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April 23, 2014

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Weekend best bets: The Magical Forest, Jim Gaffigan, Kellie Pickler

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

People ride a train through Opportunity Village’s Magical Forest Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012.

With Thanksgiving and Black Friday on our minds, it is easy to forget the slew of amazing entertainment options Las Vegas offers every weekend. Work off your turkey with a trip around the ice skating rink at Winter in Venice at the Venetian/Palazzo or by dancing to the music of Kellie Pickler at the Orleans. Here are our best entertainment bets for the weekend:

    • Friday: Bill Cosby at Treasure Island

      Bill Cosby, star of the The Cosby Show and Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, got his start in stand-up comedy. The TV star opened doors for other African-American actors as he broke racial barriers. He will be performing live at the Treasure Island Theatre.

    • Kellie Pickler at the Academy of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on April 5, 2009.

      Friday-Saturday: Kellie Pickler at the Orleans

      Country artist Kellie Pickler first gained fame on the fifth season of "American Idol" and has gone on to make a name for herself with hits like “Red High Heels,” “I Wonder” and “Things That Never Cross a Man’s Mind.” She will appear at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Orleans. Tickets are $44-$66.

    • Opportunity Village's Magical Forest on Dec. 19, 2011.

      Friday: The Magical Forest tree-lighting ceremony

      Opportunity Village’s Magical Forest opens its doors this week and marks its 21st anniversary with a tree-lighting ceremony Friday. Linda Smith, chief development officer for Opportunity Village, will begin the ceremony by highlighting this season’s new attractions and introducing master-of-ceremonies Mayor Pro Tem Stavros Anthony, who will proclaim the Magical Forest as North Pole Nevada. Enjoy a visit from Santa Claus and the Las Vegas Tenors, plus special performances by Lorena Peril, the star of Fantasy at Luxor, and other special guests. Anthony will also flip the switch to light up the trees. The event takes place at 6 p.m. at the Opportunity Village Campus, 6300 W. Oakey Blvd.

    • Friday: Rush at MGM Grand

      Rush will be performing its hits like "Tom Sawyer," "New World Man" and "The Spirit of Radio" live at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Tickets are $59-$154, and the show starts at 8 p.m.

    • 
Jim Gaffigan is probably best known for his jokes about the food item Hot Pockets.

      Friday: Jim Gaffigan at Mirage

      Stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan headlines at the Terry Fator Theater at Mirage on Friday and Saturday night. The popular comic has made a name for himself partly due to his skits about food like cake and bacon, so it seems fitting he will take the stage after Thanksgiving. Tickets are $60-$70, and the show starts at 10 p.m. both days.

    • Ongoing: Winter in Venice at the Venetian and Palazzo

      Winter in Venice returns to the Venetian and Palazzo. The second-annual celebration of the winter holiday season on the Las Vegas Strip features 50 days of holiday festivities throughout both resorts through Jan. 6. Activities include an outdoor skating rink (open from 11 a.m.- 11 p.m.), a culinary clash between famous chefs on certain nights, and a nightly holiday parade (at 6 and 8 p.m.) through The Venetian’s Doge’s Palace. The parade features characters from the Winter in Venice celebration. Seasonal storylines will be projected in 3D as part of the Light of Venice”display. Additionally, Mannheim Steamroller Christmas takes over the theater at the Palazzo with its signature Christmas classics, plus elaborate choreography and aerial displays. Performances are nightly at 7 p.m. though Dec. 30, plus additional shows at 9 p.m. on December 25, 27 and 29. Concert tickets are $70-$146.

    • Andrea Bocelli performs at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Dec. 10, 2011.

      Saturday: Andrea Bocelli at MGM Grand

      Andrea Bocelli returns to the U.S. for what is now a tradition to start the holiday season. This tour will feature much of Bocelli’s famed repertoire fans adore and some of the world’s most beloved holiday classics. Tickets are $78-$403, and the show starts at 8 p.m.

    • 
Members of Kool & the Gang are from left, Dennis Thomas, George Brown and brothers Robert "Kool" Bell and Khalis Bayyan.

      Saturday: Kool & the Gang in Primm

      Kool & the Gang headlines at the Star of the Desert Arena in Primm. Look forward to songs like “Celebration,” “Get Down On It” and “Ladies Night.” Tickets are $46.95-$75.20, and the show starts at 8 p.m.

    • Friday-Saturday: UNLV basketball at Thomas & Mack

      The UNLV Runnin' Rebels men’s basketball team will participate in the Global Sports Classic. They'll take on the Oregon Ducks at 6 p.m. Friday and Cincinnati or Iowa State on Saturday at either 5 or 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15-$35.

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