting the Henderson Silver Knights Foundation)
4. UNLV Athletics (benefiting the Rebel Athletic Fund)

Aliante Casino + Hotel + Spa
1. A Home 4 Spot Animal Rescue
2. U.S. VETS Las Vegas
3. Three Square Food Bank
Honorary Mentions: USO Nevada and Raise the Future

Cannery Casino Hotel
1. A Path 4 Paws Dog Rescue
2. Kline Veterans Fund
3. The Shade Tree
Honorary Mentions: Opportunity Village and HELP of Southern Nevada

Gold Coast Hotel and Casino
1. Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation
2. Chefs for Kids
3. FIRST Nevada
Honorary Mentions: HopeLink of Southern Nevada and Leaders in Training

Main Street Station Casino Brewery Hotel
1. Golden Retriever Rescue Southern Nevada
2. 9th Island Cultural Club of Las Vegas
3. Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth
Honorary Mentions: The LGBTQ+ Center of Southern Nevada and SafeNest

Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall
1. Blue Star Mothers of Henderson & Boulder City
2. Communities In Schools
3. Nevada HAND
Honorary Mentions: Spread the Word Nevada and Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Nevada

Suncoast Hotel and Casino
1. Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada
2. Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada
3. Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Las Vegas
Honorary Mentions: Goodwill of Southern Nevada and Helping Hands of Vegas Valley

Social Media Contest
1. Golden Retriever Rescue Southern Nevada
2. A Home 4 Spot Animal Rescue
3. A Path 4 Paws Dog Rescue

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

A NORTH CAROLINA RESIDENT was celebrating the holiday season at Boyd Gaming’s Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall and won a nearly $100,000 JACKPOT playing IGT’s Triple Stars slot game on Monday, December 27. The lucky guest, who requested to remain anonymous, was playing Triple Stars on Monday around 3 p.m. and turned a 90-cent bet into a $97,302 payday.

TWO LUCKY LOCALS kicked off the new year in winning fashion, WINNING A COMBINED SUM OF $109,939 at ARIZONA CHARLIE’S DECATUR, located at 740 S. Decatur Blvd. and ARIZONA CHARLIE’S BOULDER, located at 4575 Boulder Hwy. on Sunday, Jan. 2. At Arizona Charlie’s Boulder, the local player won $76,465 while playing Charlie’s Double Progressive. The second player hit on the four of a kind aces bonus to win  $33,474 at Arizona Charlie’s Decatur. 

On Jan. 3, 2022, DOWNTOWN GRAND HOTEL & CASINO implemented a brand-new, NON-SMOKING POLICY for all guest hotel rooms and suites. To further provide guests a healthy and safe stay, Downtown Grand’s hotel rooms and suites will now be 100% non-smoking— creating an even more comfortable environment.

THE LAS VEGAS METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT (LVMPD) FOUNDATION'S GO TRUE BLUE CAMPAIGN kicked off on January 6, beginning a year-long drive to honor hardworking local officers and law enforcement professionals. Officials gathered in the morning at the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign on the Las Vegas Strip to launch the initiative. In attendance were Clark County Commissioners Michael Naft and Justin Jones, LVMPD Undersheriff Chris Darcy and LVMPD Foundation Executive Director Tom Kovach.

Strip resorts, downtown properties, and businesses around the valley illuminated their iconic marquees and building facades in blue light to express their support on January 6 from 6:25 to 6:30 p.m.

The LVMPD Foundation created Go True Blue as a vehicle for community members to show their support for LVMPD and to strengthen partnerships between LVMPD officers and companies and residents of Southern Nevada. The event is in conjunction with Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (LEAD).

Arizona Charlie’s on 740 S. Decatur Blvd. will welcome local yacht rock band, YACHT & ROLL to the NAUGHTY LADIES SALOON on Saturday,  Jan. 15, Jan.  22  and Jan. 29  at 8 p.m., covering yacht rock songs that combine elements of rock, jazz and rhythm and blues music.  On Friday, Jan. 28 at 8 p.m., saloon guests will be taken on a musical journey of the Elton John catalog by pianist, guitarist, musician and songwriter, JOEY RIEDEL OF THE ELTON JOHN EXPERIENCE, who will perform John’s hits that span across three decades.

Famed singer, comedian, ventriloquist and “America’s Got Talent” winner Terry Fator has announced new performances for his show, “TERRY FATOR: WHO'S THE DUMMY NOW?” at NEW YORK-NEW YORK’S LIBERTY LOFT, beginning Sunday January 16. Showtimes are Sunday – Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $34.95 (plus tax and applicable fees)

FOLK LEGACY TRIO, the group hailed as the "living library" of music of the great Folk Era, delivering songs from the 50s-70s with their signature dynamic vocals and exciting instrumental arrangements, will perform Jan. 21st at 6:30 p.m. at the SUMMERLIN LIBRARY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER. Tickets are priced at $25.00.

Locals’ favorite bar in the northwest, DISTILL CENTENNIAL (6430 Centennial Dr.), is celebrating its fifth anniversary by hosting their first-ever HILLBILLY BALL on Saturday, Jan. 22. Las Vegas residents can grab those straw hats and mosey on down to enjoy live music, drink specials all night long and a fun costume contest for the best lookin’ hillbilly.

Henderson residents can also holler “yee-haw” for the return of the popular event at REMEDY'S CONESTOGA (530 Conestoga Way) on Saturday, Jan. 29. The honkey-tonks at both locations will begin at 8 p.m. with no cover, but must be 21 years or older with valid I.D. to attend.

“ANGEL OF ARKANSAS,” a new show by Richard Oberacker and Robert Taylor, creators of Broadway’s Tony Award-winning musical “Bandstand,” will receive a premiere concert-style presentation in the 175-seat RENKUS-HEINZ THEATRE AT NOTORIETY LIVE AT NEONOPOLIS at 2 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 30. Featuring a stellar cast of Broadway and Vegas talent and a live six-piece band of Sin City’s leading country rock musicians, ticket sales will benefit local popular nonprofit, The Composers Showcase, which provides a platform for original musical works, scholarship, and financial assistance to the Las Vegas Entertainment Community. The concert will be followed by a gala reception with the performers and creatives. Tickets are $50-$100, plus fees, at notorietylive.com. Convenient parking underneath Neonopolis at 4th Street and Fremont is free with validation.

HARD ROCK INTERNATIONAL has announced plans to purchase the MIRAGE HOTEL AND CASINO IN LAS VEGAS from MGM Resort International. Through the $1.075 billion acquisition, Hard Rock will build a guitar-shaped hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. “When complete, Hard Rock Las Vegas will be a fully integrated resort welcoming meetings, groups, tourists, and casino guests from around the world to its nearly 80-acre center-Strip location,” said Hard Rock International chairman Jim Allen.

COMMONWEALTH, located in the Fremont East Entertainment District at  525 E. Fremont St., is introducing a new nightlife experience, MISIÓN. Curated for lovers of all things deep, dark, house and techno, Misión will take over Commonwealth’s rooftop starting at 11 p.m. every Wednesday in January and February and will highlight deep house and dark techno DJ selectors from every hemisphere. The recurring night will be backed by iconic Downtown Las Vegas views and Commonwealth’s award-winning craft cocktails. Misíon’s opening party took place on Wednesday, Jan. 5 and featured Miami-based duo COCODRILLS WITH SUPPORT FROM NECO, LANCE LE ROCK AND 530.

Due to popular demand, comedy titan and Emmy® Award-winning actor KATT WILLIAMS will perform a second show of his World War III Tour at DOLBY LIVE AT PARK MGM, Friday, Jan. 21. Williams will bring his unparalleled talents to the stage with new material that blends sidesplitting comedy with thought-provoking social commentary. Tickets are on sale now.

Local art gallery CORE CONTEMPORARY will present a limited engagement exhibition sponsored by Meow Wolf Las Vegas and Core Arts Concord entitled “LOCAL EXPLORATIONS” starting Saturday, Jan. 22. The exhibition will feature artwork in various mediums and styles from 13 of the Las Vegas-based artists who contributed their talents to Meow Wolf’s Omega Mart. “Local Explorations'' will be on display at Core Contemporary, located at 900 E. Karen Ave Ste D222, Wednesday - Saturday from 12-4 p.m. through Saturday, Feb. 26.

Core Contemporary will host three public events during the exhibition’s limited engagement, including an opening reception from 6-9 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 22; an Artists Talk from 6-9 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 12; and a closing reception from 6-9 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 26. Light refreshments will be provided at each event. Attendees of the Artist Talk event will have the opportunity to hear from select artists about their work, processes and influences; participating artists include Brent Sommerhauser, Elliot Demlow, Eric Vozzola, Jane Poynter, Jerry Misko, Nancy Good, Valentin Yordanov.

Core Contemporary will be open to the public from Noon to 4 p.m. every Wednesday through Sunday during the exhibition’s limited engagement. Admission to Core Contemporary is complimentary, and select works will be available for purchase from participating artists.

FAS44, also known as FreyBoy Art Salon, will host its first exhibition featuring well-known English photographer, CIG HARVEY, from Wednesday, Jan. 26 – Sunday, Feb. 27. FAS44, founded by local entrepreneur and art enthusiast Michael Frey, will showcase highly acclaimed artists with featured exhibitions throughout the year in Las Vegas. The first exhibit of FAS44 will span 1,300 square-feet and will feature 61 pieces by Harvey, a photographer known for her ability to showcase the magic in the mundane with surreal images of nature and family. The artwork, curated in collaboration with the prestigious Robert Mann Gallery in New York City, average in price from $2,500 to $10,000 and up. FAS44 is located at 4044 Dean Martin Drive and will be open by appointment.

The signature DOWNTOWN SUMMERLIN LUNAR NEW YEAR PARADE returns on Tuesday, Feb. 1 with a 6 p.m. performance featuring fan dancers, an oversized-dragon and more. The parade takes place on Park Centre Drive. The festivities are FREE and open to the public.  February 1 through February 15, the property celebrates the year of the Tiger with festive décor throughout the common areas. Highlights include picture prefect oversized 2022 letters in Macy’s Promenade, a larger-than-life Chinese dragon in the Dining Arroyo and an insta-worthy photo wall filled with festive décor located in the hallway near H&M.

Downtown Summerlin will also host a RED ENVELOPE GIVEAWAY through the Summerlin app starting Feb. 1 – Feb. 15. Guests will have an opportunity to receive a complimentary red envelope filled with chocolate coins and surprise gift cards while supplies last. Redemptions will take place at Concierge, located under the Breezeway of ONE Summerlin.

LEGENDS IN CONCERT, the longest-running show on the Las Vegas Strip, returns to its legendary home in the LEGENDS IN CONCERT THEATRE AT TROPICANA LAS VEGAS, to kick-off the 2022 season with a diva-filled Legendary line-up. Starting February 2, audiences will experience the music of amazing female superstars, as they take the stage to pay homage to some of the greatest artists in music history.  With music spanning more than 5 decades, these Divas will showcase the best of the best when taking the stage. ELISA FURR, fresh off  Jimmy Fallon’s Clash of the Cover Bands®, takes the stage as Celine Dion, embracing the vocal prowess and passionate showmanship for which Celine is known. With her distinctive contralto singing voice, Cher will be performed by LISA MCCLOWRY. TIERNEY ALLEN returns to the Legends stage embodying all that is Lady Gaga and JANAE LONGO rounds out the cast as Adele, which will be sure to delight fans young and old. Taking this show to the highest Diva Level will be Las Vegas’ most famous Diva, FRANK MARINO, who makes his return as Celebrity Host and his portrayal of Joan Rivers, the pioneer of women in comedy. Legends in Concert performs at Tropicana Las Vegas Wednesday through Monday (dark Tuesday) at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $59.99 (excluding tax and fees).Tickets can be purchased in person at the Tropicana Box Office.

DRAI’S NIGHTCLUB (located on the rooftop of The Cromwell) will welcome football fans to the entertainment capital of the world with a superstar lineup of DRAI'S LIVE performances for the weekend of the NFL Pro Bowl. The exciting weekend will be kicked off with a performance by Ludacris on Friday, Feb. 4, followed by DABABY on Saturday, Feb. 5. Drai’s has also announced that it will be bringing back Sunday night parties to the iconic nightclub during Pro Bowl weekend. On Sunday, Feb. 6,  LIL BABY will help Drai’s bring back Sunday nights with a bang by performing an explosive concert after Pro Bowl.

Celebrated R&B and slow jam entertainers from the ‘70s and ‘80s, including ZAPP, MIDNIGHT STARR, ROSE ROYCE, GQ, HEATWAVE, MANHATTANS, TIERRA AND BLOODSTONE, will bring romantic throwback hits to JAMMIN 105.7’s 18th ANNUAL LOVE AFFAIR CONCERT AT ORLEANS ARENA on Saturday, February 5. Showtime is 7 p.m. Tickets start at $31.65 plus tax and fees.

Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Sammy Hagar has announced six new performance dates for his critically-acclaimed Las Vegas Strip residency, “SAMMY HAGAR & FRIENDS,” at THE STRAT HOTEL, CASINO & SKYPOD. Due to popular demand, new concerts have just been added on Wednesday, Feb. 9, Friday, Feb. 11, Saturday, Feb. 12, Wednesday, March 23, Friday, March 25 and Saturday, March 26. Tickets go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. PT on Wednesday, Jan. 12.

Legendary rock band, CHEAP TRICK will bring their residency at THE STRAT THEATER STAGE inside The STRAT Hotel, Casino & SkyPod starting with four shows in early 2022. Tickets will be priced starting at $75 and are available starting Jan. 3 for shows on Friday, Feb. 25, Saturday, Feb. 26, Friday, March 4 and Saturday, March 5. Each show will pay tribute to monumental performances by Cheap Trick, including Live at Budokan, the band’s legendary live album recorded in Tokyo.

THE ORLEANS SHOWROOM will bring highly acclaimed entertainers to The Orleans Hotel and Casino in February including The Legendary THREE DOG NIGHT (Friday, February 4), BLOOD, SWEAT, & TEARS (Friday, February 11) and “UP, UP, AND AWAY,” starring MARILYN MCCOO AND BILLY DAVIS, JR. Saturday, February 12. Tickets for Three Dog Night and Blood Sweat & Tears start at $49.95 plus tax and fees. Tickets for Up, Up & Away start at $36.95 plus tax and fees. Showtime for each show is 8 p.m.

Upcoming Restaurant Openings:

This spring, Global lifestyle icon Martha Stewart will bring her celebrated Martha Stewart lifestyle brand to life with her first-ever restaurant. THE BEDFORD BY MARTHA STEWART, a fully-immersive restaurant concept designed to bring Martha's famed country farmhouse in Bedford, NY, to life, at Paris Las Vegas where it will open in Spring 2022. Martha and her team of culinary experts are developing delicious, seasonal dinner, weekend brunch, and holiday menus that feature exceptional quality and creativity. Signature menu items will be created from sourcing seasonal, high-quality ingredients from various local purveyors and some of Martha's personal favorites Designed by Martha herself, The Bedford by Martha Stewart draws inspiration from Martha's country farmhouse, where she brings the outdoors in. With 194 seats, the intimate restaurant will offer guests an authentic glimpse of how she lives and entertains in her own home. Martha's functional and practical lifestyle takes center stage in her thoughtfully appointed décor, which embraces a neutral color palette that acts as a perfect backdrop to four seasons of color.

Legendary New York Steak House PETER LUGER is coming to Caesars Palace in Las Vegas at the end of 2022. This marks the first domestic expansion in over sixty years for the Michelin-starred restaurant, which opened its doors in 1887 and is commonly known as New York City’s original steak house. It will be their first U.S. location outside of New York.

Celebrity Sightings:

Sunday, Jan. 9...

Following the thrilling overtime win at Allegiant Stadium, members of the LAS VEGAS RAIDERS: CARL NASSIB, DESEAN JACKSON, KENYAN DRAKE, AND JONATHAN HANKINS celebrated their win against the Los Angeles Chargers at Marquee Nightclub inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Seated at VIP tables, the teammates enjoyed a set by rapper and longtime Raiders fan, LIL JON, who also performed during halftime at the game earlier that evening. RAPPER O.T. GENASIS also joined Lil Jon in the DJ booth as clubgoers reveled in Marquee’s weekly Sunday night party, Night Circus.

image002 a
Photo courtesy of Marquee Nightclub.

FORMER NFL PLAYER MARSHALL FAULK was also spotted at the nightclub mingling with friends throughout the evening.

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