Thursday, March 29, 2012 | 6 p.m.
Las Vegas goes country this weekend as the Academy of Country Music Awards take over Mandalay Bay and MGM Grand with fan fests and free concerts downtown at the Fremont Street Experience. In addition to all the country performers in town, the stars will be out to play at the Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational at Shadow Creek Golf Course. If your bracket is still alive or you’re just plain excited about the Final Four, catch all the basketball action at sports books up and down the Strip and look online for our special where to watch guide. Here are our best bets for the weekend:
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Thursday: Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational
Aria Resort and Casino presents the Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational golf tournament at the Shadow Creek golf course. The four-day tournament and celebration features sports stars and entertainers such as Michael Jordan, Marcus Allen, Aaron Rodgers, Brian Baumgartner, Jerome Bettis, Brandi Chastain, Roger Clemens, Vince Coleman, Julius Erving, Wayne Gretzky, Ken Griffey Jr., Penny Hardaway, Mario Lemieux, Greg Maddux, Maury Povich, Ahmad Rashad, Ozzie Smith, John Smoltz, Matt Stafford, Michael Strahan, Alan Thicke and Brian Urlacher. Ticket prices range from $22.50 for day passes to $500 for VIP passes. The even runs Thursday-Sunday.
Friday-Sunday: Brad Garrett's Comedy Club opening
Brad Garrett's new comedy club at the MGM Grand opens its doors with Garrett performing with Ralph Harris, Michael Somerville and Geechy Guy. The 'Everybody Loves Raymond' star has moved his club from Tropicana to MGM and will be making appearances there regularly. Tickets are $68- $90, and show times are 8 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 8 p.m. Sunday.
Friday-Sunday: Academy of Country Music Awards
The boot and cowboy hat crowd takes over Las Vegas for the Academy of Country Music Awards. Things kick off with The ACM Experience, the first free country music lifestyle event created for fans. The three-day event at Mandalay Bay includes the ACM BBQ Throwdown, ACM Expo and the ACM Fan Jam, a ticketed event hosted by the Zac Brown Band, on Sunday.
The Academy of Country Music is hosting two days of all-star concerts at Fremont Street. The weekend-long party leading up to the 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards will be hosted by three-time ACM On-Air Personality of the Year Award winner Blair Garner, host of After MidNite with Blair Garner, and will feature performances by ACM New Artist of the Year nominees Brantley Gilbert, Hunter Hayes and Scotty McCreery, as well as Love and Theft and headliner Luke Bryan on Friday and Laura Bell Bundy, Craig Campbell, Eli Young Band, Jana Kramer and headliner Eric Church on Saturday. The concerts start at 7 p.m. each night.
On Sunday, the 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards honoring country music’s top talent and featuring the industry’s hottest emerging talent will broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena. The show, hosted for the second year by Reba and Blake Shelton, will feature performances by Martina McBride, Dierks Bentley and Brad Paisley. Tickets are $155-$475 and the show begins at 5 p.m.
Friday: Pink Floyd Experience at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts
Get ready for PFX: The Pink Floyd Experience as “Wish You Were Here” is performed in its entirety. Enjoy a spectacular light and video show, full quadraphonic sound as six talented musicians bring the Floyd experience. Tickets are $27-$65 and the show begins at 8 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: Soap star weekend
Daniel Goddard, who plays Cane Ashby, and Christel Khalil, who plays Lily Winters, from "The Young and the Restless" will be in Las Vegas for a fan weekend to benefit The Shade Tree Shelter, which helps women, children and their pets. Fans will get a chance to interact with Goddard and Khalil and can bid on a dinner with them. The weekend will include photo opportunities, autograph and Q & A sessions, and a champagne brunch buffet. Tickets are $125- $250 and festivities begin at 5 p.m. Friday.
Saturday: Darius Rucker
Singer Darius Rucker has come a long way since asking fans to "Let Her Cry" with his band Hootie & The Blowfish. His '90s rock gave way to his country roots, and he is now a bona fide country star with hits like "Don't Think I Don't Think About It" and "It Won't Be Like This For Long." Tickets are $40, and the show starts at 9 p.m. at Mandalay Bay Beach.
Saturday: Kenny Rogers in Primm
Kenny Rogers has garnered four Grammy Awards, 11 People's Choice Awards 18 American Music Awards, eight ACMs and five CMAs over his 50 years performing. With hits like "Lady" in 1980 all the way up to his 2000 single, "Buy Me A Rose," Rogers' staying power is sure to come across in his live performance at the Star of the Desert Arena in Primm. Tickets are $47- $70. The show starts at 8 p.m.
Saturday: Extreme Thing at Desert Breeze Skate Park
Extreme Thing sports and music festival celebrates all things extreme. Bands scheduled to perform include The Used, Underoath, Less Than Jake, Twiztid, Unwritten Law, Mickey Avalon, Falling in Reverse, Anti-Flag, Black Dhalia Murder and a slew of DJs on the dubstep side stage. The event also includes the Pro BMX Dirt Challenge hosted by Ricardo Laguna, amateur MMA matches, wrestling exhibitions from Adrenaline Unleashed and food and beverage vendors. Tickets are $17- $30, and the event opens at 11 a.m.
Saturday: Wine Walk at Lake Las Vegas
The weather is perfect for an evening spent on the lake and a few glasses of wine. Saturday night, the Lake Las Vegas resort presents its annualWine Walk series opener. Sample reds, whites and small bites while you enjoy the spring season and support local charity New Vista Community. Tickets are $25- $75 and the event begins at 6 p.m.
Sunday: "Golda's Balcony" at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts
As a co-promotion with The Jewish Federation of Las Vegas and the Jewish Repertory Theatre of Nevada, The Smith Center presents “Golda's Balcony,” a portrait of Gold Meir from Tony Award-winning playwright William Gibson. Tovah Feldshuh stars in this moving production. Tickets are $39- $139, and the show starts at 5 p.m.