Friday, July 4, 2014 | 6 p.m.
It all begins with a parade and continues with a giant splash — an astounding series of splashes in the new Cowabunga Bay Water Park that opens today and winds up with Strip fireworks as America celebrates its 238th birthday in tandem with Khloe Kardashian’s 30th.
The largest and most colorful dazzling Fourth of July celebration is the 20th annual Summerlin Council Patriotic Parade with Gov. Brian Sandoval leading the 2,500 marchers and 70 traditional floats, bands, 25 giant helium balloons, plus a “Frozen”-themed float. About 35,000 are expected to attend.
The eagerly awaited 23-acre Cowabunga Bay Water Park opens in Henderson today with more than 25 slides and attractions, which include eight slides, a giant wave pool, the largest lazy river in Nevada and a kids cove. Make a holiday splash and stay cool.
In addition to Strip fireworks at Mandalay Bay with Phoenix, Caesars Palace, Linq , Stratosphere and Station Casinos across the valley and Primm and Mesquite casino resorts, there’s a free concert at Fremont Street Experience with Papa Roach as part of the daylong UFC International Fight Week activities.
UFC fighters and sexy Octagon Girls, including Brittany Palmer, will meet fans at tonight’s “Art of Fighting” exhibit before the concert with Papa Roach, P.O.D. and Lit. Octagon beauties Chrissy Blair and Jenny Andrade also join UFC fighters all day at Lagasse’s Stadium in Palazzo for World Cup viewing.
Today’s packed excitement is just the start of the three-day holiday weekend with plenty of fun set for Saturday and Sunday. Even Khloe is in town to celebrate her 30th birthday at Tao in the Venetian. Before the barbecue gets fired up, here’s our red, white and blue taste treats that each week we affectionately call the Royal Robin Rundown:
FRIDAY, JULY 4
Widespread Panic with Dirty Dozen Brass Band are at the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel.
Ashley Red’s show is followed by an After Midnight Jam with Leftover Salmon at Brooklyn Bowl in the Linq.
“Clint Holmes: This Thing Called Love — The Music of Cole Porter and Paul Simon” is at Cabaret Jazz in the Smith Center all weekend.
The George Gee Swing Orchestra plays big-band music for dancing at Suncoast Showroom.
Keys ’N Krates is at Hard Rock Live! on the Strip.
Nashville Unplugged features Scott Reeves at Sunset Station.
“America’s Got Talent” winner Michael Grimm is at M Resort.
Papa Roach, P.O.D. and Lit are at FSE.
Ron White is at the Mirage for two nights as Carlos Mencia’s show there has been postponed.
Christopher Titus is at South Point through Monday.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
“The Book of Mormon” wraps its nearly monthlong sold-out run at the Smith Center through Sunday.
The all-day Liberty Festival at Petrack Park in Pahrump winds up with fireworks.
Cowabunga Bay opens in Henderson.
Sky Combat Ace launches a four-person Operation Red Flag stunt-plane dogfight package.
For the first time in three years, First Friday is dark and returns in August.
Station Casinos’ Fourth of July fireworks are at Green Valley Ranch and Red Rock Resort.
The Linq and the High Roller host a Fourth of July celebration.
The valley’s largest Fourth of July parade with more than 70 entries is in Summerlin.
Lion Fight 16 Muay Thai is at Pearl at the Palms.
Ulti-man 5K Run featuring UFC fit stations is at FSE.
Khloe Kardashian’s 30th birthday is at Tao.
Too Short is at 1OAK in the Mirage.
Octagon Girls Brittney and Arianny Celeste are at Haze in Aria.
Morgan Page is at Surrender in Steve Wynn’s Encore.
Tiesto is at Hakkasan in MGM Grand.
UFC fighters Daniel Cormier and Cain Velasquez are at Chateau Nightclub in Paris Las Vegas for two nights.
Afrojack is at Wet Republic in MGM Grand.
The EC Twins are at Marquee Dayclub in the Cosmopolitan.
DJs from Mars is at Ditch Fridays at Palms Pool.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are at Encore Beach Club.
Martin Solveig is at XS in Encore.
Krewella is at Daylight Beach Club in Mandalay Bay.
Baauer and Tony Arzadon are at Light in Mandalay Bay.
DJ Koko is at Body English in the Hard Rock Hotel.
SATURDAY, JULY 5
Kenny Loggins is at Orleans Showroom for two nights; our Q+A with him was posted Thursday.
Queen and Adam Lambert are at the Joint for two nights.
Sublime With Rome is at Mandalay Bay Beach.
Bob Weir and Ratdog are at Pearl.
The Dan Band is at House of Blues in Mandalay Bay.
Zapp Band and The Original Stone City Band are at Sam’s Town Live!
The Cherry Poppin’ Daddies are at Silverton Casino Lodge.
The Comedy Blast at the Orleans has been canceled.
David Spade is at the Venetian.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
Thunder From Down Under celebrates its 13th anniversary at Excalibur and adds a 13th show to its weekly schedule to meet demand. The boys travel to Macau and Hong Kong in September.
The Aussie Thunder hunks welcome their new sister show, with the topless ladies in “Sydney After Dark” opening Monday at Planet Hollywood.
Summer Celebration is at Pahrump Nugget.
UFC Fan Expo is at Mandalay Bay for two days.
UFC 175: Chris Weidman vs. Lyoto Machida is at Mandalay Bay Events Center.
DJ Pauly D celebrates his birthday at Haze.
Nick Cannon is at 1OAK.
Calvin Harris is at Wet Republic, then later at Hakkasan.
Dillon Francis is at Surrender.
Carnage is at Marquee Dayclub.
Katy Tiz with Supa James and Eric Sean are at Palms Pool.
Zedd is at EBC.
Steve Angello is at XS.
Krewella is at Light.
SoMo is at Body English.
DJ Khaled is at Tao.
The Fan Expo After Party hosted by Cub Swanson, Jake Ellenberger and Ian McCall is at the Bank in Bellagio.
SUNDAY, JULY 6
America is at Cannery.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
“The Ultimate Fighter” Finale: Frankie Edgar vs. B.J. Penn is at Mandalay Bay Events Center.
Charity Series of Poker launches its Inaugural Poker Tournament at Planet Hollywood to benefit our Three Square food bank.
Whoo Kid is at the Bank.
Dada Life is at Hakkasan.
Tiesto is at Wet Republic.
Cash Cash is at Marquee Dayclub.
Steve Angello is at EBC.
Zedd is at XS.
Wale and Henrix are at Eclipse at Night at Mandalay Bay.
DJ Casanova is at Body English.
Have a fabulous Fourth of July Weekend! Check back Sunday for reports and photos of the parties and players and then next week as I head off for my annual vacation in Italy, Donny Osmond, Rick Harrison, Terry Fator and the gorgeous Sabina Kelley take over with the first of many guest columns in my absence.
Happy Birthday, America — still the best country on Earth!
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
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In the spirit of Venice, The Venetian is a little piece of romantic Italy right here in Las Vegas. The Venetian is an "all-suite" hotel, with rooms accented with plush linens and Italian marble. The 4,027 suites are divided into two towers: The 36-story Venetian Tower that offers guests a taste of luxurious Las Vegas and the Venezia suites, which guarantee 12 floors of high-end elegance. The top five floors are the hotel's highest level of luxury with its private access, concierge lounge, upgraded features and even a dedicated staff.
The flagship of Venetian nightlife is TAO, an ultra-hip nightclub located inside of TAO Asian Bistro. V Bar is The Venetian's super smooth ultra lounge, made by the owners of New York City's club Lotus and Los Angeles' super swank Sunset Room.
The Venetian features 19 restaurants including Thomas Keller's award-winning French restaurant Bouchon, Mario Batali's B&B Ristorante, Aquaknox for fresh seafood and the 42,000 square foot TAO Asian Bistro. There's also the food court inside the Canal Shoppes for those looking for a quick bite.
Guests can float along The Grand Canal Shops in an authentic Italian gondola ride and pass stores like Burberry and Kenneth Cole along the way. And if you haven't caught a real celeb, on the street in Vegas, you can head over to Madame Tussauds to check out a wax version.