I was in Vegas on Friday, May 5, and I had the chance to do something that’s been on my Vegas Bucket List for a while now: hang out at the First Friday Arts Festival. First Friday is an art festival in the 18b Arts District of downtown Vegas held on the first Friday of every month. A lot of cities have them. A bunch of local artists, musicians and food vendors put on a family friendly shindig for everyone to enjoy. I know it seems like an odd thing to have on a “things to do in Vegas” list, but I’ve been going to Vegas a few times a year for over 20 years now. I’ve listened to all the hits on the album and now I’m starting to get into the deep cuts. My ultimate goal is to be considered an honorary Vegas local by other locals even though I live in L.A.
I was driving, on my way to downtown Las Vegas, when I pass by a huge parking lot that has a bunch of tents, colorful lights and a large crowd. I’d never been to First Friday before, so I thought, this must be it. I find street parking a couple blocks away and as I was walking towards the festivities one thing I notice is, there are people leaving the event and all of them are wearing a red trucker cap. I stop a couple who was walking in my direction and I ask them, “Is that First Friday?”
The guy responds to me, “No, First Friday is a few blocks over that way. This is a Cinco De Mayo party being thrown by a law firm.” In a instant, he gets a flash of mischievous inspiration. “You should go in! Here wear this!”
He peels his name tag sticker off of his shirt and puts it on my chest. He says to me “If you’re wearing this name tag, you can help yourself to all of the food and drinks!” His girlfriend was a little dubious of his plan and pointed out to him, “Your name tag says Juan, he doesn’t even look like a Juan.”
I’m Asian. Korean-American to be specific.
I say to her, “Don’t worry about it, if anyone asks, I’ll tell them my name is Wan and the person who gave me the name tag spelled it wrong. But what I’m really interested in is that hat. Where did you get it?”
Juan tells me, “They got a whole bunch of them there. Just show your name tag and they’ll give you one!”
So I stroll up to the Cinco De Mayo fiesta with all the confidence in the world, because hey, I have a name tag. I go up to the table where they’re giving out the hats and they give me one, no questions asked. Then I walk over to the barbecue area where they’re roasting corn in the husk on a grill and I get one that’s lightly dusted with parmesan cheese.
Now I have a name tag, a hat and corn, which wore and ate as I made my way over to the actual First Friday. The hat by the way, was a parody Trump hat that said “Make Cinco De Mayo Great Again”.
– @FacesAndAcesLV (Los Angeles, CA, USA)