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Desert Companion

2015 Fall Culture Guide: Family, Festivals & Food

kwanzaa.jpg

Kwanzaa
Courtesy West Las Vegas Arts Center

Begun in 1966 and timed at year’s end to evoke ancient first-harvest celebrations in African communities, Kwanzaa has become a significant event in black cultural life.

Visual arts | Music | Theater & Dance | Literature & Ideas | Family, Festivals & Food

A big-deal poet comes to town. Offbeat musicians unite for an evening. Artists show their work, actors emote onstage: fall will be chockablock — that’s right, chockablock! — with culture. Our smartly curated guide will help you make the most of this autumn bounty.


 

{ongoing Thursdays

Faster, pussycat, kale, kale!

Kick Salad Day up a notch with local and regional produce and herbs, plus baked goods and more, all available at the Green Chefs Farmers Market at the Springs Preserve. There are also cooking demonstrations and things for kids to do. (SD) 10a-3p every Thursday, Springs Preserve, access to market is free, thegreenchefs.com

 

{09|25-27

Also, Brandon Flowers will be there

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Come Life is Beautiful weekend, a vast tract of Downtown gets fenced into a giant urban-cultural game preserve of musicians (Stevie Wonder, Imagine Dragons, Kendrick Lamar and dozens more), chefs (Jose Andreas, Donald Link, and many more), plus artists and speakers — and then into this throbbing miasma of entertainment and stimulation, they release 90,000 good-time-seekers. It’s all too much, but in a good way. (SD) Downtown, three-day passes from $195-$595, lifeisbeautiful.com

 

{09|26

Cultural exchange

This has been a year of renewed interest in and controversy about race and ethnicity — so it’s to be hoped that more people are spurred to explore heritages other than their own. Here’s an excellent chance: the annual Asian Heritage Celebration at Springs Preserve. Cultural demonstrations — lion dancing, Taiko drumming, live music — food concessions, cooking demonstrations and more offer a glimpse into the richness of Asian culture. (SD) 10a-4p, $5 adults, $3 children, springspreserve.org

 

{10|03

guys in lederhosen playing accordions!

Oktoberfest is here! Finally, the excuse you’ve been waiting for all year to listen to oompah music! Also, drink beer and indulge in your wurst behavior. German food, beers, music, beers, Bavarian dancing, beers — and you can bring the kids because there will be activities for them, too. Presented by the city and the German-American Social Club of Nevada. (SD) 3-9p, Historic Fifth Street School, free admission, artslasvegas.org

 

{10|03

Hop to it

Enjoy wine and beer food-pairings for a good cause — the Springs Preserve’s yearly Grapes & Hops Festival benefits Par for the Cure, a breast-cancer research nonprofit. 21 and over, please. (SD) 5-9p, $40 advance, $50 at the gate, springspreserve.org

 

{10|06-31

You had us at “haunted maze”

Halloween is about more than preadolescent sugar consumption — at Springs Preserve’s Haunted Harvest, it’s about preadolescent sugar consumption and a haunted maze and carnival games and live entertainment. Plus, for a small fee, a haunted train ride. (SD) October 16-18, 23-25, 30-31, 5-9p, $6, springspreserve.org

 

{10|29

Help a baby out

Cuisine for a cause: Some 20-plus top Las Vegas chefs will bust out their signature dishes for the March of Dimes’ 18th annual Signature Chefs of Las Vegas fundraiser. Money raised goes to support premature babies — some 5,000 born in Nevada every year — and their families. (SD) 7p, Green Valley Ranch Resort, $250 for individual ticket, marchofdimes.org/Nevada

 

{11|01-02

Scythe’s the limit!

Few things underline the joy of life like a good Mexican-style Day of the Dead festival, and the Winchester Cultural Center’s annual deathapalooza has become a community mainstay. This year marks the 15th annual edition of the festival, making it the quinceanera of the festival’s mascot, Elizadeath, a deceased Las Vegas showgirl. All the proper rituals — candles, food, artifacts of the deceased — are observed, while music, dance and poetry tell Death to shove off. (SD) 5-9p, free (some rides have fees), 702-455-7340

 

{11|06-08

Don’t fear the reaper

If Death didn’t have such lousy people skills, even he might show up for Día de Muertos at Springs Preserve. This Day of the Dead celebration will feature traditional Mexican food, mariachis and other live entertainment, storytelling, sugar-skull painting and more. (SD) 4-9p, advance tickets $8 adults, $5 children, $10 and $6 at the gate, springspreserve.org

 

{11|07

Actually, the gags are still great, but the mustache has gotta go

 In this era of computer-generated movie thrills, the style and methods of Charlie Chaplin — physical comedy and a meticulous control of props and stunts — might seem charmingly out-of-date. But as you’ll see at Wine, Cheese, & Chaplin, an outdoor (lawn-seating alert: Bring low-backed chairs!) showing of some of his classic silents, great entertainment transcends era. Wine and cheese will be available for purchase. (SD) 7p, Lorenzi Park, free, artslasvegas.org

 

{12|26

African celebration

Begun in 1966 and timed at year’s end to evoke ancient first-harvest celebrations in African communities, Kwanzaa has become a significant event in black cultural life. It’s an occasion to celebrate African values, culture and community. This year’s event will feature a speaker, performances, a marketplace and more. (SD) 11a-4p, West Las Vegas Arts Center and West Las Vegas Library, free, artslasvegas.org

 

{02|10-13

Alas, we only had 11 puns on the word “dam”

This’ll be the 12th year of the Dam Short Film Festival. Organizers plan to pack more than 100 films into four days, not to mention parties, filmmaker meetings and an awards gala. See website for times and ticket prices. (SD) Boulder Theatre (in Boulder City, damshortfilm.org

 

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