Las Vegas Correspondence – September 2019


Blues, bodies or backyards: which one appeals to you?

It’s the beginning of autumn and cooler weather. Although Las Vegas never cools down, between the weather and the excitement highs, the festivals and concerts start ramping up. Most of you will be visiting The Strip and Downtown Fremont Street Experience when you are in town. For variety, you should try, at least, one of the following entertainment ideas on the outskirts of town.

If you attended the Blues Concert Series for the last few years at The Plaza in Downtown Las Vegas you will know that this is the event to attend this year for Blues fans.  The Hard Rock Hotel is hosting the Big Blues Bender for four days, beginning September 5th through the 8th.

While the prices might not seem realistic to you, keep in mind this is like a day and night immersion of blues at four different locations in the Hard Rock, starting from 11:45 a.m. until 5 a.m.  (I did say 5:00 a.m.!) based on the group performing and the date.  The days and times are listed here:

A 4-day pass is $499 per person but does not include a hotel room.  There are 1-day passes starting at $132 on Thursday and $172 for Friday, Saturday or Sunday.  You can also book a room with the package, which runs into the $1,000’s, especially if you are staying and going as a couple.  Unless you absolutely want to be at the Hard Rock for four days, you are better off staying elsewhere and Ubering, Lyfting or shuttling in or out.  Or if you have not already heard, the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas will be closing its doors in February 2020.  Maybe you will want to stay here one last time, before the Virgin Hotels remodels it and changes its name.

Have you missed the Harvest Festival that used to be held at Cashman Center?  Well, miss it no more!  For the second year in a row, it is being held at the World Market Center on Grand Central Parkway.  This is their 47th year of arts and crafts festivals throughout the region.  It will be set up in Pavilion 1 this year, which has room for 870 booths.  (The World Market Center has 3 Pavilions.)  The festival makes a tour from September through December, winding through Las Vegas and, then, several cities in California.

The festival is open Friday, September 6th through Sunday, September 8th, starting at 10 a.m. each day and running until 5 p.m. on Friday and Sunday and 6 p.m. on Saturday.  Admission prices are good for all three days.  You pay on Friday and can come back Saturday and Sunday, as long as you remember to get a stamp before leaving the facility and don’t wash off the stamp before going back.

General admission is $9 for those over 17, $7 for Seniors 62+ and Military (identification past or present required), $4 for children 13 through 17 and free for those 12 years and younger.  Note:  No parking fee was established as of the writing of this article.  In 2018, there was a $5 parking fee, and most activities being held at the World Market Center have paid parking.

They always have a food court and entertainment, both in the area of the food court and walking throughout the festival.  While you can probably find $2-off coupons for the General, Senior and Military prices, in the local Las Vegas Review Journal newspaper you can also receive this discount if you bring in canned food, paper products or diapers to donate to the Safe Nest organization.

The Home Improvement and Backyard Expo will also be taking place Friday through Sunday, September 6th through the 8th, at The Orleans Hotel & Casino in their arena.  Yes, this is a locals type of event, but you can attend the seminars, presentations and visit the booths to pick up tips on changes you can make in and around your home, when you finally get back after visiting Las Vegas.  As I say, never miss an opportunity to learn something new.

Doors open at 10 a.m. all days and will stay open until 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 4 p.m. on Sunday.  General admission is $5, with Seniors and Military free on Friday and children ages 12 and under free each day.  Parking is always plentiful, in the garage and outdoors, and free at The Orleans.

And if you are still around from September 11th through the 14th, the Orleans Arena will be hosting Joe Weider’s Olympia Fitness & Performance Weekend with Mr. & Mr. Olympia bodybuilding contests, judging and finals.  This is a thoroughly professional weekend of body types that will amaze and leave you speechless, in some cases.  Kind of makes you want to go on a diet and pump irons before attending, doesn’t it?

For Wednesday’s and Thursday’s Amateur Divisions and Meet The Olympians the prices start at $63.25 (includes tax & fees) and can be ordered online with free will call at the arena and/or printed at home, or you can have them mailed for an additional charge.  Friday and Saturday finals start at $89.90 (includes tax & fees).

If you happen to be in the south end of town from September 18th through the 21st and you love, absolutely love horses, South Point Arena is the site of the Andalusian World Cup, once again, for 2019.  Of course, the South Point Arena is home to several equestrian events throughout the year, including the National Rodeo Finals events held in December each year in Las Vegas.

This event brings Iberian breeds from any recognized registry across the world to showcase their horsemanship, with riders competing for prizes, trophies, cash, show saddles and blankets, and the top Supreme Champion title.

Admission and parking are free, with competition throughout each day beginning at 8 a.m. and ending at 8 p.m.

— Pauline Cimoch



When Diamond Jack traveled Europe, his favorite adventure was discovering classic European cafés and enjoying exquisite pastries and artisan breads. He has found a similar café at 8390 W. Sahara Ave.: La Belle Terre Bakery & Café. It opens daily at 7 a.m. Enjoy Chocolate Banana French Toast with Nutella, banana and homemade whipped cream on brioche; Strawberry Banana Crepe; Montmartre Crepe with chicken, Swiss cheese, spinach, mushrooms, and onions; a collection of Soufflé and Quiches; French Onion Soup; Caprese Panini; and select from a delicious selection of croissants, Danishes, rolls and cakes, along with a café au lait or Iced Frappe. or 702-685-7712.  Vive La Belle Terre!

Diamond Jack is a fan of Legends in Concert, the longest-running show in Las Vegas now playing at the Tropicana. Since its debut in 1983, Legends in Concert has earned countless entertainment industry awards, and its newest show has tributes to Steve Wonder, Adele, Elvis, Cyndi Lauper, and Rod Stewart — and maybe even a surprise entertainer. The show captures the music, fashion and memories of these legends and also dazzles with historic showgirl costumes from iconic Vegas productions that create a special tribute to the showgirl glamour that is synonymous with the Entertainment Capital of the World.  Legends in Concert performs Monday through Saturday (dark Sunday) at 7:30 p.m.

If you’re going to be in Las Vegas this fall and enjoy being outdoors, then consider volunteering at the 37th annual Shriners Hospitals for Children Golf Open at TPC Summerlin, Sept. 30 – Oct. 6. Volunteers perform many tasks, including standard bearers, caddie services, admissions, and walking scorers.  Experience in golf and knowledge of the game is not required. Volunteers receive an invitation to the Appreciation Party, a week-long tournament access badge, a commemorative pin, meals during shifts, and appreciation gift. Each volunteer is required to purchase a volunteer uniform ($75) that includes polo-style golf shirt, jacket, baseball cap or visor.

A woman walked into the kitchen to find her husband with a fly swatter.

“What are you doing?” she asked.

“Hunting flies,” he responded.

“Killing any?” she asked.

“Yep, three males and two females,” he replied.

Intrigued, she asked, “How can you tell them apart?”

“That’s easy,” he responded.  “Three were on a beer can and two were on the phone.”

  — Diamond Jack Bulavsky


The Manhattans will perform at the Orleans

The Manhattans will headline The Orleans showroom on Saturday, Sept. 7 at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $19.95.

The group was formed in 1962 and released their first single “For The Very First Time” in 1964. After lead singer Smith became ill, Gerald Alston was recruited as the new lead vocalist.

Together, the band released several top-charting songs, including their Platinum-selling No. 1 hit “Kiss and Say Goodbye.” The Manhattans’ success continued with release of hit ballads “There’s No Me Without You,” “Don’t Take Your Love,” “I Kinda Miss You” and “Hurt,” as well as with the songs “Feels So Good” and “You’re My Life.” In 1980, the group won a Grammy Award for their hit single “Shining Star,” and they were inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame in 1999.

Cesar Millan Premieres “My Story: Unleashed” at MGM Grand

Cesar Millan, the world’s most celebrated dog behaviorist, is bringing his remarkable life story to the stage with his one-man show “Cesar Millan – My Story: Unleashed.” The world premiere of Millan’s inspiring journey ranging from humble beginnings in rural Mexico, traveling to America, and crossing the border with $100 and a dream to become the greatest dog trainer in the world, will be performed Sept. 12-18 in the David Copperfield Theater at the MGM Grand. Tickets start at $45.

Millan, a gifted storyteller, will share his struggles, successes and passion for transforming families and their lives with his innovative approach to canine discipline. He has more than 25 years of animal behaviorist experience and an Emmy Award-nominated television series.

For the past two decades, people globally have grown to trust Millan through his television shows, “The Dog Whisperer,” “Dog Nation,” and “Cesar 911,” as well as more than 12 million social media followers. Millan has written nine New York Times bestsellers and tours the world with his live shows.

Tony Bennett will visit the Venetian

Tony Bennett, the 19-time Grammy Award winner whose music career spans more than six decades, will headline an exclusive, “I Left My Heart in Las Vegas,” engagement at The Venetian® Resort Sept. 25, 27 and 28 at 8 p.m. Bennett’s daughter, Antonia Bennett, will open with a collection of jazz/pop standards. Tickets start at $49.95.

Bennett’s life embodies the Great American Story. He celebrated his 93rd birthday on Aug. 3, while his career as the pre-eminent singer of the 20th and 21st centuries is unprecedented. Through his artistry, Bennett has connected in unprecedented fashion with all generations of audiences.

In addition to his music, Bennett has been a visual artist all his life. His artwork is in museums and galleries around the world and three of his paintings are part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institute. He has authored six books, including his most recent, “Tony Bennett: On Stage and In The Studio.”

“Storm” Area 51 Basecamp is for Believers

On Friday, Sept. 20 the Alien Research Center on the Extraterrestrial Highway, about 109 miles outside Las Vegas, will be basecamp for believers as prominent ufologists, expert speakers, musicians and artists will gather to celebrate the ‘Storm’ Area 51 movement. What began from a tongue-in-cheek meme to “Storm Area 51 – They Can’t Stop Us All,” has ignited a global cultural movement to call for greater transparency around what many believe to be decades of government secrecy surrounding UFO technology.

The two-day event, Sept. 21-21 will feature live music, expert speakers, food trucks, Alien-inspired retailers and art installations. There will be exclusive screenings and appearances by the cast of Jeremy Kenyon Lockyer Corbell’s Netflix documentary “Bob Lazar: Area 51 & Flying Saucers.” Additional featured speakers include an appearance by “Rogue Warrior” Dick Marcinko, a retired U.S. Navy Seal commander who will share his story of a UFO sighting while conducting a covert mission.

Festival goers will also have additional opportunities for learning when they explore the Alien Research Center’s Earth Station – Area 51 exhibit or are treated to some stargazing.

Both one-day and two-day passes are available for the ‘Storm’ Area 51 Basecamp festivities. A limited number of on-site accommodations are possible for those seeking to attend both days. Accommodation types include tent sites for campers, RV parking and a VIP “glamping” experience. A list of preferred hotel partners will be available on the ‘Storm’ Area 51 Basecamp website. Passes are $51 per person and include parking, two bottles of water, a $10 food truck voucher and commemorative lanyard.

— Jackie Brett




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