Runners rush to the altar

Only in Las Vegas: This Sunday (Dec. 7) thousands of runners will take part in the Las Vegas Marathon. It is a major event in our town and gets a lot of publicity. But there will also be 100 runners who have an extra incentive. That group, 50 couples in all, will be getting married in a run-through wedding ceremony on the race course at A Special Memory Wedding Chapel, 800 S. Fourth St.

“Running Reverend” Jaime Firzlaff will officiate at the 7:15 a.m. ceremony, her second time doing the honors. For these couples, the race begins at 6 a.m. from the starting point at Mandalay Bay, which is five miles from the wedding chapel.

“Once they all arrive at the site, they will all gather round a platform set up in the middle of Fourth Street,” says Firzlaff, “and I’ll perform a mass wedding ceremony that will only take about three minutes. They then continue on to run the half or the whole as newlyweds.”

Firzlaff, who is also a runner, says she got involved last year when the organizers of the marathon came up with the idea for a run-through wedding ceremony. “Myself and my husband have our own ministry and I worked part-time at A Special Memory, so when they approached the chapel, I volunteered to do it. It’s a lot of fun as I get to meet the couples beforehand to do all the preliminary work like signing the wedding certificates. A number of them are also renewing their vows. It’s a different way to do a wedding and certainly unique and the couples love it.”

Fireworks will start the Las Vegas Marathon at 6 a.m. and runners will make their way down the Strip. Contrary to previous years, this year’s marathon is limiting the number of participants. Once 20,000 runners are signed up for the full and half marathon combined, registration will be closed.

Las Vegas Lights Up: Here’s something you won’t want to miss. On Tuesday, Dec. 9, at 6:15 p.m., our city’s mayor, Oscar Goodman, will flip the switch to light Las Vegas’ official Christmas tree. It all takes place at the Fremont Street Experience. The 50-foot tree will be adorned with festive decorations and will stand below the 12.5 million lights of the Viva Vision screen. Should make a pretty spectacular sight.

Directly following the ceremony, the "Holiday Lights on Ice" skating show will debut in a dazzling display of lifts, spins and acrobatics on the 1st Street stage. If you can’t get there, "Holiday Lights on Ice" is free and open to the public every night, Dec. 9-20 at 7:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

No Blues Here: Blue Man Group is welcoming students home for the holidays with an all new student rush promotion. Local and visiting college students can now see this very funny show at The Venetian for a lowball price of $32.50 (plus tax and service fees.) The special holiday offer is available now through Jan. 12.

The offer is only available on day-of-show purchases and applies only to red-zone orchestra seating. Students must mention the promotion code GB1 STURUSH when purchasing tickets at the Blue Man Group box office and by calling 1.800.BLUEMAN. Students must present their student IDs when picking up tickets at the Blue Man box office. Man, if you can remember that code, you should get in free.

Family Fun: One of the best deals in town, and one for the whole family, is "Dirk Arthur’s Xtreme Magic" at the Tropicana. Tickets start at only $20 and you can get dinner and show packages for as little as 25 bucks, plus taxes and fees. And for the holiday season, Arthur has added festive music, seasonal illusions, special guest appearances and more magic. New magical elements include the integration of Santa’s helpers plus audience participation, live dancers, gift giving and a special guest appearance by St. Nicholas himself.

Arthur will also introduce audiences to the latest member of his animal family, a 6-month-old tiger named Tilly. Arthur is currently the only show on the Strip featuring exotic cats, including white striped tigers, black African leopards and a pure-white snow tiger. The holiday performances will take place through Dec. 31 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. There will be additional performances available Dec. 12-25 at 7 p.m. as well. Show tickets and packages can be purchased at the Tropicana Box Office or by calling 702-739-2411.

Caveman Moves Uptown: Tonight will see the last performance of  "Defending the Caveman" at the Golden Nugget. The one-man comic play, performed by Kevin Burke, moves to the Excalibur for a limited engagement Dec. 16 to Jan. 11, replacing Louie Anderson while the comedian takes a break. Singer/impressionist Gordie Brown will take over the theater at the Golden Nugget Feb. 3.

Culture Corner: Everyone is invited to enjoy a free concert of holiday and classical compositions by the Las Vegas Wind Quintet at Reed Whipple Cultural Center this Saturday, Dec. 6. Clarinetist Dave Hawley, flutist Sherrie Parker, bassoonist Sam Pisciotta, French horn player Doug Beasley, and oboe player Mika Brunson will perform at 2 p.m.

The afternoon’s program will include a medley of French carols by Arthur Frackenpohl, “Reflections on an Original Christmas Tune” by Norman Dello Joio, a Don Stewart arrangement of the “Sonata in F” and “Sonata in G” by C.P.E. Bach, the “Suite for Woodwind Quintet” by Sol B. Cohen, “A Triplet of Carols” by Carson Rothrock, “Yiddish Suite” by William Scribner, a Gordon Davies arrangement of Claude Debussy’s “Suite No. 2,” and Franz Liszt’s “Weihnachslied” (Old Provençal Christmas Carol). The center is located at 821 Las Vegas Blvd.

Taking a Dive: It may almost be winter, but who says you still can’t swim? On Saturday, Dec. 13, the City of Las Vegas Department of Leisure Services is inviting everyone to enjoy the annual Holiday Synchronized Swimming & Springboard Diving Show at Municipal Pool, located at 431 E. Bonanza Road. Synchronized swimming teams and divers from Clark County and the cities of Las Vegas and Henderson will perform to favorite holiday music from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Admission to this family event is free. For more info on the holiday show, call (702) 229-6309. Should be a fun event.

Good luck and I’ll see you on the Strip. And don’t forget to check out eNeon each Thursday by subscribing (free of charge) to the Review-Journal’s weekly newsletter. If you have a question or a Las Vegas experience you would like to share with my readers, please e-mail me at Please include your full name and the city or town where you live.



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