Time is sure flying now…Viva is just a little over two weeks away! It seems the excitement for our impending trip has finally sunk in this morning. Maybe it was due to the fact I tried on all my planned outfits this weekend and now I can’t turn my brain off about all the last minute necessities. We are flying out on the Wednesday in order to get acclimated to the three hour time difference and settled well before everyone else arrives for the festivities. There are so many events being held at Viva, here are just a few highlights of what to do to make the most of your weekend.
Since we are flying in a day early, we have decided to see some of the Las Vegas sites before Viva. We’ll be meeting up with some friends and heading to the Charleston Antique Mall for an afternoon of shopping. I have no idea what to expect but fear that my Viva savings are going to deplete very quickly. After dinner, we are heading to the Neon Sign Boneyard for their nightly tour. They are even offering a little discount on admission for Viva attendees if you are able to fit it in. I’ve heard from so many people that this is one of the coolest places in Vegas as it holds decades of history all in one place. From there, we are headed to the infamous Fremont Street for the old school Viva Las Vegas experience. It will be a fun packed day and evening taking in so much of the culture that we missed out on last time.
Thursday is when the majority of the Viva attendees arrive as the festivities commence later in the afternoon. My morning will begin with a boudoir photoshoot with Mitzi & Co at the El Cortez Hotel on Fremont Street. Many ladies like myself take this opportunity to shoot with some of the best pin up photographers in the industry. No, you do not have to be a model or have any experience to work with them. Lots of their clients are every day ladies just like you and I. After my shoot, I’ll return to the Orleans and won’t be leaving the premises until Sunday as I don’t want to miss out on any of the festivities. If you are a fan of Rockabilly music, be prepared to be entertained for four days of non stop bands. They begin at 7pm on Thursday and until the wee hours of Monday morning.
One of the major attractions are the vendors who bring some of the most incredible vintage and products available all in one place. They are open to the general public within particular hours and also have exclusive hours for wristband holders. Here you will find clothing, accessories, shoes, hair pomade, eyewear, art, books and so much more! Click HERE for a list of vendors scheduled to attend. If you see something you like, get it right away as it’s likely not to be there even a few hours later. Remember, thousands of people are shopping here as well and most items are one of a kind vintage finds.
Friday the music continues along with Bowling, Burlesque Classes, VLV Fashion Show, Pool Party, Tattoo Lounge, Dance Classes, Beauty Classes, Men’s Swimwear Competition, Burlesque Showcases and Burlesque Bingo. As I mentioned in my first post, you won’t be able to get everything in as there are tons of events happening concurrently. I do suggest that you arrive early for specialty events as space is limited on a first come basis. In order to attend the Burlesque showcases, you will be required to line up for tickets (free) at the business center. Line ups start as early as 8am even though they aren’t distributed until 12pm. We missed out last time as we didn’t want to wait in line for 4 hours and miss other events. Friends of ours are huge dance enthusiasts and enjoy the chance to party with others alike. Although I have two left feet, we will be going to watch to show our support and take in the culture.
Saturday is THE BIG CAR SHOW DAY!!! This is the main event for Viva; many attendees come strictly for the Car Show as it’s an all day outdoor event full of classic cars, vendors, music, a fashion mecca, meet & greets, VLV Pinup Contest and oodles more! Most ladies wear the favorite outfit for the Car Show and soak in the sun while socializing with other attendees from around the globe. Everyone is super friendly and don’t be shy to say hello to the industry folks you recognize. Make sure to drink lots of water, wear sunscreen, eat and take breaks from the sun. It’s a long day and you’ll be wiped if you don’t pace yourself. One of the big events is at 5:30pm with the fabulous Imelda May singing at the Car Show. Later in the evening is the VLV Burlesque Competition which I hope we are able to attend this year. Even if you just walk around the Orleans for the night, it’s like a scene from an old Hollywood movie. Women are glamed up from head to toe, dressed in their finest evening dresses. It is truly a sight to see! The music continues into the wee hours of the morning, you can party all night long.
Easter Sunday is a sad day as you know the weekend is quickly coming to an end. The main event is the Pool Party which begins at 12pm but I recommend lining up early as it gets packed fast. Make sure to bring all your essentials; sunscreen, towels, sunglasses, etc. There’s drinks and food available so you are safe to lounge by the pool the entire day. At 3:45pm is the Ladies Swimsuit Competition which is a blast to see. It’s women of all shapes and sizes decked out in rare vintage swimsuits. I have entered for this years competition but the final contestants have yet to be announced. Even if I’m not chosen, I will be there by the pool for the entire day as it’s such a fabulous time and so relaxing. Later in the evening, most people are saying their final good-byes and already planning for the following year.
There is definitely no shortage of things to do in Vegas and at Viva. Most importantly, have fun and take lots of photos as it’s a weekend to remember! If you are attending this year, please come and say “hi” if you see me out and about. I’ll be posting photos on Instagram and my Facebook page throughout the week so be sure to keep an eye out.
Photos are courtesy of Julie Abnet Photography – http://jabnetphotography.com/