What does a visiting professor from Finland know about the Las Vegas gaming scene? Apparently, quite a lot. Paulina Raento, a professor in human geography at the University of Helsinki, delivers a presentation titled “The Naming of Gaming in Nevada” at 12:15 p.m. at the Special Collections Reading Room, on the third floor of UNLV’s Lied Library. Raento will discuss the naming of gaming establishments, using data analysis, local opinions and visualization to form her analysis. As the director for the Finnish Foundation for Gaming Research, Raento may be far from her snowy homeland, but the gambling oasis is a familiar home away from home. The event is free and open to anyone interested in Las Vegas pop culture, history and gaming. Visit UNLV.edu for more information.
Today, at the Lloyd D. George Federal District Courthouse, could be the first time people show up for jury duty by choice. That’s because the group Celtic Cove is putting on a free lunch-hour show in the jury assembly room (333 Las Vegas Blvd. South) as part of the Downtown Courthouse Series. The trio—Rick and Patti Lucchesi, and Lisa Fiorenza—uses mandolins, harps, accordions and an Irish tenor banjo to create the distinctive sounds of Scotland and Ireland. Call 229-3515 or visit ArtsLasVegas.org for more information.
One of the best things about Las Vegas is that you can play golf year-round. It makes sense then that the Golf Fest Vegas will be held this late in the year at Angel Park Golf Club (100 S. Rampart Blvd.). Starting at 9 a.m. golf enthusiasts will be able to sample the newest advances in golf equipment, attire and products direct from major manufacturers. PGA pros will be on hand to give free lessons, the driving range will be open to test out the newest drivers, and there will also be a trick-shot demonstration. Tickets are $10, with children under 10 admitted for free, and anyone who purchases a ticket receives a free round of golf at Angel Park. Visit GolfFestShow.com for more information.
Ice skating, a tree-lighting ceremony and live music? What sounds like a night at New York’s Rockefeller Center is actually what’s available at the Season of Hope weekend celebration at the Village at Lake Las Vegas. Starting at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, guests can get in the holiday spirit as they walk around the Holiday Arts Festival showcasing local artists, listen to the roaming carolers and take a skate around the ice rink. Santa will be on hand to listen to your kids, live music will be performed throughout the weekend, and bringing gifts for needy children is encouraged as part of Operation Christmas Child. For more information, visit MonteLagoVillage.com.
Only in Vegas could you see a man attempt to survive after being sucked into an industrial blade, or try to free himself from chains and handcuffs before drowning underwater, for free. Check it out for yourself through November as Jan Rouven (pictured), “The Man With Nine Lives,” performs two shows nightly at 8 and 10 p.m. on the First Street Stage at the Fremont Street Experience. The German-born illusionist has been shocking audiences for more than 10 years with his acts, including using an audience member in a knife-wielding game of Russian roulette. For more information, visit JanRouven.com.
At the age of 19, when most of us are still mulling over how to make a mark on the world, Dmitri Shostakovich was already on his way to musical immortality with his Symphony No. 1 (Opus 10). Las Vegans have the opportunity to see the great Russian composer’s 1926 masterwork as the UNLV Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor Taras Krysa, performs at 7:30 p.m. at Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall. Tickets start at $10; free admission for UNLV students. Go to UNLV.edu for more information.
Having never known her father, Reno native Noelle Garcia decided to explore her roots and discover who he really was. Part CSI detective, part archeologist, Garcia has collected her findings in a new exhibit at the Winchester Cultural Center Gallery (3130 McLeod Dr.) called What You Left Me: Creating Dad Through Artifact. Convicted of murder at age 25, Garcia’s father (pictured) was once part of the Klamath Native American tribe. After scouring old photographs, prison records, birth certificates and clothing, Garcia displays her findings as artifacts, and uses the details she discovered to weave the story of her father’s past. Visit AccessClarkCounty.com for information.