A 'Classic' 4th of July in Las Vegas at the El Cortez

Jun 28, 2011 3:07 AM

We haven’t made plans yet for the July 4th weekend but, as you can imagine, there are a number of options available here in Las Vegas.

If you like cars – and what guy doesn’t – you might want to head downtown. The El Cortez will be celebrating with a classic car show on Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m. There will also be live bands to keep things hopping and some great eats from Engine 1 Pizza at the Jackie Gaughan Parkway will be available for purchase.

The event, which is open to the public and – best of all – free, will showcase approximately 60 American-made classic cars courtesy of Ultracar LTD, Inc. And (this is the part Ron will like) five of the vehicles will be open to guests for photo ops, both inside and outside the car.

Of course, there has to be something for the ladies, so – in true vintage Vegas fashion, El Cortez will have a 1963 pink Cadillac on display with an Elvis impersonator behind the wheel just waiting for us to snap a photo or two.

The Ryan Whyte Maloney Band, a local group with their own twist on the modern country sound, will be up first. They will be followed by the Freddie Eckstein Group, which provides a unique jazz experience. We hear the toe tapping is infectious.

In case you didn’t know, El Cortez, located at Fremont and 6th St., is celebrating it’s 70th anniversary this year, which makes it the longest continuously operating hotel-casino in town. That’s quite an accomplishment in a city where fortunes, even for casinos, can come and go in the blink of an eye.

Now if you are looking for fireworks, there are several options.

Caesars Palace will get things started Sunday with a display from the top of its Roman Towers. It is scheduled to begin around 9:15 p.m., is free to the public, and probably will be best seen from the Roman Plaza at the resort.

Station Casinos has a tradition of fireworks displays it will continue this year. Five of its properties – Aliante, Fiesta Rancho, Green Valley Ranch, Red Rock and Texas – will have simultaneous events beginning at 9 p.m., Monday. This should present spectacular views around the entire valley.

Las Vegas Hilton will also have fireworks on Monday evening. Probably the best view will be at their invitation-only viewing party at the pool, but don’t worry. The display will also be visible outside near the sports book entrance.

Mandalay Bay will have their firework show Monday evening, too. It will be part of the concert with reggae band Mystic Roots at Mandalay Bay Beach, and comes with a cover charge of $25. The event begins at 9 p.m.

Those who want to start celebrating early might want to attend the North Las Vegas 10th Annual Independence Day Jubilee on Saturday. Mainly for locals, the event, to be held at the James Seastrand Park, will include live music, children’s activities, food and beverage vendors, and fireworks, of course. Admission is only $2 per person. The fun goes from 6 to 9:30 p.m.

WHISK(E)Y WEDNESDAY, a monthly occurrence at Andre’s at Monte Carlo on the first Wednesday, has become so popular the restaurant has decided to continue it through the end of the year.

Of course, we had to ask about the strange spelling of the event’s name with parentheses around the "e" in whiskey.

It is due to the fact that, depending on the brand, "its name may be spelled with an ‘e’ or without," says Patrick Trundle, beverage manager. "But regardless of the spelling or the type of whiskey showcased, what remains consistent on Whisk(e)y Wednesdays is the incredible quality, selection and value guests will experience at each event."

The high-end Strip restaurant, which enjoys an AAA Four Diamond rating thanks, in large part, to the talents of Chef André Rochat, combines old-world charm with a modern twist to create a warm, welcoming atmosphere.

In addition to the fine dining experience, Andre’s is also home to an impressive cigar lounge on its second floor, where guests can enjoy the pleasures of a fine cigar while sipping a glass of their favorite cognac; and it is also the location of the monthly whiskey event.

The events begin at 7 p.m. and the next one will be Aug. 3. Tickets can be purchased in advance ($25) or at the door ($35) and entitle you to unlimited tasting.

See you around town.