Naomi Rosen and Louise Carruth understand that tea is more than just a beverage. For Naomi, it’s the deep, complex flavors—from her position at Joy’s Teaspoon, she fills area pots with more than 75 loose-leaf teas and more than 30 spices. For Louise, it’s the community aspect. Enamored of tea’s ability to unite people, she frequently attends afternoon teas at assisted-living residences, where she bonds with residents over tea-leaf readings and tea-related yarns. The two have joined forces to organize the Las Vegas Tea Fest, which combines Naomi's extensive knowledge of her stock with Louise's appetite for togetherness. Their one-day event includes tea and food pairings, cooking with tea demonstrations, a traditional Chinese Wu-Wo tea ceremony, and on-site exhibitors such as Little Candle Tea Company. Tastings gather teas from countries such as India, Japan, and China, while local artisans hawk tea-related wares, such as giant teabags you can sleep in when you have a sore throat.
Early VIP admission to the second-annual Bikini Beer Festival kicks off at 7 p.m. at the Downtown Grand Hotel and Casino's rooftop pool. VIP guests sip specialty drinks from Cocktail City Vegas in the VIP lounge and can also imbibe in unlimited craft-beer samples from more than a dozen brands, including Big Dog's Brewing Company. Food is available for an additional cost. Partiers are encouraged to come in their swimwear so they can hop in the pool or attempt to get a nighttime tan from nearby building's florescent lights. DJs and local bands, such as indie new-wave act Play for Keeps, will blast tunes until the fest ends at 11 p.m. and will continue to play during the after party featuring DJ Paradice.
Although most people traditionally try to steer clear of the world of organized crime, Mob Attraction Las Vegas pulls them back in with an interactive journey into the underworld’s gritty underbelly. Inside the museum’s recently upgraded space, guests face off with actors and 3-D holograms of famous film crime bosses, such as James Caan and Frank Vincent. A collection of authentic, never-before-seen memorabilia, photos, and videos, as well as a fully interactive courthouse and jail, marry museum-like intrigue with performance art, granting an unprecedented access into the private lives of real gangsters Ben “Bugsy” Siegel, Tony Spilotro, and Meyer Lansky.
The ultra haute guides at Elite VIP Tours lead groups to Vegas's hottest and most coveted clubs and venues. Whether on a club hop in a luxurious party bus, a walking tour of the nightlife, or a jaunt to some of Vegas's most exclusive day-club pool parties, guests enjoy the special attention of a VIP host and the right to dodge any lines and cover charges they come across. Venues change to keep the tour as hot and fresh as a biscuit made by Gucci; past locations have included Tao inside the Venetian, LAX inside the Luxor, and Pure inside Caesars Palace.
The finale of Campus MovieFest features screenings of more than 250 student films; industry workshops; guest appearances by directors, actors, and screenwriters such as Mark Boal and John Ortiz; and the national grand finale of the College Battle of the Bands. All student movies were made in just one week and span the entire country, drawing around 75,000 participants. Bus explosions and spontaneous implosions are left for hubris-heaped Hollywood as these low-to-no-budget films explore the full spectrum of film, from comedy to drama to llama. The $29 ticket avails you of the final 16 films, beginning at 8 p.m. on Saturday, featuring door prizes, guest presenters, and awards for the winners.