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Entertainment scene more ‘beautiful’ than ever before

Downtown Las Vegas is about to get a cultural surplus come this fall, headlined by the Life is Beautiful Festival and The Smith Center for Performing Arts’ fall season.

Life is Beautiful

The festival, to be held Oct. 26 and 27, is poised to attract thousands of people from throughout the country and will feature live musical performances from an eclectic mix of musicians and bands, culinary demonstrations by top chefs, art exhibitions and diverse speakers across the downtown area. The 15-block, two-day festival is the largest public event ever held downtown.

Life is Beautiful is divided into themed sections: music is beautiful, food is beautiful, art is beautiful and learning is beautiful. Spanning across more than 15 city blocks in and around the Fremont East Entertainment District, the festival features a lineup of more than 50 internationally established and emerging bands, a large-scale, Moroccan-style bazaar with stations staffed by more than 80 chefs, mixologists and wine-makers, Cirque du Soleil performances and a fantastic lineup of speakers. Music headliners include Kings of Leon, Imagine Dragons and The Killers.

“It is an honor to be able to bring this unprecedented talent lineup to downtown Las Vegas, creating a truly one-of-a-kind festival experience,” said Rehan Choudhry, Life is Beautiful promoter and CEO of Aurelian Marketing Group. “We want to inspire the community to live out their dreams and experience all the beauty in life by promoting it through the festival.”

The highly anticipated debut of the Life is Beautiful festival is sure to be a one-of-a-kind event that brings together people from all walks of life, including foodies, hipsters and artists of all ages. Visit the Life is Beautiful website for more information at www.lifeisbeautifulfestival.com.

The Smith Center Fall Season

From the beginning, The Smith Center was envisioned as a world-class performing arts center that would enable Southern Nevada to take its place on an international stage. Home to resident companies such as the Nevada Ballet Theatre, now in its 40th season, and the Las Vegas Philharmonic, The Smith Center has now become a symbol of culture in the downtown region since its 2012 opening.

The fall 2013 Smith Center season includes Broadway tours of the highly acclaimed “War Horse” (Oct. 2-6), the musical comedy hit “Sister Act” (Oct. 15-20) and Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony Award-winning musical “Evita” (Nov. 26-Dec. 1).

Also in the entertainment mix at The Smith Center is Broadway and television star Audra McDonald, who performs Oct. 22. And Nevada Ballet Theatre’s “Swan Lake” (Oct. 31-Nov. 2) and “The Nutcracker” (Dec. 14-22) headline at The Smith Center just in time for the holidays. Visit the website for more information on ticketing and shows at www.thesmithcenter.com.

Fifth Street School

At the Fifth Street School there will be lots of cultural entertainment this fall, including the Vegas Valley Book Festival and theatrical performances. The pre-festival event for the Vegas Valley Book Festival, Sept. 28, is free and open to the public and will feature a variety of Las Vegas poets reading their works, including Mick Axelrod, Shaun Christensen, Ali Eteraz and Dana Killmeyer. The event also will be featuring special guest Gretchen Henderson, widely acclaimed for her work with new media and poetry.

On Oct. 11, Sarah Franek will perform Jeannette Walls’ “The Glass Castle,” a unique memoir of survival and resiliency told through the eyes of a young girl. The theatrical performance presented by the American Place Theatre will be directed by Wynn Handman, who also adapted the piece. Admission will be $15 at the door, and $10 in advance. For more information and other events, visit www.vegas valleybookfestival.org or www.artslasvegas.org.

Springs Preserve

At the Las Vegas Springs Preserve, the fall season kicks off Oct. 5 with the Grapes &Hops Festival, where patrons can sample fine wines and a selection of beers and food from some of Las Vegas’ finest restaurants. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Par for the Cure organization, which raises funds for breast cancer research.

Haunted Harvest is a three-weekend, family-friendly, Halloween-themed event with activities and candy for kids. The dates for this ghoulishly delightful event are Oct. 11-13, 18-20 and 25-27.

Nov. 1-3, Springs Preserve hosts Dia de Los Muertos, or Day of The Dead, a three-day Mexican celebration honoring loved ones. The family-friendly Dia de Los Muertos celebration includes dance performances, mariachis, face painting, sugar skull decorating and an art exhibition.

Tails and Trails brings dog owners and their pets together Nov. 9. For more information on these events, visit www.springspreserve.org.

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