If your vacation taste is "Hawaiian getaway" but your budget will only get you as far as Fremont Street, this is your lucky weekend.
Downtown's California Hotel is hosting the 13th annual Lei Day Polynesian Festival, two days filled with mahalo, flower necklaces, hula dancing, poi and all things Hawaiian and Polynesian. And it's free and family friendly.
The festival kicks off Saturday at 9 a.m. with a variety of activities that celebrate Hawaiian culture, says Kevin Kaneshiro, sales manager for Vacations Hawaii, Boyd Gaming.
There will be vendors, entertainers, food booths, and arts and crafts booths set up in the parking venue off of Stewart Avenue and Main Street, with demonstrations of the best of Hawaiian culture and food, Kaneshiro says.
Attendees can learn how to hula dance or play the ukulele from experts, who will show off their crafts at the festival. Kids will have options to choose from, too, including clown demonstrations and other kid-oriented events.
Sunday will be filled with similar activities, Kaneshiro says. Sunday's activities also begin at 9 a.m.
Las Vegas is a good location for a Hawaiian culture and food festival, Kaneshiro says, because "there are more Hawaiians in Las Vegas than any other city on the mainland."
The California Hotel has become a favorite spot among the local Hawaiian community as well as for tourists from the islands.
The two-day event also will showcase Polynesian, Korean, Filipino and Japanese cultural items and food.
A concert Saturday at 7:15 p.m. will feature Hawaiian recording artists Darren Benitez and Eric Lee. Jordan Segundo, an "American Idol" season 2 Top 36 finalist, also will perform. Tickets for the concert cost $15 in advance and $20 at the gate. To purchase advance tickets, call 388-2705.
Contact reporter Sonya Padgett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-4564.