Virtual “First Friday” September 4th, 2020 – Plus This & That

First Friday Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, announces that First Friday is a virtual event again on September 4th as we continue to stay connected while practicing social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will go live from various places in the arts district.


Please check Instagram TV for pre-recorded messages and activities from our community throughout the night. Items from your favorite local First Friday artists are available at our online shopping venue at


Ruben Martinez’s RM Photo Gallery

Key elements for this month include: Timing – From 6pm to 9pm. Link to Virtual First Friday@firstfridaylv.  First Friday will be visiting Ruben Martinez at his new RM Photo Gallery in Art Square, and will also showcase some of the art from Boards Up Downtown Vegas. Boards up Downtown is a collaborative effort between the art community, Downtown Vegas Alliance, and the city to highlight the murals created during Phase 1 of the COVID-19 pandemic and share the story of how artists and businesses came together during this crisis.


There will be a Surprise musician in-studio during the evening.  Please support the Totes of Love project by donating toiletry items and female sanitary items.  Drop off – in a safe socially distanced manner – will be in front of Crafthaus Brewery on California and Main from 5pm-8pm on September 4th.  A Salvation Army van will accept items and those who donate will get a ticket for a special price on a Crafthaus beer. NOTE: see YOUTH ART PROGRAM below for more details on this program, including programs that will be supported.

Karma Reyes

The First Friday Foundation posts updates and special offers through its social media channels – on Facebook at and Twitter @FirstFridayLV. The First Friday website is where donations to this non-profit are gratefully accepted.


YOUTH ART PROGRAMS: First Friday Foundation launched art experiences for Las Vegas youth partnering with the DISCOVERY Children’s Museum and the city of Las Vegas. The art programs will be held at The Charleston Heights Arts Center, 800 South Brush Street; DISCOVERY Children’s Museum in Symphony Park, Fifth Street School, 401 N. 4th St.; West Las Vegas Arts Center 947 West Lake Mead.


September Art Programs will be instructed by artist Karma Reyes in a series called Totes of Love. Participants will paint and stencil small totes with inspirational quotes to be filled with donated items and delivered to women and teenage girls at local shelters. Donations of the following travel-sized items: toothpaste, toothbrushes, sanitary items, dry shampoo, and deodorant will be accepted – in a safe socially distanced manner – in front of Crafthaus Brewery on California and Main from 5pm-8pm on September 4th.

September Art Programs

A Salvation Army van will accept items and those who donate will get a ticket for a special price on a Crafthaus beer. Totes of Love donations will help support the following Salvation Army programs:  SEEDS of Hope, a program to identify, rescue, and restore survivors of all forms of human trafficking and support the chronically homeless and low-income families who live in either Horizon Crest Permanent Supportive Housing or Horizon Crest Apartments. Also, the donations will support women and teen girls at Safe Nest. The 4 September classes will be hosted at various locations.

Please check the website for details (



A friend of mine, Matt Martelli (he owns and operates the annual Mint 400 off-road race held in Las Vegas every March), wrote the following article, and I felt my readers would like to read about this adventure, which is reachable from Vegas by car:



Matt Martelli

Guadalupe Valley in Baja is magical. A couple weeks back I rallied some of the Dirt Co. crew including Jeff Acrea, Mike Cafro and Charlie Copelan to escape to Guadalupe Valley for a day of wine tasting and magnificent food, and really just a good excuse to visit our good friend Chef Drew Deckman. Just slightly north of Ensenada, Guadalupe Valley is exploding with wine and food culture. Accelerated by the growth of local wineries bringing in tourism, Guadalupe Valley has some of the most exciting restaurants in Baja, serving locally sourced seafood and produce.



The day started with oysters and white wine at Relieve Vinicola’s Mixtura Restaurant. The outdoor patio overlooks their vineyard and fountain pond with a bit of shade. We couldn’t resist some of the other items on the menu including the scallops, the birria tacos, and even a bit of Mezcal for breakfast. Next we headed to Castillo Ferrer where we met up with owner Marco Moreno who gave us the tour of his winery and the newly opened La Justina restaurant which overlooks his beautiful vineyard.


Afterwards we headed to Charlie’s good friends, Kristin, and Adam Schute at Lechuza Winery, where we tried their beautiful wines including everything from Chardonnay Roble to my favorite the “Amantes”,  which is a bold blended red wine made from all local Baja grapes. It’s good to have friends in the valley. He treated us to some of his amazing wines and we sat swapping stories about life and business.


The day ended with an epic dinner from our good friend and off-road chef Drew Deckman. His restaurant, Deckman’s at El Mogor, is a must see if you come down and visit the Valley. Nestled between a grove of massive pine trees at the base of a mountain overlooking the Mogor Badan Winery, Deckman’s is the spot for amazing sunset dinners wrapped in the warm breeze of the Guadalupe Valley. It is my favorite restaurant in the whole world. We stayed at Drew’s family ranch and woke up to his Mother in Law Guadalupe’s amazing desayuno. Drew grows most of the produce he uses at his restaurant on this ranch as well as the flowers that adorn his tables. Guadalupe Valley is open, and they need your business!  Head down and check out these amazing wineries and restaurants.


Individuals who have adopted a pet from Hearts Alive Village are invited to share how their pet has changed their life to help give Hearts Alive Village a chance to receive a $100,000 grand prize Holiday Wishes grant award from the Petco Foundation. In partnership with BOBS from Skechers, the Petco Foundation is granting more than $750,000 this holiday season to qualified animal welfare organizations across the country. Awards will range from $5,000 to $100,000, and adopters with winning submissions will receive up to a $1,000 Petco shopping spree and a prize pack with BOBS from Skechers shoes.


“We’re calling on all Hearts Alive Village adopters to help us earn a lifesaving grant award this holiday season from the Petco Foundation by sharing their stories,” said Christy Stevens, Executive Director of Hearts Alive Village “Thank you for choosing adoption; now you can make our holiday wishes come true by helping us earn lifesaving funds to bring more pets in need together with loving families.”


Through September 23, adopters can submit their story at Stories should highlight how pets have changed their adopter’s life for the better, in big and small ways, and should celebrate the love of their adopted pet. Submissions must include four photos to illustrate the story and can include video as well. Adopters can contact Sheryl Green, Director of Communications at Hearts Alive Village ([email protected]) for assistance crafting their story and submitting it. Adopters are also encouraged to visit the Holiday Wishes homepage for more information and to read stories from previous winners.


The deadline to submit a Holiday Wishes story is September 23, 2020, noon CST. Winners will be announced during the holiday season. For a full list of prizes and submission FAQs, visit

Since 2013, over $5 million in Holiday Wishes grants have been awarded to help make the holidays brighter for animal welfare organizations during the holiday season and year-round. For more information about Holiday Wishes, visit and join the conversation on social media using #HolidayWishes.


2020 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo

The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association remains committed to hosting the 2020 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. There is no question – the 2020 PRORODEO World Champions will be crowned. There are several options being considered: with fans, without fans, in Las Vegas, outside Las Vegas. Despite these extenuating circumstances, the PRCA and Las Vegas Events want to produce the best NFR ever and provide fans, sponsors, contestants, and members the outstanding experience they’ve come to expect.

At this moment, an event in Las Vegas with fans isn’t feasible. There is an option to keep the NFR in Las Vegas without fans, so that is being explored. But there are other options being evaluated, including, for this year only, holding the 2020 NFR in a new host city that will allow the PRCA to optimize: NFR fan attendance and fan experience, including shopping in the NFR gift show, walking through the PRORODEO Fan Zone, local nightlife with NFR after-parties and other ancillary entertainment.

These are all important activities for fans that contribute to the overall NFR experience.  Opportunities to hold the annual PRCA Convention, ProRodeo Hall of Fame Gala, NFR Contestant Back Number Ceremony and the annual PRCA Awards Banquet. Season tickets; the PRCA values those who have been committed to the NFR and will be working to accommodate those who currently hold NFR season tickets. The safety of contestants, members, and fans; the PRCA is not willing to put anyone at risk and strives to maintain the safety of all involved. We look forward to announcing the final decision by Sept. 30.


Food and beverage industry veteran, Zoey D’Arienzo, brings more than a decade of industry experience to her role as the new vice president of food and beverage for The STRAT Hotel, Casino & SkyPod

D’Arienzo will manage the food and beverage department and oversee operations, marketing, profitability and procedures for the property’s restaurants, bars and lounges, including the award-winning Top of the World restaurant.


“In addition to her knowledge of The STRAT’s food and beverage program through her previous role with the Cleveland Menu Company, leadership is at the heart of what Zoey offers,” said vice president and general manager of The STRAT, Stephen Thayer. “Food and beverage is the cornerstone of Golden Entertainment; Inc. and we could not be more excited to welcome Zoey’s impressive roster of experience to our team.”


Prior to accepting this position, D’Arienzo worked for the Cleveland Menu Company as a sales representative where she collaborated with The STRAT’s culinary team on menu development. She previously held the position of corporate director of food and beverage position for Caesars Entertainment, director of beverage for MGM Resorts International and beverage manager for Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln, Calif. A New York native, she received her bachelor’s degree in Communications in 2002 from State University of New York at Plattsburgh.


Kurt Hansen

Long-time Denver-based Race Central Television and ESPN Radio Host, Kurt Hansen will join the broadcast team covering of the annual “Race to the Clouds” at Pikes Peak. The 98th running of the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, by Gran Turismo international event will be contested August 30, 2020. Hansen will be heard live on KRDO NewsRadio beginning at 7 a.m. MT until the conclusion of the race tentatively around 4 p.m. MT. Due to the pandemic fans will not be allowed to attend the unique event making the broadcast team a vital element to the success of the race.

“I’m thrilled to return to announcing one of America’s truly amazing and unique motorsports events,” said Hansen, a multiple award-winning broadcaster. “This is the third time I’ve been asked to be one of the announcers and it’s a real privilege. There is really nothing like Pikes Peak, racers come from around the world to ‘Race to the Clouds’ and I’m really looking forward to it.”


Hansen, an honorary member of the Colorado Hill Climb Association and Former Pikes Peak International Board Member said, “Our host KRDO Radio has assembled a great team of broadcasters to call the event. I’m looking forward to join the team, it’s always an exciting event, so be sure to tune in!”

About Race Central:
Race Central brings the greatest names in Motorsports to race fans throughout America and the World for over 25 Years on dozens of Broadcast Television Partners in Prime Time, Amazon Prime and Roku and additional Online Partners Online and reaching in excess of 500 Million US Homes alone.

For more information go to:


Well, gang, that’s about all for this week.

I’m outa here!

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