Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012 | 7:31 p.m.
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Evel Knievel jumps Caesars fountains
Mike Metzger back flip
High-wire daredevil Tony Hernandez, who nightly pulls off the death-defying walk through the sky above the audience at “Absinthe” in Caesars Palace, is planning an even more dangerous tightrope stunt. Tony, who a week ago carried “How I Met Your Mother” actor Neil Patrick Harris across the high wire on a chair, wants to do a back-and-forth across the Strip.
He’s planned the route from Caesars Entertainment properties Caesars Palace to the Flamingo. Tony wants to walk it in one direction by himself to ensure all safety precautions are met, and then he wants to walk back with a gallant celebrity on his shoulders!
If Clark County officials forbid the stunt over Strip traffic or won’t close it for the 20-minute high-wire walk, Tony wants to do it over the front Caesars fountains that shoot up 30 feet. That’s where Evel Knievel failed to jump on his motorcycle in 1967 but son Robbie successfully did it in 1989.
In May 2006, Mike Metzger broke the world record for the longest motorcycle back flip, flying 125 feet over the fountains.
Tony’s brother-in-law, Nik Wallenda, has received the OK from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to take his high-wire act over Niagara Falls in June. He’s hoping to get approval from Canada on the other side of the falls but says that he’ll stay in U.S. for the walk if that’s denied.
NASCAR ON THE STRIP: After the first-ever night race at the Daytona 500 on Monday night, racecar drivers are now en route to Phoenix for this weekend’s NASCAR race and then just days later to Las Vegas. Fifty 18-wheelers carrying NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racecars will this year again thunder up the Strip to kick off NASCAR Weekend.
The NASCAR Hauler Parade starts at 6 p.m. at the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign and moves north 5 miles to the former Sahara, where they enter I-15 to complete the journey to Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Race fans will be able to watch the parade from both sides of the Strip and all hotels along Las Vegas Boulevard. NASCAR Weekend at LVMS kicks off March 9, with Sam’s Town 300 on Saturday and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 400 at noon March 11.
Tickets for NASCAR Weekend with Tim Allen and new Paris headliners “Jersey Boys” are on sale at LVMS.com. Danica Patrick, who crashed in the second lap Monday night in her drama-filled Daytona debut, isn’t racing in Phoenix but drives here the next weekend.
On the Phoenix track among the 44 drivers will be Las Vegas hometown heroes Kyle and Kurt Busch, Brenden Gaughan and Matt Kenseth, who won Monday night’s history-making, post-midnight run despite rain delays, extraordinary crashes and a jet fuel fire.
VIRAL CHARITY: “Ghost Adventures” host and producer Zak Bagans is helping our Nevada Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals via a unique online fundraising campaign: Everyone Gives launched a week ago to use social media to help nonprofits around the world.
In just a few days, more than $250,000 has been raised for some 1,200 charities, and 100 percent of the money raised goes to the charities. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is taking part.
Las Vegas resident Zak is one of several celebrities taking part, and he’s created a Giving Tree for NSPCA. He’s raised more than $8,000 from 367 participants as of Monday. In all, more than 6,500 people from 57 countries had donated Monday.
New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez continued his Las Vegas vacation with a stop Monday night at STK in the Cosmopolitan. Jake Pavelka, of “The Bachelor” and hosting Chippendales at the Rio, had lunch at Serendipity 3 at Caesars Palace enjoying a chicken sandwich. UFC fighter Forrest Griffin dined at Greens & Proteins in Henderson enjoying Thai ginger soup and a bison burger. Destin Pfaff of Bravo’s “The Millionaire Matchmaker” and wife and co-star Rachel Federoff dined at Rice & Company at the Luxor on Monday. The chef created a sushi roll for the matchmaker, naming it the “Destiny Roll.”
Pete “Big Elvis” Vallee gets a day named for him on his birthday and in celebrating 10 years performing on the Strip with more than 7,000 shows. Actress Darlene Thompkins, who co-starred with Elvis Presley in “Blue Hawaii,” joins Bill’s Gambling Hall & Saloon President Rick Mazer to present Mayor Carolyn Goodman’s proclamation alongside other celebrity lookalike guests and performers. The Kooks headline at House of Blues in Mandalay Bay. Rondell Sheridan, Brian McKim and Traci Skene are the three comedy headliners at the Improv at Harrah’s through Sunday.
Harrah’s headliner magician Mac King kicks off Nevada Reading Week 2012 with his Literacy Tour stop at Springs Preserve to benefit Clark County’s Public Education Foundation literacy initiative. The Catersource conference and tradeshow presented with the Nevada Restaurant Association opens for two days at the Convention Center with more than 1,000 booths showcasing the latest trends in restaurant, hospitality and catering, plus a pastry showcase with “Top Chef Just Desserts” winner Chris Hanmer and a culinary challenge pitting Las Vegas chefs.
It’s Leap Day, and Las Vegas has surprises to mark the occasion, plus Flamingo headliner magician Nathan Burton’s adventures in China, the reopening of “La Cage” at the Riviera and star chefs set out to claim a Guinness World Record for opening more wine bottles at one moment at the Bellagio pool’s grand patio.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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