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August 1, 2014

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Halloween brings out sugary side of Las Vegas notables

Celebrities, politicians make plans for trick-or-treating visitors

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Left: Summerlin residents attend the annual Summerlin Pumpkin Festival to welcome the fall season. Right: A man dressed as a zombie waits for his next victim at Bonnie Screams, a haunted house west of Las Vegas in Bonnie Springs. (Photos by Richard Brian)

Halloween isn’t just a holiday for the kids. Local celebrities, politicians and prominent members of the Las Vegas community are planning to take part in today’s festivities.

From special performances to Halloween celebrations to traditional trick-or-treating, the Las Vegas Sun found out how Las Vegas notables are spending their holiday -- and how they're contributing to bags of Halloween treats.

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Penn Jillette performs The Beatles' "Come Together" with the Lon Bronson All-Star Band at Green Valley Ranch on Jan. 29, 2009.

Penn Jillette of the comedy/magic team Penn & Teller

The 6-foot-7-inch half of Penn & Teller said he surprised his daughter’s preschool class Friday during its Halloween celebration. “Her teacher asked me to come as Frankenstein. I wonder if I was Brad Pitt, if she'd have that same suggestion?" Penn Jillette said.

As for plans today, Jillette said he and his family would be attending one of the many events around town. “We are taking the kids to trick-or-treat at Town Square on Saturday. We did it last year and it was great.”

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Marie Osmond and Donny Osmond perform at the Children's Miracle Network Mardi Gras Ball in the Bellagio Ballroom in February 2009.

Entertainers Donny and Marie Osmond

Donny and Marie’s show at the Flamingo has gone dark this Halloween so the pair can spend time with their kids. While Donny will be spending time with family in Provo, Utah, Marie will be at her home in the Green Valley area of Henderson.

“Halloween is second only to Christmas as my family's favorite holiday,” Marie said. “This year will be a complete variety pack with my kids in costume. I've got a pirate, a ladybug, a mad scientist and a zombie to name a few.

“I usually do the full-out witch garb, but I'm so happy here in Vegas I might go even more fun. We found, in storage, a red curly wig someone wore one year as 'Annie'. Maybe I'll go as Carrot Top."

Magician Nathan Burton

Burton will be performing a 4 p.m. show at the Flamingo today and is hoping to see lots of kids in costumes. Rather than handing out candy to trick-or-treaters, he’s doing something a little more eccentric.

“I have plans to attend a séance for Houdini at midnight,” Burton said. “Nothing says Halloween more than a séance for a world-famous, deceased magician.”

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Magician and comedian Mac King performs a rope trick in June 2009 at Harrah's.

Comedian and magician Mac King

Mac King said he’s spent all week sewing and hot gluing his 9-year-old daughter’s Princess Mononoke Halloween costume. As for Halloween night plans, King said his family will have a little shindig at his house, followed by trick-or-treating in the neighborhood.

Trick-or-treaters can expect a few surprises at King’s house.

“Without giving anything away, I will say that when trick-or-treaters reach in the candy bowl to get their treats, they get quite a magical surprise,” he said. “I reckon you could say they get tricked and treated.”

Henderson Mayor Andy Hafen

Hafen will enjoy his favorite candies, Riesen chocolates and almond M&M’s, in an airplane this year. But before leaving for the East Coast, he planned to spend time carving pumpkins with his grandchildren.

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Gov. Jim Gibbons speaks with reporters in Las Vegas during a Sept. 10 news conference on the I-15 expansion project.

Gov. Jim Gibbons

Halloween came early this year in Carson City because of Nevada Day. Gibbons stood at the steps of the governor's residence and passed out miniature Twix and Hershey's bars, as well as bags of M&M's that were donated by local merchants.

Sen. John Ensign

Ensign will be in Summerlin handing out candy with his family.

Boulder City Mayor Roger Tobler

Tobler will spend Halloween at home with his family while handing out candy with his daughters.

“I usually give out candy to a lot of people,” Tobler said. “This year, I couldn’t find anything cool to hand out but chocolate.”

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Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman and his wife, Carolyn.

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman

Goodman will be passing out more than sugary treats. In addition to candy, the mayor will give out “good luck” poker chips, city of Las Vegas pins and — for a lucky few — flashlights.

His wife, Carolyn, makes him answer the door because "everyone wants to see the mayor,” she said. Still, he might be hard to recognize this year because he'll be wearing a Quasimodo mask and skeleton T-shirt.

Clark County commissioners

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Rory Reid on Oct. 14, 2009.

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Clark County Commissioner Lawrence Weekly during a February 2009 meeting.

Chairman Rory Reid will start Halloween in Carson City, where he'll be handing out candy to kids at a Nevada Day celebration. Reid will catch an afternoon flight back to Las Vegas to join his family in greeting trick-or-treaters at his Henderson home.

He'll also be keeping an eye on the costume party hosted by his daughter, Savannah.

Commission Vice Chairwoman Susan Brager will visit her grandchildren at the family's traditional chili dinner to see their costumes, then head back home to hand out candy.

Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani won't disappoint costumed kids. "This is my favorite time of the year, so my yard is all decorated and I usually go through between $75 and $100 of candy," she said.

Commissioner Steve Sisolak and his family will be handing out full-sized candy bars, Reese's peanut butter cups, M&M's and Starbursts to trick-or-treaters.

Commissioner Lawrence Weekly will participate in a Halloween Safe Night at the Dr. William U. Pearson Community Center, 1625 W. Carey Ave., which starts a 6 p.m.

"There are so many evil connotations associated with Halloween," Weekly said. "The kids should be laughing and having a good time and not worrying. Instead of knocking on doors at strangers' homes, we've made it a one-stop shop."

Commissioner Tom Collins will be at the Thomas & Mack Center for the 2009 Professional Bull Riders World Finals.

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Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., speaks about health care reform legislation on Aug. 25.

Rep. Dina Titus

Titus will be in Washington, D.C., but there will be no partisanship at her door. She will be handing out miniature Reese's peanut butter cups to kids, regardless of political affiliation.

Rep. Shelley Berkley

Berkley will be in town passing out treats to goblins and ghouls who knock on her door.

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Holly Madison at the grand opening of the Hard Rock Cafe on the Las Vegas Strip.

‘Peepshow’ star Holly Madison

Madison is hoping to make the Halloween holiday her very own.

"My goal is to make Hollyween an annual event here in Las Vegas,” she said. “I'm hosting this year at Studio 54, which also includes a costume contest, so that should be fun."

Madison said she will be dressed as the Queen of Hearts while she parties at MGM Grand’s Studio 54.

Dr. Maryam Sina, Henderson pediatric dentist

Pediatric dentist Maryam Sina will be handing out toothbrushes instead of candy and sending toothpaste to some local schools.

She’s also advocating that parents take the role of Halloween fairy, which involves exchanging candy for toys and presents.

“I tell parents to tell their kids to place their candy behind the house and a Halloween fairy will come,” Sina said.

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Las Vegas performer Frank Marino poses with a hot dog on the red carpet during an event for Pink's Hot Dogs Las Vegas inside Planet Hollywood on Friday, Sept. 18, 2009.

Frank Marino, celebrity impersonator

Marino is best known for his outlandish costumes and female celebrity impersonations. This Halloween will be no exception.

“Halloween is the one day a year that I make sure that I’m home before midnight,” Marino said. “They say it’s not safe for bitches to be out … or is that witches?”

Andrew and Mike Tierney of ‘Human Nature’

The boys of Motown-inspired “Human Nature” at Imperial Palace will experience a first of sorts.

"This is actually our first-ever Halloween, which is pretty cool,” Andrew Tierney said. “We never celebrate it in Australia for some reason.”

Mike Tierney will be hosting a party during the day for friends and family before the group’s evening performance. The Tierneys will be doing their Halloween show in costume with a surprise for the audience to keep the Halloween spirit.

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Robin Leach and George Maloof.

Palms owner George Maloof

Maloof said he’ll be spending his Halloween weekend at the Fangoria horror convention. He’ll be catching a couple of horror movies, then later going to the Slipknot concert and the costume parties at Palms clubs.

He’ll round out the weekend at his usual Palms hot spot, Simon, for Sunday brunch.

Celebrity journalist Robin Leach

Leach said he’s hoping to give kids a taste of the good life with something other than candy this year.

“I'm handing out tubs of chocolate cheesecake bites in a desperate attempt to show kids it’s not just about candy and that they will grow up to appreciate good gourmet food one day,” Leach said.

After handing out goodies to trick-or-treaters, Leach said he’ll head over to the Boo Ball at the Artisan Hotel, then party with the stars of “Twilight” at Tao in the Venetian.

UNLV football coach Mike Sanford

Sanford has other plans on this Halloween. His Rebels are on the road to take on undefeated TCU this afternoon in Fort Worth, Texas.

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UNLV head coach Lon Kruger talks to his players after the Rebels FirstLook scrimmage Oct. 16 at the Thomas & Mack Center.

UNLV basketball coach Lon Kruger

Kruger will be handing out his favorite candy to trick-or-treaters at his home this Halloween — that is, if there’s anything left.

"I’ll be handing out candy bars and peanut M&M's,” he said. “I may eat a bunch of them."

Illusionist Criss Angel

Angel will be celebrating a milestone this Halloween. Today marks the one-year anniversary of his Cirque du Soleil show “Believe” at the Luxor and he’ll be celebrating with a party after the performance.

Entertainer Wayne Newton

There will be no trick-or-treating for “Mr. Las Vegas.” Newton will be taking the stage for an 8:30 p.m. performance at the Tropicana.

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Terry Fator performs during his opening night in March 2009 at The Mirage.

Entertainer Terry Fator

Fator said Halloween is one of his favorite holidays and it always brings out the kid in him. He said he still dresses up and enjoys trick-or-treating, but this year he’s taking his Halloween spirit to the happiest place on Earth.

“I'm going to Disneyland. I feel like Peter Pan myself sometimes, so I thought I'd spend the night with him,” Fator said. “I'm going as a vampire and my girlfriend, Taylor, is going as Cat Woman ... or the other way around. I get confused.”

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Comedian Louie Anderson entertained the audience in February 2009 attending the Children's Miracle Mardi Gras Ball in the Bellagio Ballroom.

Comedian Louie Anderson

Anderson decided to give back to the community this Halloween. He said he was bringing candy and other Halloween goodies to local shelters on Friday.

“I started the tradition this year because I remember being a poor kid and sometimes poor kids don’t have the money for the costumes and don’t always get to go trick-or-treating for whatever reason,” Anderson said.

He had a laundry list of candy that he was planning to hand out, including Baby Ruths, Butterfingers, PayDays and Smarties.

“I’m planning on buying all the stuff I like," he said, "and hope for leftovers."

Halloween safety tips:

  • Costumes shouldn't restrict a child’s ability to see, hear, speak, move or breathe, and should be short enough for children to walk or run in.
  • Costumes should have bright reflective material on the back and should allow the trick-or-treater to be visible. Carry a flashlight.
  • Parents should plan their trick-or-treat route ahead of time.
  • Children shouldn't consume candy until it is checked by a parent.
  • Homeowners shouldn't have anything in view of the front door that could entice someone to come back later and steal what they saw.
  • Leave the candy bowl out of reach of cats and dogs. Chocolate candy can hurt some pets. Pets should be kept inside in a secure area.
  • Source: Bill Cassel, of Metro Police, and Karen Layne, of the Las Vegas Valley Humane Society.

Sun reporters Tiffany Gibson and Ray Brewer contributed to this report.