Wednesday, April 27, 2016 | 6 p.m.
For the first time, the rich Western culture of Helldorado Days is being presented on the Las Vegas Strip at Las Vegas Village.
As part of the three-day festival May 13-15, the thrills of PBR will be part of the experience along with a mutton-busting rodeo for kids, champion trick-roping exhibitions, Western gun-fighting shows and the Whiskerino mustache-and-beard-growing contest.
The classic country music lineup includes T.G. Sheppard, Moe Bandy, Kelly Lang, Wynn Varble and more. The Helldorado daze kicks off with Mayor Carolyn Goodman welcoming the 80th anniversary event to downtown Fremont Street.
Whiskerino will precede a pub crawl and street dance outside El Cortez. The freestyle bullfighting and rodeo moves to Las Vegas Village opposite the Luxor on Friday, May 13.
PBR’s Last Cowboy Standing, the last stop in the first half of the 2016 PBR Built Ford Tough Series, joins Helldorado for two days May 13-14. PBR is now one of America’s 10 most popular sports. This season, television ratings for PBR on CBS are up 33 percent.
Last Cowboy Standing will feature the Top 40 bull riders in the world facing off against the fiercest bulls in round after round of action. Each bull rider will be competing for the $100,000 first-place prize and bonus PBR world standings points offered at each PBR major.
To advance from one round to the next, the athletes will have to make the 8-second buzzer. If they get bucked off before 8 seconds, the day is done. The competition continues until only one cowboy remains and claims the title of last cowboy standing.
On May 14, the Helldorado Days Parade travels through downtown Las Vegas starting at 10 a.m. and wraps with a Cowboy Pool Party in the Luxor’s North Pool until 2 p.m. For more information, go to PBR.com and ElksHelldorado.com.
SURPRISE REUNIONS: Las Vegas is a long way from Myanmar. Former Las Vegas hotel and event PR whiz Adeana Schendal now calls it home where she runs the newly opened Ogilvy WPP public-relations office.
“The first American hotel has just opened there, a Hilton,” she told me at Elizabeth Blau’s Honey Salt on Tuesday night in a quick return visit here. She insisted on a hair appointment with colorist to the stars Michael Boychuck while here — “we don’t quite have those luxuries yet there,” she laughed.
Adeana confirmed that Myanmar still lives as if it was stuck in the 1940s, as I remembered it in a visit in 2009. “We’ve just gotten Internet service and cell phones,” she said. I told her the story of my illicit trip there when I wound up in a casino run by the son of the head of the then-ruling military junta.
Turned out he’d attended UNLV’s Harrah hotel school here and regularly watched my old TV series “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”, so I wasn’t fined, interrogated or imprisoned for being in his country illegally. The junta was dissolved in 2011 when a civilian government was installed and political leader Aung San Suu Kyi was released.
It was a joy to run into a long-lost friend and fellow Brit, Susie Coelho, at Victor Drai’s wedding atop the Cromwell on Sunday to Yolanda Krupiarz. Now a home-style guru, Susie, host of two HGTV series, “Outer Spaces” and “Surprise Gardener”, was married to Sonny Bono when they ran a restaurant in Palm Springs, Calif.
They were married from 1981 to 1984, and he went on to become mayor of the desert hideaway from 1988 to 1992. Susie was Sonny’s third wife. Cher and he divorced in 1975. Sonny died in January 1998 after injuries sustained in a skiing accident near Lake Tahoe.
REALITY-TV SHOW OUSTINGS: Britney Spears impersonator Derrick Barry was voted off “RuPaul’s Drag Race” on Logo on Monday night a few episodes short of the finale.
The Las Vegas resident watched the eighth show of the season with fans, friends and family in Chicago, which included his confrontation with Naomi Smalls. Derrick explained that he was confused producers booked him as Britney’s doppelganger but didn’t want him to impersonate our Planet Hollywood headliner.
Derrick said: “RuPaul took me from a Las Vegas name to an international star with the show.” He now has his debut single available on iTunes. Derrick says he’ll continue to impersonate Britney half the time in his own show but now plans the other half will be what he wants to achieve in drag.
He added: “I pretty much knew when I got ‘Drag Race’ that I was going to leave ‘Divas Las Vegas,’ and I was trading one dream for another. You have to have the confidence to get through that and to know that the world is only going to open up to you if you’re open to the world. It may have been a struggle. I may have had lows, but I did it.”
Over on Episode 9 of Season 7 of “Ink Master” on Spike TV, our local tattoo artist hero Walter “Sausage” Frank was eliminated in a pairing challenge with rival Jime Litwalk. One of our now two remaining local artists, Cleen Rock One, successfully battled Jime earlier in the show.
Christian Buckingham of Henderson also remains in contention. They are two of the remaining six artists headed toward the finals. Meantime, Spike has renewed “Ink Master” for two more seasons.
LADIES DINNER: Eighty ladies turned out for the Women Wine and Dine celebration of women in our culinary industry at Honey Salt on Tuesday night. Guest chef Megan Romano joined with master sommelier Lindsey Geddes for the four-course meal and wine pairing. Nine brave guys turned up to join the ladies.
Elizabeth told me when I stopped in to check it out that it was such a success, she’s going to host another one. The restaurateur raced from the dinner to McCarran for a red-eye flight to New York where she will appear on CBS’ “The Dish” on Saturday sharing her peach pie recipe and discussing her Las Vegas restaurants and career.
Robin Leach of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” fame has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past 15 years giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
Follow Las Vegas Sun Entertainment + Luxury Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.