Friday, Sept. 17, 2010 | 11:30 a.m.
Map of Silverton Casino Hotel
3333 Blue Diamond Road , Las Vegas
Beyond the Sun
The temperature was still in the triple digits as the sun set over the Silverton casino, where the hundreds of Las Vegans gathered Thursday for the 32nd annual San Gennaro Feast.
“The heat is obnoxious, but once the sun goes down, it’s all food and fun,” said Michael Prise of Las Vegas. “No temperature can keep me away from a good chicken Parmesan sandwich.”
Food was on the minds of everyone who attended the twice-yearly feast, the valley’s largest Italian festival held in honor of the patron saint of Naples.
For food vendor Adam Barkin, the Feast is a time to share family recipes handed down from his Italian ancestors.
“It’s the greatest thing to see all the people out here trying the authentic Italian food,” said Barkin, owner of Anthony’s World Famous Sausages in Las Vegas. “We really enjoy cooking it.”
Barkin’s restaurant will cook about 300 pounds of sausage and 500 pounds of meatballs over the course of the feast, which began Tuesday and ends Sunday. So, what makes Barkin’s food special?
“Italian ingredients, and it’s made by an Italian old lady,” he said. “The recipes date back 30 years ago from Naples.”
For Emilio Baglioni, the feast reminds him of his childhood growing up in a rural village in northern Italy. Baglioni immigrated to the United States in 1959 and has been playing the accordion at the festival for the last 10 years.
“It’s so beautiful after so many years,” Baglioni said. “You feel at home here.”
Johnny Luv, his wife, Jennifer, and their children Seth, 9, and Riley, 6, have been coming to the festival for the past 11 years. The Summerlin residents have a system for navigating the maze of booths.
“We come around 5 p.m., do a tour of the merchandise, hit the games and the rides, eat dinner while watching the shows and then eat dessert on the way out,” Johnny Luv said. “We’ve got our routine set.”
For the Luvs, it’s less about celebrating their Italian heritage and more about forging family traditions.
“It’s about spending time together,” Johnny Luv said. “It’s like our Christmas. We hope our kids remember and pass it down.”
Reminiscent of a rustic lodge, this off-the-Strip casino offers something for everyone, including affordable rooms, an array of dining options and family friendly features.
Silverton Casino Hotel is decorated in earth tones, stone and wood, and accented with amber-tinted lighting. The 90,000-square-foot casino includes more than 30 tables games, 1,900 slots, a high-limit lounge, a newly renovated poker room and the Cantor Gaming Sports Book.
One of the resort's most unique features is its 117,000-gallon saltwater aquarium, which houses more than 4,000 sharks, stingrays and tropical fish — and an occasional mermaid. Just steps away from the aquatic wonderland is the flagship 165,000-square-foot Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, with everything from hunting, boating, fishing and camping gear.
Surrounding the casino floor is a vast array of dining options, such as the upscale-steakhouse Twin Creeks or the unique Mexican restaurant Mi Casa Grill Cantina.