By Judy Thorburn
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Owner/Editor in Chief/writer - Las Vegas Round The Clock
Entertainment Reporter/Film Critic - Las Vegas Tribune
Owner/Editor in Chief/writer - The Flick Chicks

Las Vegas’ Fourth Annual Gathering of Santas

Although they didn’t break the world’s record for the largest Santa gathering, an impressive 6,119 Santas participated in the fourth annual Las Vegas Great Santa Run to benefit Opportunity Village. The event took place on Saturday, Dec. 6 at the Fremont Street Experience.


For the 3rd year, Magicians of the Century, Siegfried & Roy, served as Honorary Team Captains drawing support from participants and fans from around the world. The world famous magicians lead the one mile walk in front of a sea of Santas.

The morning’s festivities included an appearance from long time friend and supporter of Opportunity Village and host of, Robin Leach, performances by local singer and songwriter George Dare, who wrote the Las Vegas Great Santa Run theme song “Run Santa Run” and the sensational singing duo, Zowie Bowie.

“We had an amazing turnout for this year’s Las Vegas Great Santa Run with more than 6,100 people from all over the world donning Santa suits and flooding Fremont Street with red and white,” said Linda Smith, Opportunity Village’s Chief Development Officer.  “This event has become an international competition; one that we hope will spread worldwide in the coming years with New Zealand and Milan joining Liverpool and Dublin in the annual event. Opportunity Village is incredibly thankful to everyone who came out in support of the 900 intellectually disabled clients we serve daily.”


The world record for the largest Santa gathering was set in 2005 with 3,291 participants in the Liverpool Santa Dash in the UK.  In 2007, the Las Vegas Great Santa Run had 7,269 participants making Las Vegas the Guinness Book of World Records 2007 winner.

ONE SIX Sky Lounge Opens at Eastside Cannery

On Friday, December 19, the intimate and upscale ONE SIX Sky Lounge opened its doors to the public. Set atop the 16th floor of the Eastside Cannery, the new 11,000 square-foot sleek hotspot offers unique and breathtaking views of the famous Las Vegas skyline from its 1,700 square foot three sided balcony which has been carefully designed to allow guests to take in the legendary panorama from any location within the venue, including the restrooms. While guests take in the incredible view, a rotating list of DJs spins a diverse variety of tunes ranging from Rat Pack remixes to today’s dance favorites. Guests can kick back in the lounge to enjoy the music or live it up on the dance floor with the Las Vegas skyline as the backdrop.


One Six Sky Lounge’s inviting atmosphere features an eclectic blend of classic motifs and modern furnishings such as a romantic pairing of warm red hues warm red hues offset by three large blue, cast glass columns lit from within.  In addition, comfy chairs and chaises are offered in the lounge area to relax and enjoy the cozy setting.

For hungry patrons, the appetizing food menu is divided into familiar favorites of cold bites, hot bites and sweet treats from the best American ingredients served tapas style. Featured items include the Ahi Tartar Trio, Beef Carpaccio, Coconut Shrimp Skewers and Mac and Cheese Fondue.  Guests can also experience the unique martini and cocktail menu (including specialty cocktails, most of which pay tribute to the other dining establishments at Eastside Cannery Casino & Hotel) and an impressive selection of fine wines, all set at approachable prices.


ONE SIX Sky Lounge will be open at 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.  Happy hour from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. will feature half-priced martinis and a free sampling of the hot and cold bites from the ONE SIX menu.

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

During the month of January, the TV show Germany's “Next Top Model by Heidi Klum" will be in town filming with Lance Burton at the Monte Carlo.

On Monday, December 15 Board members with the Las Vegas Hospitality Association (LVHA) delivered 213 custom bags of cheer with shoes, shirts, toothbrushes, toys and other holiday goodies for at-risk children at the John Mendoza Elementary School, located at 2000 S. Sloan Lane.


The LVHA worked closely with the school’s teachers and principal to determine which children were in need. Then LVHA members selected students and shopped for them.  Adding to the holiday spirit, the children enjoyed cookies and small cartons of milk that Hooters® Casino .The LVHA also delivered a donation of used books by Ann V. DeVere who owns Plaza Books.

Groundbreaking for The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Las Vegas is slated for early 2009 and adjustments were recently made to the building program.  The previously contemplated 650-seat small hall, which was to be home to Nevada Ballet, has been removed from the plan.  Due in part to Nevada Ballet’s projected growth,  the Ballet will now be using the 2,050-seat main hall for all productions.

Plans for the cultural center now include a total of three theaters.  The 2,050-seat main hall will be home for the Las Vegas Philharmonic and touring Broadway shows in addition to housing the Nevada Ballet.  A smaller, 300-seat theater will have a stage facing Symphony Park and host jazz, cabaret and other intimate performances.  The third theater will be a 200-seat flexible studio used for rehearsals, children’s theater and local community events.

Comedian and actor David Spade will bring his style of comedy to the Venetian for a series of limited engagements in 2009. Spade’s first engagement is scheduled for January 1 - 3, 2009 at 8 p.m. each night inside the 742-seat Venetian Showroom.  Tickets are priced at $49, $69 and $89 plus tax and handling fees.

Sunday January 4, McFadden’s will  celebrate the premiere of  S.I.N. Sundays with an industry New Year’s Eve bash complete with party favors and a McFadden’s-style countdown and midnight toast. All ladies will drink for FREE from 10 p.m. to midnight, with a $20 open bar for guys. McFadden’s is offering discounted bottle service after midnight to Las Vegas locals for the price of $200 for two bottles. There will also be two-for-one Bud Light beers and $5 Bombs.

Sunday, January 4, 2009 @ 7:00pm, House of Blues presents George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic with The Wailers. Tickets start at $20.

January 1st through 5t 2009BPONG.COM will bring its 4th annual tournament, The World Series of Beer Pong IV to Flamingo Las Vegas. The five-day event is the largest event of its kind, where the winners will take home a grand prize of $50,000 and the coveted title of “Beer Pong World Champion.”

Last year’s tournament drew nearly 600 contestants from 39 states and three countries. Reigning champs Jeremy Hughes and Mike Orr are expected back this year to defend their seats on the beer pong throne.

Beer Pong, also widely known as Beirut, is a game that has gained immense popularity in recent years. Members of two-person teams attempt to lob Beer Pong balls (similar to table tennis balls) into the opposing team’s cups placed at the other end of a long table. The first team to land balls in each of the defending team’s cups is crowned winner. Cups are often filled with beer (but for the tournament, beer or water) and may be consumed by the players if they choose.

Dubbed  “the drinking game of choice for this century's twentysomething thinkers” by TIME Magazine, Beer Pong has proven to be a big hit not only on college campuses, but on the Las Vegas Strip as well.

The competition is open to both men and women 21 years and older. For additional details visit

Grammy-nominated, no-holds-barred, insult comic Lisa Lampanelli, whom the NY Times has dubbed The Loveable Queen of Mean, is set to perform at The Pearl Concert Theater at the Palms on Saturday, January 17, 2008 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $49.75, plus any additional service fees.

Multi-talented performer John Legend is set to perform at The Pearl Concert Theater on Saturday, January 10, 2009, at 8:00 p.m. The London-based emerging singer/rapper/songwriter Estelle will appear as Legend’s special guest. Tickets are $50.00, $60.00 and $80.00, plus any additional service fees.

For three nights only, January 16, 17 and 18, 2009  Wes Winters performs a musical ‘A Tribute to Liberace’ featuring many of Liberace’s signature songs including Sabre Dance, Tiger Rag, Beer Barrel Polka and I’ll Be Seeing You inside the Suncoast showroom.   Show time is 7:30 PM.  Tickets priced from $19.95 plus tax can be purchased by calling the box office at 702-636-7075 or online at

Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art will feature “Classic Contemporary: Lichtenstein, Warhol & Friends” January 23 through September 8, 2009.  Organized in partnership with the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD), the exhibition will feature important paintings and sculpture by major contemporary artists ranging from Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol to Ellsworth Kelly and Sol LeWitt.

New Year’s Eve Celebrations, Concerts, Parties and more…

The Tropicana Las Vegas presents American Funk, Rock and R&B Legends, WAR, Tuesday, Dec. 30 at 8 p.m. in the Tiffany Theater. Tickets are priced at $50 and $60.

On New Years Eve Las Vegas’ all five blocks of famed Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas will be transformed into the biggest private party in Las Vegas.

Scheduled  for the evening’s bash is a TributePalooza Concert  featuring eight top tribute bands, performing classic favorites for all ages from Aerosmith, Billy Joel, David Bowie, Eagles, KISS, Queen, the Rolling Stones and U2 and the world the world premiere of Fremont Street Experience’s newest Viva Vision extravaganza, “KISS Rocks Vegas.” The street will be packed with action while the Riders of the Thunderdome thrill with their Globe of Death motorcycle show and the giant Viva Vision screen dazzles with a light and sound extravaganza 90 feet above the street.  Tickets are FREE to locals with valid Nevada ID (21 and over).  For those traveling from out of town, tickets can be purchased for $20 by calling 877-834-2748. America’s Party and Tribute Palooza Live in Concert at the Fremont Street Experience opens at 6:00 p.m.

Guests can access the venue at any of the gates located at Fremont and Casino Center, Fremont and 4th and Fremont and Main. All attendees must be at least 21 years of age. Parking is available at the Fremont Street Experience parking garage on the corner of 4th and Carson and at all Fremont Street hotel-casinos.

Australian motorcross star Robbie “Maddo” Maddison will attempt to jump his bike more than 120 feet high into the air and land on top of the 97 foot tall replica of the Arc de Triomphe in front of Paris Las Vegas. Upon the completion of his jump he will drop off the Arc and freefall 50 feet to a huge landing ramp. The  stunt will be featured on ESPN’s one hour special “Red Bull:  New Year. No Limits”.

Guests can ring in the New Year at House of Blues with two different styles of musical entertainment.  Scheduled to perform In the Courtyard & Crossroads is Vegas’ high-energy band, Purple Reign: The Prince Tribute.  General admission is $50. Set to perform in the Music Hall is Senegalese-American hip hop and R&B singer-songwriter Akon.  Doors for each performance open at 10 p.m. Tickets to see Akon is $125 general admission, $155 seated and $175 special reserved. For VIP Table and Booth Information please call 702-632-7600.

64 floors high above The Strip, MiX at Mandalay Bay is offering guests a spectacular view to watch the year end fireworks display on the strip. General admission is $150 per guest.

Three-time Grammy Award- winning artist, Fergie, is scheduled to perform in concert at The Venetian Ballroom. Immediately following her performance, Skip Martin, Grammy Award-winning artist and former lead singer of Kool & the Gang, will take to the stage and entertain the audience. After her set, Fergie will head over to LAVO Restaurant and Nightclub in The Palazzo where she will MC the New Year countdown as the official host for the evening along with NYC’s DJ Reach. Tickets to LAVO are available for separate purchase at any Venetian or Palazzo Box Office.

Doors open for Fergie’s concert at 8:30 p.m. and all cash bars will be featuring Perrier-Jouet Champagne. Ticket prices are: $135; $105; and $75 inclusive of tax and service fees. A limited number of VIP tickets are also available for purchase for $200 inclusive tax and fees.

Carmen Electra will Host New Year’s Eve Festivities at TAO Asian Bistro and Nightclub. World-renowned DJ Vice will be on hand to ring in the New Year with a memorable, high-energy set.  Doors open at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, December 31 and entry will include complimentary hors d’oeuvres and open bar from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. For inquiries on table reservations, please call the TAO marketing department at (702) 388-8588 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. PST daily.

The Cannery Casino & Hotel kicks off the New Year with a concert by nostalgic rockers Sha Na Na at The Club inside the Cannery Casino & Hotel. Performances are 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.  Tickets to the event are being offered in special dinner and a show packages that range in price from $59.99 to $109.00. Call (702) 856-5300 for more information.

Kid Rock will perform inside The Pearl Concert Theater at 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $130.00, $205.00 and $255.00, plus any additional service fees.

Divorced celebrities, PINK and Carey Hart are celebrating New Year’s Eve together…well kind of. PINK’S Funhouse Tour is making a stop at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino to ring in the New Year at Hart’s newest club Wasted Space. PINK will help the crowd countdown to midnight and then go right into her concert performance.

Keeping Up WithThe Kardashians” stars Kim, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian will host a bash inside LAX Nightclub at Luxor.  Advance tickets are $200.  Tickets can be purchased and table reservations can be made by calling 702.262.4LAX.

Reality TV stars/recent newlyweds Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt are hosting Christian Audigier The Nightclub’s inaugural New Year’s Eve soirée at Treasure Island. Advance tickets are $150.  Tickets can be purchased and table reservations can be made by calling 702.894.7580 or visiting

Ashlee Simpson-Wentz and Pete Wentz host an exhilarating New Year’s Eve celebration at PURE Nightclub inside Caesars Palace. Doors open at 9 p.m. Advance tickets are $200.  Tickets can be purchased and table reservations can be made by calling 702.731.7873 or visiting

Studio 54 at MGM Grand is hosting The Ultimate New Year’s Eve Dance Party.  The exclusive celebration will feature a Spectacular balloon drop, confetti blasts, party favors, a diverse mix of music from 70s disco era to eclectic house blends and complimentary open bar from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., The ticket price which include admission, open bar and party favors are $100 in advance and $150 at the door. Doors open at 9 p.m. A limited number of tables are available for guests purchasing bottle service. For reservations, call Studio 54 at 702.891.7279

Tabú Ultra Lounge inside MGM Grand presents an upscale end-of-the-year celebration with complimentary champagne bar from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., party favors and electrifying house beats by Tabú’s resident DJ Jose 2 Hype. Tickets are $150 in advance and $200 at the door. Doors open at 9 p.m. A limited number of tables are available for guests purchasing bottle service. For reservations, call Tabú at 702.891.7129.  Guests must be 21 years of age or older.

McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino is offering one of the best New Year’s Eve deals in town - $100 per person for unlimited food and cocktails, and $200 table reservations. The party kicks off at 9 p.m. and the open bar will last until 1 a.m. Call 702-270-6200 for more information.

Celebrity sightings:

Wednesday night, December 17, both the BYU and University of Arizona Football teams attended the 7 pm performance STOMP OUT LOUD at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. STOMP was the official sponsor of the 2008 Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl. After the performance, four football players from each team were invited on stage for a private lesson from the STOMP OUT LOUD cast on "how to Stomp."



On Friday night, repeat visitor Kevin Federline, along with a group of friends and his new girlfriend, was spotted at LAVO inside The Palazzo. 

I will be back next week with more of what’s “happening” in and around Las Vegas.






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