The following article was written as if the Las Vegas community has not endured two recent tragedies, the Nov. 30 killing of two Nevada State Troopers on Interstate 15 (Mike and Judi Abbate, the parents of one of the men killed, are my neighbors) and the killing Dec. 6 of three faculty members at UNLV, the University of Las Vegas. The story was originally drafted the morning of the second tragedy. The story is being run now as a tribute to the many fine Las Vegas people whose hearts are broken, but who very positively will continue to contribute to many good times in Las Vegas.
When my Uncle Buzzy moved to Florida and my parents announced we would meet in Florida for Christmas, I was disappointed. Christmas in Florida? No snow? No cold weather? I was Midwestern born and bred and I couldn’t imagine celebrating this precious holiday in Florida.
How wrong I was … I couldn’t believe how many lawn decorations there were in Florida. We also attended a long colorful boat parade with every boat decorated for the holidays. Altogether, a great time … and yes, I learned a thing or two.
Folks who plan a trip to as Vegas at Christmas may have the same misgivings. Christmas in Las Vegas? Yep, and it seems to never end.
In the last week, I have attended several celebrations of the coming holiday and we still have three weeks to go.
A friend invited me a week ago Saturday to their senior center to see a performance by The Bootleggers, a senior line dance group. Some of the linedancers had known my gentleman friend Jack and they even dedicated one of their dances to him. The show was fun, full of dance and songs. I had a fine time for a gigantic cost (which included crackers, cheese and chips): $5.
That same evening, another friend invited me to The Smith Center for The Las Vegas Philharmonic “A Very Vegas Christmas”. This friend had an extra ticket so I was lucky and had an up-front seat as her guest. A wonderful evening with conductor Donato Cabrera and special Guests Keith Thompson, Travis Cloer, Vita Corimbi, Naomi Mauro and Doug Carpenter. The music couldn’t have been lovelier.
The next day, of course, a group of us went to see Clint Holmes’ Christmas Show. Yes, the sold-out show was familiar with a few new twists. Sonny Charles was a delightful new guest and the student choir from the Las Vegas Academy became the school’s alumni choir and they were great. Clint still sings beautifully as do his wife and granddaughter. And I have a special love for actor Antonio Fargas and his reading with Holmes. Loved the show.
Then Sunday night, the holiday songs were by Rita Lim, as gorgeous and gracious as ever, in the Tuscany’s Piazza lounge. (No cost; but drinks and food are available.). Rita looked great in a sparkling orange dress and she not only greeted everyone in her audience as she is wont to do; she also posed for photos and sang a variety of holiday songs.
And then last Tuesday, a group of us turned up at the Firelight Barn on Boulder Highway for a holiday lunch and show (price $25). Everybody who hadn’t pre-ordered something else, received the same tasty pulled pork sandwich with BBQ sauce, salad and baked beans for lunch and the fixings for a marshmallow and chocolate s’more for dessert. “Mama’s Wranglers” (Mama Toni Skeary and children Tess, Grayden and Skyler) then presented a small holiday show which was much fun, I won one of the holiday stockings they were raffling and the day couldn’t have been better.. The Firelight Barn has been in business a long time and sadly, this was only my second visit. Some big-name local stars appear there on weekends. I will return.
Yep, Christmas comes to Las Vegas — on the Strip and in the neighborhoods. Other regular show-goers will have their own lists of favorite outings….so much to choose from.
Happy holidays, one and all! Now time for a rodeo!