Life in A Festival Town

Life Is Beautiful is still a long ways off, although updates are frequent. Most recently, Mary Sue Milliken, Susan Feniger (TV’s Too Hot Tamales) and chef Mike Minor of Border Grill have signed on to the all-star chef lineup for the October 26-27 music and food event.

But if you can’t wait till then, mark your calendar for May 27, when the Venetian and the Palazzo kick off the second Carnevale, a three-month summer celebration of food, wine and culture running through September 8. The calendar is brimming with 300 experiences, including cooking schools, cocktail seminars, wine walks, winemaker dinners and poolside concerts, as well as some unexpected events, such as the synchronized swimming demos, a ping-pong lounge and the World’s Largest Bachelorette Party weekend.

That same week, Wolfgang Puck and his Las Vegas culinary team will host a one-night-only event of food, wine and spirits benefiting Keep Memory Alive. The dine-around-style Sip & Savor on May 29 at Spago in the Forum Shops at Caesars will also feature Michael Shulman on the turntables. (6 p.m., $120, 369-6300.)

Looking further out, the James Beard Foundation has selected Las Vegas to be part of Taste America, a 10-city, five-weekend epicurean tour that rolls through Sin City on September 27-28. It’s an equally encouraging and amusing development, considering that the Foundation seems to pretend Las Vegas doesn’t exist when it comes time to hand out its awards. Let’s just hope they spotlight some of our local talent, and not just the celebrity chefs who also have outposts here in the culinary wilderness.