WRANGLER NATIONAL FINALS RODEO WEEK NEWS!
The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR), which has been in Las Vegas since 1985, holds the actual rodeo action at the Thomas & Mack Center on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus. Each of the 10 days, audience's witness the top 15 money winners compete in each of seven different events: bull riding, bareback riding, calf roping, saddle bronc riding, team roping, steer wrestling, and barrel racing. The whole city goes country with shows and parties.
If you don't have rodeo tickets, there a couple viewing party choices that are nightly Dec. 1-10. The Downtown Las Vegas Events Center (DLVEC), a 20,000-square-foot venue space, will be transformed into a country-themed celebration with free entry, live-action viewing parties, food options, and nightly entertainment. The Wrangler NFR Countdown Show and Live Viewing Party at the MGM Grand will have Jen and Stran Smith offering a behind-the-scenes look at previous night's rides plus interviews with rodeo legends, musicians, prizes from Wrangler and MGM and much more. Tickets start at $15.
Old Dominion and Sawyer Brown will headline the 30th Annual Downtown Hoedown, a free event downtown on Wednesday, Nov. 30 that officially kicks off the WNFR week and the start of 12 Days of Country at the Fremont Street Experience. Top country talent will begin entertaining at 4:30 p.m. and end with headliner performances from Sawyer Brown at 8:40 p.m. on the 1st Street Stage and Old Dominion at 9:50 p.m. on the 3rd Street Stage. There will be additional performances from Craig Campbell, Aaron Watson, High Valley and Jackson Michelson on Fremont Street Experience's three stages.
Sawyer Brown has more than three decades of creating 50+ chart singles including country smash hits like “Some Girls Do,” “Step That Step,” “Thank God For You,” and their most recent single “We Got the Night.” Old Dominion spent their summer on Kenny Chesney's “Spread The Love Tour” and released their first full-length album “Meat and Candy.”
The most vested hotel in WNFR headliner entertainment is the Golden Nugget with 10 p.m. shows at the Grand Event Center that follow the actual rodeo. The awesome lineup includes: Dec. 1 Terri Clark, the first Canadian woman inducted into the Grand Ole Opry; Dec. 2-3 Lynyrd Skynyrd; Dec. 4 Tanya Tucker with her trademark song “Delta Dawn;” Dec. 5 Brenda Lee; Dec. 6 Charlie Daniels Band; Dec. 7 38 Special; Dec. 8 A Wynonna & The Big Noise Christmas; and Dec. 9 Trace Adkins.
Other phenomenal about town headliners will include: Reba Brooks & Dunn “Together in Vegas” at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace with 7:30 p.m. shows Nov. 30, Dec. 2-3, 7, 9 and 10; George Strait at T-Mobile Arena on Dec. 2-3 at 8 p.m.; Toby Keith on Friday, Dec. 9 at the MGM Grand at 9 p.m. followed by Tim McGraw on Saturday, Dec. 10; and Dec. 1-10 Rodney Carrington with his “Here Comes The Truth” show at 10 p.m.
Country singer Frankie Ballard will bring his hits “Young & Wild” and “Sunshine and Whiskey” to the live music venue The Foundry at SLS during the 2016 National Finals Rodeo on Friday, Dec. 2. Grammy® Award-winning singer, songwriter Jennifer Nettles will follow on Saturday, Dec. 3. Tickets start at $42.50.
At Vinyl inside the Hard Rock Hotel, shows will be at 10 p.m. featuring the following acts with a cover charge: Dec. 2 Mark Wills; Dec. 3 Sam Riggs; Dec. 7 American Icon: and Johnny Cash Tribute starring Doug Allen Nash. Acts with no cover charge include: Dec. 4-5 Thrillbilly Deluxe; CJ Simmons Dec. 6 and 8; Dec. 9-10 Seth Turner and The High Desert Drifters.
Rodeo time also means shopping! The Cowboy Christmas Gift Show is the longest running and only “original” gift show of the WNFR. Running Dec.1-10, the show is open daily from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. in the North Halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center. More than 300,000 square feet of show floor hosts 400 plus vendors from across the United States and Canada offering a vast selection of products including customized jewelry, western wear, boots and spurs, saddles, roping gear, furniture, original art, handmade crafts, as well as a great selection of Official Wrangler NFR and PRCA merchandise.
The Nevada Barbecue Association will hold its fourth annual Downtown Throwdown Barbecue Championships on Dec. 9-10 during the WNFR. The prize money is $10,000.
The event features a Chili Cook-Off on Friday night and Barbecue Cook-Off, in which the public is invited to enjoy samples.
Crazy Horse III will host for “Chicks ‘n' Chaps,” a rodeo celebration with Jack Daniels, Bud Beer and Jack Fire shot specials Dec. 1-10. With proof of rodeo attendance, there's complimentary entry as well as a Jack Daniels or Bud Beer beverage.
Shows giving folks a break from the rodeo include: Dec. 2-3 Adam Sandler, Norm Macdonald, Rob Schneider, & Tim Meadows and Surprise Special Guests at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel at 9 p.m.; and Maxwell and Mary J. Blige with their “King and Queen of Hearts Tour” at T-Mobile Arena on Friday, Dec. 9.
ORLEANS ARENA HOSTS ‘CIRQUE MUSICA HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR’
The “Cirque Musica Holiday Spectacular” will bring family fun and holiday spirit to the Orleans Arena on Wednesday, Dec. 14. A portion of the show's proceeds will benefit The Public Education Foundation. Showtime is at 7:30 p.m. and tickets start at $29.
This show features an incredible assortment of acrobats, aerialists and hijinks, all set to the tune of classic holiday songs performed live by the Las Vegas Philharmonic orchestra featuring 76 contracted professional musicians and led by music director Donato Cabrera.
FAST ENTERTAINMENT CLIPS
Mentioned last week Bruno Mars will start the North American leg of his 24K Magic Tour at the T-Mobile Arena Saturday, July 15, 2017. Already due to popular demand, Mars has added two Las Vegas performance dates at Park Theater at Monte Carlo over Labor Day Weekend on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 2-3.
“You Light Up My Life” songstress Debby Boone will return to the Suncoast Showroom with her “Swing This” show on Dec. 9-10. In 2008, Billboard's 50th Anniversary All-Time Chart-Topping Songs ranked Boone's 1977 hit song at No. 7. In June 2013, Boone released her 13th album, “Swing This.” Tickets are available from $17.50.
Hakkasan Group's newest addition to its 2017 talent lineup is German-bred musician Anton Zaslavsi, better known as Zedd. The multi-platinum selling artist with the hit “Clarity” will make his debut Saturday, Jan. 7 at OMNIA Nightclub inside Caesars Palace.
VENETIAN HOLDS EXTRAVAGANT WEEKEND CULINARY EVENT ‘ULTIMO’
Extravagant culinary event Ultimo - A Weekend of Excellence with the theme “Le Grand Voyage,” will be held Dec. 9-11. This will be the fourth-annual event hosted by The Venetian and The Palazzo with include lavish feasts and exceptional experiences from an all-star lineup of chefs and wineries from around the world and be the most ambitious to date. Packages cost $4,551 and $5,751 per couple.
Several unique experiences will include: the Rolls-Royce driving experience; a hot-air balloon ride and Dom Perignon picnic at Red Rock Canyon National Recreation Area, located 20 miles from the Las Vegas Strip; and a Louis Vuitton fashion experience at the resort's new boutique.
A highlight of the weekend will include the return of the signature event The Venetian's Grand Banquet, a landmark collaboration between several of the world's best chefs, including renowned culinary luminaries Chefs Thomas Keller, Jérôme Bocuse, Emma Bengtsson, Curtis Stone, Ming Tsai, Vikram Vij, Pierre Thiam, Paul Bartolotta and Shaun Hergatt.
A portion of the proceeds from the weekend-long event will benefit ment'or BKB Foundation, a nonprofit organization devoted to inspiring culinary excellence in young professionals and preserving the traditions and quality of cuisine in America.
TOP OF NEXT COLUMN
NEXT MAY WILL EXPLODE WITH MOTOCROSS AND SUPERCROSS RACING
The AMSOIL Arenacross featuring intense motocross racing will be held Friday, May 5 at the Orleans Arena at 8 p.m. with tickets starting at $29. Fearless and highly talented athletes will compete on man-made dirt battlegrounds built inside arenas for 19 nights of high-speed, high flying racing competition in 13 different states with the finals taking place in Las Vegas.
The 2017 Monster Energy AMA Supercross will be held Saturday, May 6 with a Pit Party opening at noon and opening ceremonies at 6 p.m. at Sam Boyd Stadium. Tickets start at $46.
An American original, this championship is part aerial excitement and part high-speed chase on the track. In addition, Monster Energy Supercross establishes itself as an all-day affair by starting with the pre-race Pit Party with unprecedented access to the athletes, their teams, and supporting sponsors for a lifestyle event. Entry to the Pit Party costs just $10 at the gate.
‘CHRISTMAS CROONER’ WILL BE HOLIDAY BENEFIT SHOW AT WESTGATE
The inaugural star-studded holiday benefit show “Christmas Crooner” will be held at the Westgate on Sunday, Dec. 18 at 3 p.m. in the Westgate International Theater. The show will feature performances from “Million Dollar Quartet” star Marc D. Donovan and special guests, including the Swing City Dolls, Clint Holmes, Chris Phillips, Michelle Johnson, Graham Fenton and Justin Shandor, among others. All proceeds from the event will be donated directly to nonprofit Foster Change to provide support, resources and empowerment for foster, kinship, and adoptive families of Southern Nevada. Tickets are $34.75, $49.75, and $64.75.
Donovan is known for his role as Sam Phillips in “Million Dollar Quartet” at Harrah's as well as his role as Sheriff Ramsey on the HBO series “Boardwalk Empire.” However, Donovan's most important role to date has been that of a foster parent.
It was a surprise that the 200-room Lucky Dragon hotel-casino, the first resort built from the ground up in Las Vegas since The Cosmopolitan was completed in 2010, opened earlier than its Dec. 3 date when celebratory events will be held. Dominate is the good luck 1-1/4-ton glass dragon sculpture centerpiece that’s 23-feet tall. The property has five restaurants on the atrium level and houses a tea garden with its own tea sommelier.
The Hard Rock Cafe on Paradise Road built in 1990 with the jumbo corner Guitar sign will close Dec. 31. Maybe the closing was inevitable after Hard Rock International in 2009 opened the three-story café on the Strip with the LIVE third-floor music venue, outdoor balcony dining, the world’s largest Rock Shop, and an interactive Rock Wall.
Even on the Strip, not every restaurant survives. After 19 years, the free-standing Harley-Davidson Cafe with a famous motorcycle on the building's front side closed for good last month.
The “hypnotic” entertainer Kevin Lepine is celebrating his one-year anniversary on Wednesday, Dec. 7 at Binion's Gambling Hall downtown with his hypnosis show infused with stand-up comedy nightly except Monday at 8:30 p.m.
“Country Superstars” tribute show at Hooters closed last week, just missing the rodeo coming to town.
GRACEDBYGRIT, a high-performance women's athletic apparel company conceived during a run between two entrepreneurs and based in Solana Beach, Calif., is open at Tivoli Village. Founded in 2013, all manufacturing is done in San Diego with fabrics imported from Italy.
Rockhouse Las Vegas, the “ultra-dive bar” inside the Venetian, is enjoying its tenth anniversary, and on Thursday nights from 9 p.m. to midnight celebrates with live-band karaoke.
Ferraro's Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar will hold a wine-pairing “Tartufi e La Spinetta” dinner on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 6:30 p.m. and feature selections from La Spinetta's Tuscany and Piedmont wineries. The menu will include four La Spinetta wine selections paired with dishes incorporating Italian white truffles. Tickets are $250, call 702-364-5300.
Entering its fifth season, Wet'n'Wild at 7055 S. Fort Apache Road is now selling 2017 Season Passes and as an added value, a Season Pass payment plan that splits the cost into three monthly installments, starting as low as $16.33. Passes on three levels are $46.99, $66.99 and $96.99.
MORE HOLIDAY SHOWS AND NEWS
The annual Las Vegas Great Santa Run, now a holiday tradition, will take place at the Fremont Street Experience on Saturday, Dec. 3 with more than 10,000 Santas competing in this race benefitting the local nonprofit organization, Opportunity Village.The Fremont Street Experience's annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will be held Tuesday, Dec. 6 with Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman and Santa Claus lighting Downtown's 50-foot tree decked with festive decorations shining below the 12.5 million lights of the Viva Vision® canopy.
“Home for the Holidays with Rita Moreno” will be held at The Smith Center on Saturday Dec. 3 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 4 at 2 p.m. This is the Las Vegas Philharmonic's traditional holiday family-friendly concert that will include Rita Moreno lending her voice to the narration of Sergei Prokofiev's timeless classic, “Peter and the Wolf.” The show will include selections from “The Nutcracker” and audience sing-a- long of holiday favorites accompanied by Las Vegas' world-class orchestra.
World-renowned Elvis Presley tribute artist and winner of major competitions, Brandon Bennett will shed the leather jumpsuits and deliver a holiday performance, “A Very Vegas Christmas,” paired with big band arrangements and classic holiday hits at the Suncoast Showroom Dec. 2-3. Tickets start at $17.50.
Aliante will feature a “Peter White Christmas” with saxophonist Rick Braun and trumpeter Euge Groove on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 8 p.m. Acoustic guitarist White has been performing contemporary jazz for four decades.Tickets start at $48.50.
There will be a Christmas Cocktail Cruise on the decorated La Contessa Yacht sailing around the 320-acre lake at the Lake Las Vegas on Friday, Dec. 2 from 7-10 p.m. The evening includes four pairings of chocolate with two custom crafted cocktails, one beer and one champagne, cheese and entertainment by the Paul Charles Band for $40. Formal attire is required and attendees must be 21.
Also at Lake Las Vegas will be and hour-long Santa Cruise perfect for children setting sail at 11 a.m. on Dec. 10 and at 1:30 on Dec. 3 and 17. Admissison is $20.
In addition, children can visit Santa Claus at the MonteLago Village gazebo from noon to 2 p.m. on Dec. 10 and from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 3 and 17. There also will be free Christmas Express train rides and $1 hot cocoa or peppermint hot cocoa at Seasons Grocery from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on those Saturdays.
A winter wonderland has arrived at The LINQ Promenade with a centerpiece 35-foot holiday tree that was lit by Donny & Marie Osmond. The holiday celebration continues with the annual Winter PARQ through Friday, Dec. 30. A winter show happens at 6 p.m. each night featuring holiday performers at the top of every hour through 10 p.m. Snow will also fall nightly across the promenade, every 30 minutes from 5 p.m. to midnight.
Fashion Outlets of Las Vegas in Primm, Nev., about a half hour drive from Las Vegas will be hosting a holiday touch with Sunday carolers strolling throughout the center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Vegas Voices will perform on Dec. 4 and 18 and the Barbershop Quartet will appear on Dec. 11.
Three award-winning Hawaiian Music Masters and ordained kahu (ministers) will share Hawaiian hymn holiday traditions at The Smith Center in Cabaret Jazz Dec. 2-3. Featured are four-time Grammy-winner and master slack key guitarist George Kahumoku Jr, National Heritage Fellow Uncle Richard Ho‘opi‘i, renowned for ‘ukulele and leo ki`eki`e (Hawaiian falsetto), and multi-award-winning slack key guitarist Kawika Kahiapo. Tickets are $35-$55.
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