Vegas Weekender: This weekend sizzles with Mexican Independence Day, music festivals and reggae

This weekend in Vegas is going to be muy caliente! Whether you’re here to celebrate Mexican Independence day weekend, jam to reggae or to party, get ready for one of the most exciting, fun-filled weekends of the year. And while summer is winding down, rest assured the sunny days in Vegas will be here for awhile.

Shows and events: The weekend sizzles with hot men and other entertainment

Start the weekend off on a hot note with the Aussies of Thunder from Down Under, performing 9 p.m. nightly (with an additional show at 11 p.m.  Friday and Saturday) at the Excalibur.

Fans of Carlos Santana (pictured right) can catch “An Intimate Evening with Santana: Greatest Hits Live – Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow” at House of Blues inside Mandalay Bay. Show starts at 7 p.m. on the following dates: Sept. 12 – 13, 15 – 16. Santana will play on select dates through 2013.

Hard Rock Hotel sets the bar for a rockin’ weekend: See Silverspun Pickups (with special guests School of Seven Bells and Atlas Genius) Sept. 14 at The Joint. Show starts at 8 p.m. Or, check out Grammy-winning artist Fiona Apple on Sept. 15 at 8 p.m.

Punk band Mariachi El Bronx performs at Book & Stage inside The Cosmopolitan. The free show starts at 10:30 p.m., Sept. 14 – 16.

Mandalay Bay presents its Rock ’n’ Roll Wine festival, “Bubbles & Chocolate,” on Sept. 14 from 8 – 11 p.m. Located at Moorea Beach Club, guests can enjoy a variety of delicious champagne, sparkling wine and chocolate. In addition, there will be an acoustic performance by Ed Kowalczyk of the band Live.

In celebration of Wine Amplified Weekend, guests can also enjoy a performance by Young the Giant at Mandalay Bay Beach on Sept. 15. This event starts at 7 p.m. and also includes 150 wines from 50 wineries.

See funny man Wayne Brady’s show, “Making It Up” in the Terry Fator Theatre at The Mirage on Sept. 15. Show starts at 9 p.m.

The laughter continues with comedian Eddie Griffin’s standup performance Monday through Wednesday at Rio’s Crown Theater. Show starts at 7 p.m.

Also at Crown Theater, fans of Michael Jackson can groove to his hits at “MJ Live” Sunday through Thursday at 8:30 p.m.

Mexican Independence Day weekend

Celebrate Mexican Independence Day weekend with Latin bombshell Jessica Burciaga at Crazy Horse III.

¡Muy caliente! It’s time to party!

Grammy-award winning Mexican rock band Maná celebrates Mexican Independence Day weekend with a performance at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sept. 16 at 7 p.m.

Watch “Knockout Kings” Canelo Alvarez and Josesito Lopez take the ring at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sept. 15. The undefeated Mexican sensation Alvarez comes face-to-face with breakout star Lopez for the WBC Super Welterweight World Championship. Doors open at 3 p.m.

The Gigant3s concludes its U.S. tour on Sept. 14 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Special guests include Latin music all-stars Marc Anthony, Marco Antonio Solis and Chayanne. Show starts at 8 p.m.

The Mandalay Bay Events Center also features Latin pop star, Alejandro Fernandez on Sept. 15. Considered one of the biggest-selling artists in Latin music history, Fernandez is popular for his romantic ballads. Show starts at 8 p.m.

Party with Playboy playmate Jessica Burciaga as she hosts the Mexican Independence Day fiesta at Crazy Horse III and Posh Boutique nightclub on Sept. 15. The Latina bombshell toasts tequila shots for the special occasion.

Tryst nightclub inside Wynn Las Vegas celebrates Mexican Independence week with DJ Spider on Sept. 14 and Jermaine Dupri on Sept. 15. World-renowned DJ Derrick Anthony spins during both nights.

Reggae Weekend: Get down to these smoooth sounds

In celebration of Reggae Weekend, see Leche de Tigre on Sept. 14 at Vinyl inside the Hard Rock Hotel, along with Mishka and Anuhea on Sept. 15.

The Hard Rock Hotel also hosts “Soundwaves,” a summer poolside concert series at Paradise Beach. Enjoy the music of Yellowman on Sept. 14. Show starts at 9 p.m.

Take advantage of another outdoor reggae concert at Silverton’s Sway Pool Lounge. On Sept. 15, see the hit reggae band The Abyssinians. Guests can enjoy the music with a night of cocktails, reggae and fun by the water. The Abyssinians formed in the late 1960s and are known for hits “The Declaration of Rights” and “Satta Massagana,” one of reggae’s most popular anthems.  Doors open at 6 p.m. Show starts at 7 p.m.

Dining: Good food and spirits in Las Vegas

The Mirage celebrates wining and dining during the month of September. Guests eating at any of the resort’s restaurants receive a “Siptember” passport and a chance to win prizes. Select restaurants like Kokomo’s, Fin, Onda Ristorante and Samba offer diners the chance to explore an abundance of wine varietals, along with special dining discounts.

Football fans are in luck: Ranch House Kitchen at Town Square presents “Pigskin Playground.” During games on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays, football fans can enjoy $2 domestic drafts and $12 domestic beer buckets, as well as raffle prizes. Patrons who enter the raffle on Sundays have a chance to win a trip to Hawaii and two tickets to the Pro Bowl in January 2013.

Continue to celebrate football season at Slice of Vegas and Hussong’s Cantina in The Shoppes at Mandalay Place with food and drink selections. Both locations offer $15 pitchers, $4 pints or $4 select cocktails every Sunday, Monday and Thursday.

Slice of Vegas offers pizza specials, as well as a Sunday Football Brunch including the Italian omelet (Italian sausage, peppers, fresh mozzarella and marinara) or the breakfast pizza (sausage gravy, mozzarella and eggs).

Hussong’s Cantina features its breakfast burrito, Huevos Rancheros, or Chilaquiles Con Huevo, consisting of green chilaquiles topped with sour cream, mayonnaise, onion, cilantro, grilled white corn, queso fresco, two eggs and pico de gallo.

Nightlife: Make of the most of the city once the sun sets

Groove to the sounds of Cosmic Gate (right) on Sept. 14 at Marquee in The Cosmopolitan and Sunnery James and Ryan Marciano on Sept. 15. Here for a long weekend? Then let loose with Redfoo of LMFAO for Marquee’s Party Rock Mondays.

If you want to start the party early, Keidy performs at Marquee Dayclub on Sept. 14 and Chuckie is there on Sept. 15.


Most folks take their Vegas jackpot winnings back home, but my dad decided to stay here instead. That’s how I left Seattle almost 20 years ago. I moved from greenery and rainy days to hot summers, palm trees and desert. As much as I love my hometown, I decided to stick around Vegas. This city just has so much to offer. You don’t even have to be a gambler, bar hopper or an all-night partier. I love Vegas for its awesome vegan-friendly spots, concerts, swanky hotel suites and spas so big, they’re like castles. The pool scene is not too shabby either, which is why I love taking stay-cations. Besides living it up -- Vegas style -- I’m hanging out with my handsome hubby, adorable baby girl, two cats and super-fluffy Shih-Tzu. I’m also a huge fan of '90s music, shows and movies. You can find me on Google+ and Twitter.