With more than 40 hotels, casinos and resorts providing
lavish shows, you don't have to look hard for diversion
in Las Vegas. In addition to the offerings of various
casinos, there's the nightly Fremont Street Experience
light-and-sound show, held in a pedestrian mall (every
hour on the hour, 6 pm-midnight). The events listed below
are in addition to Resort/Casino-related offerings.
January: Las Vegas Marathon. More than 7,500 runners compete
in the full marathon (26.2 mi/42 km), half-marathon (13.1
mi/21 km) and 5K Friendship Run. A post-marathon party
and health-and-fitness expo are also part of the festivities.
For information, call 702-240-2722.
February—World Archery Festival. Archers compete
in the first leg of the new 3 Star Tour for one of the
largest purses offered in indoor archery competitions.
Also a trade show with the newest equipment and accessories
in the archery industry. Riviera Hotel and Casino, 2901
Las Vegas Blvd. S. For information, call 909-794-8512,
or toll-free 888-739-4527 or 800-811-2331.
March: St. Patrick's Day Celebration. This two-day celebration
of Irish heritage features the Sons of Erin Parade along
Fourth Street, Celtic- and Irish-themed music on two stages,
green beer, a block party and more. The Fremont Street
Experience. For information, call 702-678-5777, or toll-free
Marc: Laughlin River Stampede Rodeo. The country's best
cowboys compete in various contests in this PRCA-sanctioned
event. Laughlin Events Grounds, Laughlin (90 miles south
of Las Vegas). For information, call 719-589-9444, or
the Laughlin Chamber of Commerce toll-free at 800-227-5245.
Continues through early April
March: NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch Series Racing. More
than 100,000 spectators are anticipated at the Nextel
Cup UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 and Busch Series Sam's Town
300. Las Vegas Motor Speedway, 7000 Las Vegas Blvd. N.
For information and tickets, call 702-644-4444 or 702-644-4443.
March: Race Jam Weekend. Five city blocks are filled with
a classic car show, a demonstration racetrack, appearances
by NASCAR drivers, entertainment on two stages and more.
For information, call 702-678-5777, or toll-free 800-249-3559.
April through early September: Minor-League Baseball.
The Las Vegas 51s, a Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles
Dodgers, play regular-season home games at Cashman Field,
850 Las Vegas Blvd. N. For information and tickets, call
702-386-7200. For tickets, call Ticketmaster at 702-798-7825
April: World Cup Show Jumping. Show jumping's prestigious
World Cup championship comes to Las Vegas with more than
40 top international competitors. Thomas and Mack Center,
4505 Maryland Parkway, UNLV campus. For information, call
702-260-8605. For tickets, call toll-free 866-388-3267.
April: City of Lights Jazz Festival. A lineup of top national
jazz musicians performs for 10 hours in Desert Breeze
Park with a view of the Las Vegas skyline. Spring Mountain
and Durango roads. For information, call 702-228-3780.
For tickets, call toll-free 800-969-8342.
April: Laughlin River Run. The West Coast's largest motorcycle
show features stunt demonstrations, a trade show and traveling
museum, along with casino games and live entertainment.
Along the Colorado River, Laughlin For information and
tickets, call 714-694-2800, or toll-free 800-357-8223.
Mid April: Golf. Top female golfers from around the world
compete for US$1.1 million. Las Vegas Country Club, 3000
Joe W. Brown Drive. For information and tickets, call
April (date varies each year depending on the liturgical
calendar): Mardi Gras Festival. This free annual festival
celebrates Mardis Gras Vegas-style with elaborate parades,
sound-and-light shows, live entertainment on three stages
and more. The Fremont Street Experience. For information,
call 702-260-8605, 702-678-5600, or toll-free 800-249-3559.
Early-Late May: Laughlin Mile Dragon Boat Challenge. This
ancient Chinese sport comes to Laughlin as local and international
teams of 20 rowers, a steersman and a drummer paddle 44-ft.
-long Chinese war canoes down 1 mi/1.5 km of the Colorado
River. The best viewing spot is the River Walk, where
a cultural festival with drumming contests takes place.
90 miles south of Las Vegas. For information, call the
Laughlin Chamber of Commerce toll-free at 800-227-5245.
May: Las Vegas Cruise. This annual event showcases pre-1972
classic cars in the Show and Shine, in addition to a poker
run, photo ops with the owners and drivers of vintage
cars, and other free entertainment. The Freemont Street
Experience. For information, call 702-678-5777, or toll-free
Early May: Cinco de Mayo. This commemoration of the 1862
Battle of Puebla showcases the Banda Festival with well-known
bands performing. Organized by the Mexican Patriotic Committee.
Freedom Park, Washington and Mojave. For information,
Mid June: National Open Chess Tournament. Dozens of national
and international chess masters of all ages compete in
nine sections, including a qualifier for the U.S. championship.
Riviera Hotel and Casino, 2901 Las Vegas Blvd. S. For
information and tickets, call 702-734-5110, or toll-free
5-15 August: International Police and Fire Games. Las
Vegas hosts these biennial games with police, fire and
military personnel and their spouses from around the world
competing in more than 40 sports events, ranging from
baseball, basketball, swimming and cycling to skeet, horseshoes,
darts, bench-pressing and arm wrestling. Various venues.
For information, call 702-259-6350, 702-259-6351, or toll-free
August: Harvest Festival. More than 200 exhibitors showcase
handmade crafts and specialty foods. Cashman Center, 850
Las Vegas Blvd. N. For information, call 707-778-6300,
or toll-free 800-321-1213.
August and September: Minor-League Baseball. The Las Vegas
51s, a Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers,
play regular-season home games at Cashman Field, 850 Las
Vegas Blvd. N. For information and tickets, call 702-386-7200.
For tickets, call Ticketmaster at 702-798-7825 or 702-474-4000.
Early-Late September—through May: Performance. The
University of Nevada, Las Vegas Performing Arts Center
draws national and international ensembles and artists
in opera, ballet, classical music, jazz and other performing
arts. Corner of Maryland Parkway and Cottage Grove Street,
UNLV campus. For information and tickets, call 702-895-2787
September: Las Vegas Bike Fest. Events include a motorcycle
show, the world's strongest biker competition, rock concerts
on Freemont Street and a custom bike show with more than
100 entries. Fremont Street Experience and other downtown
venues. For information, call 702-450-7662, or toll-free
September: Las Vegas International Mariachi Festival.
This annual one-day festival showcases the sounds of the
classic Mexican guitar, accompanied by traditional Latin
vocals and performed by some of the world's finest mariachis.
Aladdin Resort & Casino Theatre for the Performing
Arts, 3667 Las Vegas Blvd. S. For information and tickets,
call toll-free 800-637-1006.
19 September: Ho'olaule'a. Festival celebrating the culture
of the Pacific Islands, with entertainment, crafts demonstrations
and other activities. Lorenzi Park, 3333 W. Washington
Ave. For information, call 702-382-6939.
September: Mexican Independence Day Celebration. One of
the city's two largest community Hispanic events features
a Mariachi Fieston with groups from Arizona, California
and Mexico performing, along with Mexican arts and crafts
and food booths. Organized by the Mexican Patriotic Committee.
Freedom Park, Washington and Mojave. For information,
September: NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. The Las Vegas
Speedway hosts the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Las Vegas
350. For information and tickets, call 702-644-4444 or
September—May: Dance. Nevada Ballet Theatre presents
classic and contemporary balles at the Judy Bayley Theatre,
UNLV campus, and other venues. For schedule and venue
information, call 702-243-2623. For tickets to most performances,
call the UNLV Box Office at 702-895-2787
Mid September: San Gennaro Feast. This popular celebration
of Italian-American culture features an ethnic food festival,
carnival midway, live entertainment from national names
and children's activities. Corner of South Rampart Boulevard
and Alta Drive. For information, call 702-286-4944.
September: Great American Motorcycle Experience. Motorcyclists,
dealers and manufacturers participate in the Motorcross
Championship and road, dirt, drag and desert racing, in
addition to demonstrations, concerts and fireworks. Las
Vegas Motor Speedway, 7000 Las Vegas Blvd. N. For information,
call toll-free 800-202-8832. For tickets, call 702-644-4444,
or Ticketmaster at 702-474-2000.
Oct—Nevada Day. Public holiday.
September; early October: Professional Bull Riders World
Finals. The top 45 national bull riders compete in the
Pro Bull Riders championship. For information, call 719-471-3008.
Mandalay Bay Events Center, 3950 Las Vegas Blvd. S., and
Thomas and Mack Center, 4505 S. Maryland Parkway, UNLV
campus. For tickets, call the Mandalay Bay box office
toll-free at 877-632-7400,
October—April: ECHL Hockey. The Las Vegas Wranglers
play regular-season home games at the Orleans Arena, 400
W. Tropicana Ave. For information, call 702-471-7825.
For tickets, call 702-284-7777, or toll-free 888-234-2334.
October - Continues through early May: The Las Vegas Philharmonic,
one of the newest and largest arts organizations in Nevada,
performs classical-music concerts at Artemus W. Ham Concert
Hall, UNLV campus. For information and tickets, call 702-258-5438
November: Aviation Nation. The largest free public event
in Nevada features the USAF Thunderbirds Air Demonstration
Squadron and the second-largest air-racing event in the
U.S. Flying demonstrations by U.S. military and civilian
performers. Ground displays showcase more than 100 vintage
and new-model aircraft. Nevis Air Force Base. For information,
call 402-652-7556, 702-652-5697 or 702-497-9885.
28-30 November - early December: Miss Rodeo America. Preceeding
the National Finals Rodeo, Miss Rodeo America Inc. crowns
its scholarship winner in this annual rodeo competition.
Orleans Hotel and Arena, 4500 W. Tropicana Ave. For information
and tickets, call 719-948-9206.
December—Holiday Festival. This festival kicks off
with a tree-lighting ceremony and includes appearances
by Santa Claus and live entertainment. Live theatrical
shows on two stages continue throughout the monthlong
festival. The Freemont Street Experience. For information,
call toll-free 800-249-3559.
December: Downtown Hoedown. The 17th Annual Downtown Hoedown
kicks off the National Finals Rodeo with music from top
country singers on stages along five blocks. The Freemont
Street Experience. For information, call 702-678-5777,
or toll-free 800-249-3559.
December: Cowboy Christmas Gift Show. At the National
Finals Rodeo's crafts show, approximately 400 exhibitors
display a variety of western-themed gifts, including western
clothing from spurs to belts, jewelry, southwest Native
American arts and crafts and pottery, and official PRCA
souvenirs. Also rodeo contestant and celebrity autograph
sessions, fashion shows and other entertainment. North
Hall, Las Vegas Convention Center, 3150 Paradise Road.
For information, call 702-260-8605.
December: National Finals Rodeo. Top national rodeo contestants
compete for big prize money in the world's premier rodeo.
Also fashion and awards shows, country-music concerts,
bronco and bull sales, a golf tournament and more. Thomas
and Mack Center, UNLV campus, and other venues. Tickets
may be hard to come by. For tickets, call 702-260-8605,
or toll-free 866-388-3267.
31 December: America's Party New Year's Eve. This large
New Year's Eve celebration features a spectacular fireworks
show over a 5-mi/8-km stretch of the Strip and live concerts
by international superstars. For information, call 702-206-8605.