Five reasons we love AFAN’s annual Black & White Party

Girls, put on your shopping shoes. Guys, dig through the back of your closet. It’s time for one of Vegas’ favorite and most fabulous annual parties. The Aid for AIDS of Nevada’s (AFAN) Black & White Party will celebrate its 28th year Aug. 23 at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel. Black and white attire is necessary and this is the party where everyone goes all out with their outfit. Wear a nice cocktail dress or wear a crazy costume. It’s up to you, but just don’t be boring. This is one bash you don’t want to miss. Here are five reasons we love going to the Black & White Party every year:

1)      It’s a great cause. We’re always down for a party but if it’s a party that helps people, that’s even better. The Black & White Party is thrown by AFAN, which provides support and advocacy for adults and children living with and affected by HIV/AIDS in southern Nevada. AFAN provides things like food programs, prevention and education programs. Last year the party raised more than $130,000 with 100 percent of the proceeds going to support services for 4,000 local men, women and children.

2)      The couture. The Black & White Party is one of the best people watching opportunities we’ve ever seen. And we live in Vegas so we’ve seen a lot. As we said, everyone must wear black and white to the party and anything goes. We’ve seen girls in dresses made entirely from balloons and guys in nothing more than some white Speedos and a black bowtie. So start thinking about your outfit now. The crazier, the better. (See examples below.)

3)      The entertainment. The Black & White Party always draws top notch entertainment by some of the Strip’s biggest names. If the stars of the biggest shows on the Strip take time out of their busy schedules to come perform at the party you know it’s the place to be. This year’s acts include Jabbawockeez, Melody Sweets from “Absinthe”, Sky Dee Miles, cast members from “Jubilee,” singer Lorena Peril and more. Actor, comedian and star of reality TV show “RuPaul’s DragRace” Shangela (D.J. Pierce) will also make a special appearance.

4)      The food and drinks. In our book, a party is not a good party without good food and the Black & White Party doesn’t disappoint. Vegas’ top chefs and mixologists will provide great food and drinks for the 3,500 guests. This year you can taste bites from Culinary Dropout, Maggiano’s, Pink Taco, 35 Steaks + Martinis, Jamba Juice, Popcorn Girl and Ferraro’s. Top it off with desserts by Aliante Casino + Hotel and Back Bar USA.

5)      The bargain price. This year’s $40 ticket includes admission to not one, but three days of parties. That’s a whole weekend full of parties for less than the price of a tank of gas! Start the weekend on Aug. 22 with the official kickoff party at Liaison Nightclub at Bally’s, the first gay nightclub in a Strip casino. The main event is, of course on Aug. 23, and on Aug. 24, AFAN will wrap up the weekend by bringing the legendary afternoon party T-Dance tradition to Vegas at Wynn Las Vegas’ Encore Beach Club. Black & White Party attendees will enjoy complimentary admission, one complimentary drink and access to a special VIP area.

For tickets to the Black & White Party, go to


It’s not that warm in Minnesota. I know this from spending half my life freezing in the northern part of the state. So 20 years ago, I decided to thaw out and traded in scarves and mittens for tank tops and flip-flops (Take that, polar vortex!). I swapped snow for 300 days of sun a year. I may not have been born here, but there are hotels that haven’t lasted in Vegas as long as I have. The Sands, Hacienda, Aladdin, Desert Inn and the Stardust too. I've been to my fair share of implosion parties. (Yeah, that’s a thing.) As a writer for, I've applauded hundreds of shows, explored every major hotel in town and raised a few glasses at most of the city's bars and clubs. Now I'm the resident foodie here. I write about all things dining — from $3.99 shrimp cocktail at the Golden Gate to the finest sushi at Nobu, and everything in between.