Thursday, March 14, 2013

Ten Things: A Countdown to Viva Las Vegas 16 Rockabilly Weekender Mar. 28-31 (2013)

Hula Girl at Viva Las Vegas 
2012 by Cherry Club Inc

I wanted to write a few must do must see notes to readers in preparation to this year's Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender event, which spills out into the city of Las Vegas from its host Orleans Hotel (at Tropicana and Arville near the Strip) each Easter Weekend for 15 years, (this is the 16th). Downtown Las Vegas is where old Vegas still lives, and if you leave the hotel (Orleans is South Strip area), Downtown should be at the top of your must see list. But, here is my Ten Things Countdown for VLV 16. 

10- Ladies, get a Hawaiian Wrap. They are easy to wear with or without strapped bra, and you can combine them with leggings or shorts or bathing suit. Here is something you can dress up or down. It's one of the things you'll never regret packing while attending any vintage themed event. I haven't. Guys, get a hat, any hat, straw recommended.

9- Start doing walking regimen to warm up for being in Vegas. You walk more here to get to your destination than most places. The Orleans hotel will house the festivities at Viva Las Vegas 16 this year again, and it's somewhat easy to navigate. Yet, the car show alone will be one hell of a standing, and walking day (going from 9am to 7pm) and then more shows on for that night 'til very late. Ladies, wear wedgies or platforms. This keeps you from sliding to the ball of your foot and wearing your dogs out too soon. Si Cranstoun is inside the ballroom at 12:30, he's a smash hit with dancers and all the way from UK. You gotta catch this act. I got the exclusive interview last year of his first U.S. gig, and am very proud of it. Think: Jackie Wilson come to life.

8- Pack a sweater. Vegas weather can turn inside out in a day, and since you are coming in Spring, make sure to pack a sweater with a hood, or a sweater and a hat. If it gets windy here, you'll want it - trust me.

7- Make time to sight-see (even if 2 hrs. during the day) some important Las Vegas points. Suggestions: Frankie's Tiki Room, it's open 24 hrs.(at Charleston Shadow Ln. & MLK near Stratosphere North Strip area) Do get a commemorative tiki mug, best ever. Do go see either Frankie Moreno Live, or Pinup shows at the Stratosphere (If you haven't four day passes to Viva). Tropicana Hotel is where the Elvis / Ann Margaret classic "Viva Las Vegas" was filmed. It's on Tropicana and Las Vegas Blvd. (South Strip area). LVCS - is on Fremont Street and it is a venue inside Hennessy's upstairs, which offers a lot of rockabilly and 50's rock and roll year round. Reverend Horton Heat is appearing at LVCS Fri., while Royal Crown Revue will be at Cannery Row Sat. night (another if you don't have four day passes to Viva). Burlesque Hall of Fame Museum  is inside the Emergency Arts Building across from the El Cortez (a nationally registered historic building). Those are downtown Las Vegas. A car is best - cab fare will run you about $20 bux from the strip to downtown, and that's one way. Do see the new international pinup gallery at Charleston and Main St. downtown. It's called Pinup Pointe, and it's fantastic. It's dedicated to Pinup and Showgirl art only.

6- Bring water and a beverage supply for your room and backpacks. I believe outside food and drink isn't allowed to Viva Las Vegas, but a gallon of water in your room would probably never be noticed. It will be noticed by you if you don't do it, when the vending machine runs out of bottled water. Very important. BYO water.

5- Pack flats. Pack bathing suit stuff. The pool and Jacuzzi area is really fun all four days at Viva. Sunday is almost all about relaxing by the pool, and usually has a really long line. Get there early.

4- Do drag yourself up to get a voucher for burlesque showcases, (obtain at indoor box office noon friday with 21+ I.D.) the burlesque competition (obtain sat. at indoor box office and then at 1pm attend the vintage fashion show (amazing!). Don't worry you can take another break between 2pm and 6pm if  you're exhausted. (4 day pass required).

3- Do leave room in your luggage for the stuff you will buy. There is vending at the Saturday car show to boggle the mind. So much good vintage inspired work in one place. Cars, art, clothing, accessories, records, cd's, luggage. You're going to buy something so leave space for it. Pinup Models will also be on hand at various clothing companies. 

2- Do bring sharpies because you will see rockabilly rock n' roll stars strewn about watching other stars at this weekender. You can get tons of autographs, like having them write on the beautiful Viva program.

1- Do attend with the four day pass. As someone who's come to town and only done the car show, you are missing a TON of amazing stuff inside like Burlesque Bingo, and 65+ bands, who aren't including Little Richard and then Dick Dale both headlining the car show Saturday. Tickets are sold out for four-day passes online, while four-day and single Saturday tix are still available at  retail locations listed at (at time of publish 3.14.13). Retailers such as the Orleans and some vintage shops in your hood might still have tix. Do say hello if we meet. Also get my first book with tons of event reviews from VLV15 (2012) at Here are a couple borrowed maps of Downtown Las Vegas, and the Las Vegas Strip.

Related links:

Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender Home Site

Article by Frankie Tease at 

Buy "Best of Frankie Tease Magazine" eBook Series at