Loosen your belt for the Great American Foodie Fest, which features a beer garden and carnival rides in addition to the main-event slate of food trucks and booths. Chow down and enjoy cooking demonstrations, eating competitions and live music in the Sunset Station parking lot today through Sunday starting at 5 p.m. GreatAmericanFoodieFest.com
Real interviews were used to produce Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992, a documentary theater piece that illustrates the racial, economic and class tensions surrounding the 1992 L.A. riots that followed the Rodney King verdict. Nevada Conservatory Theatre puts the play on today through Saturday at UNLV, 7:30 p.m. UNLV.edu
Haunted casinos and sightings of Elvis’ ghost. … This is the stuff shivers are made of, and it’s the topic of Paul Papa’s talk, “Haunted Las Vegas.” Hear the author speak at 7 p.m. at the Clark County Library’s Jewel Box Theater. LVCCLD.org
How about a free drink or two? Hakkasan opens early for Cocktail City, where clubgoers can enjoy complimentary libations from 10-11:30 p.m. and loosen up to sounds by DJ Tigerlily. Don’t forget to RSVP! CocktailCityVegas.com
This weekend, Sunset Park transforms into a medieval village filled with jousting, troubadours, wenches and meaty turkey legs. The Age of Chivalry Renaissance Festival, which opens at 10 a.m. today through Sunday, is the perfect way to travel back in time, all while skipping the Black Death and pre-anesthesia dentistry. Win-win. LVRenFair.com
Eco-conscious jewelry brand Alex and Ani sets up shop at Velveteen Rabbit this First Friday for Bangles & Beer. Shopping, drinking and dancing start at 5 p.m. VelveteenRabbitLV.com
The anticipated The Birth of a Nation hits theaters this week. Sharing its title with the historical (and decidedly racist, by today’s standards) 1915 film, Nate Parker’s flick guarantees a shift from traditional portrayals of slavery and the Civil War.
The seventh annual Aki Matsuri Japanese Festival, held from noon-8 p.m. today at the Henderson Events Plaza on Water Street, features Japanese food, drinks, music and entertainment. AkiMatsuriNV.com
Summerlin Festival of Arts brings 100 fine artists, live entertainment, activities and delicious Downtown Summerlin eats together for a weekend of shopping and family fun. Enjoy music and browse the art for sale Saturday and Sunday at this kid-friendly outdoor party. Summerlin.com/FestivalOfArts
The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada hosts its annual Honorarium at the Cosmopolitan. Enjoy cocktails, a silent auction and delicious bites beginning at 5 p.m. TheCenterLV.org
Before he was Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor, Tim Allen was an accomplished stand-up comedian. The star of ABC’s long-running Home Improvement and current Last Man Standing sitcoms performs at The Mirage at 10 p.m. Mirage.com
The Las Vegas Philharmonic’s Symphonic Spectacular promises classical blockbusters used in American film, television and radio, such as Bizet’s Suite No. 1 from Carmen and Rossini’s Overture to William Tell. Catch the electrifying program tonight at 7:30 p.m., or during a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. TheSmithCenter.com
Get creative with a state park officer during Paint With a Ranger at 10 a.m. at Spring Mountain Ranch. This no-pressure introduction to outdoor painting will provide art supplies and a park ranger’s tips to make your own masterpiece.
Hundreds of custom cars, motorcycles and bicycles will be gathered for your perusal at the Lowrider Las Vegas Super Show, held from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Cashman Center. Also find music and vendors. LowRider.com
If you like tennis, make plans to be at Caesars Palace at 6:30 p.m. for the World TeamTennis Smash Hits charity event. It features greats such as John McEnroe, Andy Roddick and Martina Navratilova, is hosted by none other than Billie Jean King herself, and proceeds benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation. WTT.com
Do you enjoy wholesome, healthy food? Meet like-minded people at 11:30 a.m. during Real Meal Meetup at Violette’s Vegan Organic Eatery and Juice Bar. Introduce yourself, network and hear short keynote speeches over a delicious meal. ViolettesVegan.com
Think UNLV students are apolitical? You’d be wrong. As proof, we offer Please I’d Like to Grow: 60 Years of Student Activism, an exhibit at Lied Library on display through December 31. Rebel Yell articles, posters, T-shirts, signs and other artifacts from student-led activism for racial, social and political issues speaks to a passionate student body. UNLV.edu
Toho, the Japanese film company that created one of the most iconic monsters of all time, presents a limited screening of Godzilla Resurgence (Shin Gojira) at 7 p.m. at Regal Colonnade. With overall good reviews (88 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), this modern interpretation shows promise for even the pickiest of monster-movie fans.
Returning to his House of Blues residency, Billy Idol will revisit old hits and shred recent material at 7 p.m. Rock out to your favorites, even if you’re just … dancing with yourself. HouseOfBlues.com/LasVegas