Celebrating 100

Las Vegas spices up the centennial

By: Kathy Espin

Lock up the children,” said Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea during a press conference announcing a free concert in conjunction with Las Vegas’ 100th anniversary celebration. He should have made that “lock up the tickets.”

The concert will be held July 2 in a parking lot that was once the site of the Landmark Hotel. The land

at the corner of Paradise Road and Convention Center Drive now belongs to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. The site was chosen because of its proximity to the Strip.

With the best of intentions, the City of Las Vegas and media mega-company Clear Channel put together the Fourth of July event starring the famous rock band with popular alternative band Weezer and offered 50,000 free tickets on the Internet.

Tickets to the event were snapped up in 15 minutes then immediately began appearing on E-bay and other Internet sources for about $100 each.

Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman was shocked to learn that people would try to capitalize on a free event.

“Whoever takes advantage of the largesse and good will of the city is a bum. ” Goodman said at the time, while threatening to sue.

Another 5,000 tickets were released through Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations and given away in radio contests to try to give Las Vegas residents a chance at the tickets.

Tickets are still available from several Internet sources for those planning a last-minute trip, but not for free, of course.

Although the event is located close to the strip, alert clients that parking will be a challenge and details of a park-and-ride program have yet to be announced.



The Las Vegas Centennial is a celebration of the 100th anniversary of a May 15, 1905, railroad land sale that, it could be said, marked the beginning of Las Vegas. Some say the city’s beginnings go back 50 years earlier when the Mormon Church attempted the first settlement, but in Las Vegas, you can’t let the facts stand in the way of a good party.

The celebration kicked off last Dec. 31 and continues through next New Year’s Eve. The majority of the events took place this spring such as the cutting of a huge birthday cake, an old West village and a wedding for 100 couples. A free concert by the Red Hot Chili Peppers over the July 4th weekend is the highlight event. Other events that have been incorporated into the celebration include:

International Hispanic Day Parade
Oct. 8

Vegas Valley Book Festival
Oct. 13-14/20-22

Bite of Las Vegas, Food Festival
Desert Breeze Park
Oct. 22

Aviation Nation Air Show
Nellis Air Force Base
Nov. 12-13

Patriots Party/Veterans Day Parade
Nov. 11-13

New Year’s Eve Fireworks Las Vegas Strip Dec. 31Many other events, mostly geared to Las Vegas residents, have been sanctioned as part of the celebration. Other events are being added as the year goes on. For more information and a full calendar of events see www.lasvegas2005.org.