With the Geico Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon, half-marathon, 10K and 5K runs closing part of the Strip this weekend and the Goo Goo Dolls and Snoop Dogg grabbing the spotlight to entertain the runners, our weekly celebrity preview gets a little smaller than usual. The larger-than-life musicians and acrobats of the MarchFourth Group open for the three-time Grammy nominated Goo Goo Dolls on Saturday (Nov. 11) night at the festival grounds of the Las Vegas Village across from the SLS Hotel.
Snoop will kick off the actual race day festivities with his house party anthems and chart-topping hits at 3 p.m. on Sunday again opposite the SLS Hotel.
Expect traffic chaos for ride-share cars, taxis, autos and other transportation near the finish line exit at Flamingo and Las Vegas Boulevard. Best tip is to use the monorail. It’s the 51st-year anniversary of the first-ever Las Vegas Marathon with more than 40,000 runners competing from 73 different countries and all 50 states.
Here’s the 2015 YouTube clip of the Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon:
Expect to see many green gecko Geico trademark characters among the runners.
As the only private event to exclusively shut down all eight lanes of the Strip at night ,Sunday’s start time for the marathon, half-marathon, and the 10K run is 4:30 p.m. at New York-New York with the finish line outside The Mirage. The less grueling 5K run starts at 6 p.m. Saturday. Many athletes — hundreds in Elvis Presley costumes — will wear special Vegas Strong T-shirts with all proceeds going to the Victims Fund of the Oct. 1 gun massacre. Other donations will include a “donate your distance,” so if you’re a marathon runner that means $26.20 and if a 5K competitor it’s a $5 donation.
The Health & Fitness Expo, which began yesterday (Nov. 9) will continue through Saturday at the Convention Center. Since our town is the “Wedding Capitol of The World,” the run-through wedding tradition continues for couples renewing their vows or tying the knot for the first timer. The ceremonies at the Park outside the T-Mobile Arena only add five minutes to your time keeping.
Our not-to-miss running event has been named by Forbes Travel Guide as one of the Top 12 Best Marathons in the world to travel for.
In other weekend Vegas attractions I point out that the Backstreet Boys have returned to Planet Hollywood for their residency; and Adam Sandler makes his Vegas debut with a standup comedy at Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Actress Jennifer Harman has recruited Property Brothers TV reality star JD Scott, master magician Lance Burton and his “Sexxxy” star girlfriend, singer Gabriella Versace, and a host of other celebrities for her poker tournament at Planet Hollywood to raise funds for the Nevada SPCA no-kill animal sanctuaries. Remember you only have until tomorrow night (Nov. 11) to catch the final performance of Tony Bennett’s “The Best is Yet To Come” show at the Wynn’s Encore theater.
Congratulations to San Francisco chef Matthew Kirkley of the COI restaurant and his commis assistant , Mimi Chen, who won the Team USA gold medal yesterday (Nov. 9) after cooking for nearly six hours at the Ment’or Foundation preliminary in The Venetian. They now spend a year at our chef Thomas Keller’s French Laundry restaurant in Napa Valley preparing for the Bocuse d’Or championship in Lyon, France, in January 2019. Thomas told me: “They’re not quite up to the gold standard yet but they will be and they’ll have what it takes to win back-to-back gold awards for American cuisine.”
So put down your pots and pans, lace up your shoes and jog to the best of Las Vegas as we count everything down in our weekly celebrity preview we affectionately dub the Royal Robin Rundown.
• Now, that Britney Spears is on a vacation break as the Backstreet Boys resume their Planet Hollywood residency through Nov. 18.
• Tony Bennett wraps his mini-residency at the Wynn with two nights of “The Best is Yet To Come” shows.
• The Buckinghams at Golden Nugget.
• Common Kings at The Linq.
• Stayin’ Alive, Vanessa Le Grand and Wes Winters all at the South Point for the weekend.
• Doo-Wopp Hall of Fame stars in concert at The Smith Center for two days.
• Justin Jay’s Fantastic Voyage at Hard Rock Hotel.
• Adam Sandler debuts the first-ever comedy residency at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
• Whoopi Goldberg from “The View” is at Treasure Island.
• The Dirty at the South Point.
Tickets on sale
• Pitbull at Planet Hollywood for January, April and May shows
• “Rent’s” 20th Anniversary Tour at The Smith Center Jan. 30-Feb. 4 and Nickelback at the Hard Rock Hotel Feb. 23-March 3.
• WWE NXT Live at The Orleans Arena
• To kick off Veterans Day weekend and honor the military our wedding chapels will debut “Las Vegas Marries the Military” with 11 events that 40 members of the Wedding Chamber of Commerce are providing free ceremonies and services. Nine are vow renewals and two are actual wedding ceremonies starting with Alicia and Seth Giehring who were married by proxy while he was deployed in Afghanistan. Some of the service people are flying in from as far east as Washington D.C. for the weddings.
• Singer songwriter Peter Center, who was a founding member of the Chicago rock band performs at the Tropicana.
• Foghat at Boulder Station.
• Crooner Frankie Moreno at Suncoast.
• The Front Bottoms, Basement at The Linq.
• The Spazmatics at South Point.
• The new Jazz Saturdays and Hot Manila Nights at Cha Garden in the Lucky Dragon on Sahara Avenue just west of the Strip.
• Winter Jam Tour at The Orleans Arena.
• The 5K Geico Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon starts at 6 p.m. from the Las Vegas Festival Grounds.
• Classic Americana with our Nevada Ballet Theater premieres of Western Symphony and Company B dancing to the live orchestra of the Las Vegas Philharmonic at The Smith Center — Saturday at 7.30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
• Final Round of the Blue Man Group’s second annual Drum Off at Downtown Container Park.
• DJ St. Clair at the new Legends Room.
• The Chainsmokers’ at XS Nightclub.
• The 10K run start line is on the Strip outside the SLS Hotel with the half-marathon and the full 26-mile marathon starting line on the Strip outside the New York-New York.
• Rock photographer Neil Preston signs copies of his new 300-plus page “Exhilerated & Exhausted” book at the Hard Rock Hotel.
• Matisyahu, Orphon at The Linq.
• Frank LaSpina at The Smith Center.
• Remember, you get stronger with every step of the marathon, exceed your expectations and run with your heart when your legs get tired. Vegas is Strong so run strong!