Corporatization of Roadside America

Where did Roadside America go?

Stuckey's from the South to the West, you could always see a Stuckey's

Stuckey's from the South to the West, you could always see a Stuckey's

 

Not that long ago, when you got in the car for a road trip, you knew that, even if you weren't happy about the trip, there would be interesting sights along the way.

Here in the west, we had a wide array of roadside architecture to appreciate. Everything from the mid-century modern that was Stuckey's to unique eye catchers like the twin arrows in the ground next to the Twin Arrows Trading Post:

Twin Arrows Trading Post, old route 66

Twin Arrows Trading Post, old route 66

From diners to gas stations, Roadside America had style. Neon signage, unique buildings, something to delight the eyes as the miles rolled by. Each place looked different and inviting- Harvey Houses, Texaco, small motels, diners and souvenir shops dotted the countryside.

Over the last ten years, more and more of Roadside America is being replaced with Corporate America. Now, it seems, every place looks like the last one you just passed a few miles ago. The same gas stations, the same McDonalds, Carl's Jr, Jack in the Box. 

You also get to feast your eyes on Wal-Mart, Target, Kohl's, Office Depot, Home Depot, Loewe's and in any number of other company chains. 

Gone is the unique architecture and character. It's been replaced by beige, faux-Tuscan box stores that sell the same stuff from city to city.

Now, each town and city increasingly looks just the last one and they all look like where you live. There is nothing unique about any of this and why get out and explore if it is all so familiar that you see it in your everyday life?

It's not inviting, it's not for the curious. Today's Corporate America Roadside seems to exist not to challenge us but to comfort us. Oh look, Barstow is looking more and more like Palmdale, Lancaster, and every other mid-size community adjacent to a freeway.

The diners that offered specialties or home-cooked meals are quickly disappearing from our roadsides replaced by either corporate fast food-aramas or chain restaurants like Applebees, TGIF or Marie Callenders where home cooked, specialty meals aren't on the menu despite what the advertising tries to tell you. 

The small motels have been replaced by Comfort Inn, Marriott, La Quinta or a half dozen other chains.

And all the signage now looks alike. With sign ordinances in many communities to keep out the so-called "sign blight", the popular tombstone signage is next to impossible to see until you have passed it.

When I travel, I don't want each place to look like where I live. One reason I am traveling is to see something different, experience new and fun things. I am not comforted by the idea that all of America has to look alike so that we can all sleep better at night. 

I miss Roadside America and the comfort that came with exploring new places that looked nothing like where I lived, even if I was only an hour or two away from my home.

Summit Inn at the Cajon Pass on I-15 used to have a moving neon sign, a busy gas station and great cafe.

Summit Inn at the Cajon Pass on I-15 used to have a moving neon sign, a busy gas station and great cafe.

Thunderbird Restaurant Home of the Ho-made pies  

Thunderbird Restaurant Home of the Ho-made pies

 

This is a place I would definitely stop at

This is a place I would definitely stop at

And this place looks way more inviting than a Motel 6, Comfort Inn, etc.  

And this place looks way more inviting than a Motel 6, Comfort Inn, etc.

 




Las Vegas July 4th 2014 fireworks and holiday weekend events-FINAL UPDATE

We've added more events to our comprehensive listings so check it out! We are now tablet and mobile phone friendly so you can take us on the road,check out the listings in your hotel or from your home, so you won't miss any of these great celebrations, no matter what your choice! There's lots to do this holiday weekend so enjoy!

HAPPY JULY 4TH!!!!!

Our annual July 4th fireworks listings for Las Vegas and the surrounding Valley is one of the most popular non-history features we highlight and with long holiday weekend only a month away, we thought it was time to start gathering the information.

Remember, we will be updating this page between now and July 4th, so be sure to book mark us and check back often.

If you make Las Vegas your home, we have plenty of information for fun, family events to attend.  Or if you are planning a visit to the Bright Light City over the holiday, plan early as the town will be crowded with tourists!

Remember, the heat in Las Vegas (and especially down in Laughlin and Boulder City) can be deceiving. Wear plenty of sunscreen and stay hydrated with water (not alcohol). If you do drink, do so responsibly.

Have FUN!!!!

July 3rd Celebrations:

JUST ADDED:

Independence Day Jubilee: 

3-9:30 p.m. at Craig Ranch Regional Park

628 W. Craig Road

North Las Vegas.

Event also includes a performance by Michael Grimm, carnival and vendors

$8; $5 in advance; 702-633-2650;

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Annual Night of Fire at the Bullring

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Features Fireworks, SMRA Supermodifieds 

 The Bullring, Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s NASCAR-sanctioned 3/8-mile asphalt oval, will kick off the Independence Day holiday weekend on Tuesday, July 3rd, with its annual Night of Fire. The night of family fun features fireworks and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series stock car racing, a jet car and SMRA Supermodifieds.

Spectator gates will open at 5 p.m. with racing at 7 p.m. Fireworks are tentatively scheduled for 9:30 p.m. 
Stock car racing classes include: SMRA Supermodifieds (50 laps), MetroPCS Super Late Models (76 laps), Chargers, Outlaw Enduro Bombers (76 laps), twin Legends Cars features, Bandoleros.

Advanced Spectator admission: 
Adults: $15. 
Senior citizens and military personnel with ID: $15. 
Children (6-12): $8. 

Day of Spectator admission: 
Adults: $20
Senior citizens and military personnel with ID: $15. 
Children (6-12): $8. 

The Bullring's concession stand offers a family-friendly dollar menu, including $1 hot dogs, $1 soda and $1 beer. For more information, please call the LVMS ticket office at (702) 644-4444 or visit Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

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Las Vegas 51's Baseball Game and Fireworks

 When: July 3rd, after the game
Where: Cashman Field
Admission: $14
More info: 702-326-7200

Fireworks Extravaganza/Budweiser Dollar Beer/Adoption Awareness Foundation Night

The 51s will host the Salt Lake Bees, Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, at Cashman Field. The traditional post-game "Fireworks Extravaganza" will be presented! Also, Budweiser Dollar Beer Night is presented at every Thursday home game. Proper identification and wristbands are required.

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July 4th celebrations:

66th Annual Boulder City Damboree

When: July 4th
Where: Boulder City
Fireworks Display - 9:00 pm

7:00 am

ROTARY PANCAKE BREAKFAST AT BICENTENNIAL PARK Located at 1100 Colorado Street

 9:00 am

PARADE BEGINS at Colorado St., down Nevada Hwy. to Fifth St., to Broadbent Memorial Park at Avenue B & 5th St.

*New Water Zone - The only location for water play on the parade route starts at Ave A to Ave B & Ave B to the end of the parade at 6th Street. If you want to engage in water play, you MUST be at this location. No water play will be allowed at any other location on the parade route.  ****NO WATER BALLOONS ALLOWED****

9:05 am

FLYOVER by the Boulder City Veteran's Flying Group

10:00 am to 4:00 pm

FESTIVITIES AT BROADBENT MEMORIAL PARK
Located at 1301 5th St.
MIDWAY BOOTHS
Food, drinks & games
Presented by non-profit groups

11:00 am

DAMBOREE CEREMONIES
Flag Raising & National Anthem
Presentation of parade trophies & greetings by dignitaries

11:30 am

ENTERTAINMENT

12:00 pm

COIN TOSS at the Pool (admission: price to the pool)
Games & Contests
Sponsored by the Boulder City Parks & Recreation Department

1:00 pm

GAMES & CONTESTS
Sponsored by the Boulder City Parks & Recreation Department

6-11:00pm

FESTIVITIES AT VETERANS' MEMORIAL PARK
Located at 1650 Buchanan Blvd
$10 Parking

6-8:45pm

Live Music, DJ Mike Pacini, Food, Games & Water Park

9:00pm FIREWORKS SHOW

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Downtown Henderson Fourth of July fireworks & celebration

Friday, July 4, 2014
Mission Hills Park
551 E. Mission Dr.
6pm to 9:15pm
COMPLIMENTARY ADMISSION

Celebrate Independence Day in Henderson with great live entertainment and the time-honored traditional fireworks display! Pack your favorite blanket and come out and enjoy a night of family fun and concessions. Local high school clubs and groups will be selling hot dogs, hamburgers, sno-cones and ice-cream, with all proceeds benefiting the school. Spend your July 4th holiday with us!

Entertainment Schedule - Shuttle Service - Rules & RegulationsProud Sponsors

ENTERTAINMENT SCHEDULE

6:00 pm

The Randy Anderson Band

8:00 pm

Henderson Symphony Orchestra

9:00 pm

Fireworks Show!

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Celebrate the 4th of July with the Phil at Symphony Park

The Smith Center for the Performing Arts

361 Symphony Park Drive

4:00 pm- 10:00 pm

There will be live music, entertainment and food and drink vendors. The Las Vegas Philharmonic Pops will perform a concert inside Reynolds Hall at 7:30 pm that will be simulcast in the park.  Entry to the park costs between $5-$10 and the concert is an additional $25-$75 but includes access to parking.

For tickets or information, call 749-2000 or visit lvphil.org.

9:00 pm Fireworks Show!

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Stars, Stripes & Sparks

Knickerbocker Park

10695 Dorrell Lane

The Independence Day event kicks off with live music, contests and family activities at 6 p.m. Admission is free. Donations of new or gently used books will be accepted to benefit Spread the Word Nevada. For more information, call 216-2020.

9:15 pm Fireworks Show!

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Downtown Spaces

1800 Industrial Road

6 p.m., free

he Downtown Gateway District that houses Wasteland Gallery and Naked City Audio will host an evening of live music, art and free barbecue. Art galleries and studios will be open while bands perform outside on the mobile Stagecoach bus, and a sidewalk art fair will take place around the complex. 6 p.m., free

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Fremont Street Experience

Fremont Street

rock bands Papa Roach, P.O.D. and Lit will perform on the Fremont Street Experience's 3rd Street Stage. 

9 p.m.

Free

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Mandalay Bay Fireworks

The sky above Mandalay Bay Beach will light up red, white and blue this Independence Day with a dazzling display of fireworks and a musical performance by the local classic rock band Phoenix. Guests of all ages can dig their feet into the sand or let the waves wash over them while enjoying the extravaganza Friday, July 4. Doors open at 8 p.m.

Tickets priced at $20 and family four-packs priced at $60, not including applicable service charges and taxes, are now on sale and available at all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (select Smith’s Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino). Tickets also are available for purchase at mandalaybay.com or ticketmaster.com.

Where: Mandalay Bay

8:00 Party begins

9:00 Fireworks
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Fireworks at the Linq/High Roller

Start the Summer Celebration this 4th of July with fireworks from the High Roller at The LINQ. High Roller riders will be able to view the Strip’s only two firework displays starting at approximately 9 p.m. at Caesars Palace and 9:30 p.m. at the High Roller lot.

Call to purchase tickets.

702-731-7110

9:00: Fireworks

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Caesars July 4th Fireworks

Date: Fri, July 4, 2014
Place: Caesars Palace

Fireworks by Grucci will be shot from the hotel's Roman Tower beginning at 9:15 p.m

As part of Caesars Palace July 4th Celebration, on July 4, 2014 Caesars Palace Las Vegas, will have an Independence Day fireworks display.The best views will be from the Las Vegas Strip at the front fountains of Caesars Palace.

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Station Casinos Independence Day Celebration 

(Please note that the Stations Casino is having only TWO fireworks displays this year instead of at all four Stations Casinos- plan accordingly!)

Fireworks begin at approximately 9:00 pm.

Date: Fri, July 4, 2014
Location: Green Valley Ranch Resort & Spas
2300 Paseo Verde Pkwy, Henderson, NV 89052

Best viewing: Back Pool Area

Date: Fri, July 4, 2014
Location: Red Rock Casino Resort Spa
11011 W Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89135

Best viewing: Pool area and amphitheater

Station Casinos’ “We Love Locals” July 4th Fireworks Blast

The Station Casinos Las Vegas 2014 fireworks shows will go off on the east and west sides of town at Green Valley Ranch Resort and Red Rock Casino Resort. The fireworks show will last approximately nine minutes.

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Fun on the 4th at the Stratosphere

6 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Tickets from $10
Stratosphere on the Strip

Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower’s Fun on the Fourth extravaganza will offer something special for both adults and families. Adults will enjoy a festive evening at Stratosphere’s 8 Pool, featuring a live concert by Zowie Bowie. Food & drink specials will be sold at the 8 Pool Café/Bar, plus a limited number of special cabana packages are available. The celebration will be punctuated by a fireworks display by Grucci. Tickets are $10 per person and the party starts at 6 p.m. Adults can also enjoy the fireworks from the Level 107 Lounge. Dance to the sounds of DJ Shy and live band Treasure from 11 p.m.- 4 a.m. Early Happy Hour will feature half price appetizers and 2-for-1 cocktails from 4 p.m. - 7 p.m., and then Late Happy Hour at Level 107 will also offer half price appetizers from 10:30 p.m. -1 a.m. and 2-for-1 cocktails from 1 a.m. – 4 a.m. Families with children can watch fireworks from the tower with a beautiful view of the entire valley. From 6 – 10 p.m., tower admission to Levels 108 and 109 will be $28 for the general public and $10 for Stratosphere hotel guests.

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Rockets Over the River

Location: Laughlin Riverwalk
July 4th

Times: Dusk / 9:00+ pm
Cost: Free for viewing

Just after dark on Independence Day, Friday, July 4, the huge 24th annual Rockets Over The River fireworks display will be free for public viewing along the entire Laughlin River Walk and your favorite Laughlin hotel. 

Typically, this extraordinary display is one of the most spectacular and exciting in the West as the pyrotechnic company shoots its rockets into the dark desert sky and the reflection of each exploding shell shimmers over the swift-moving Colorado  River. 

Fabulous patriotic music will be choreographed to the show and simulcast over speakers by Laughlin hotels and local radio stations. You won't want to miss this all-American celebration and breathtaking event!

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Mesquite and Fireworks

Mesquite
Eureka Casino Resort is proud to host “Rockets over the Red Mesa” on Friday, July 4.  This free event will begin at 6:00 p.m. with a community vendor village and DJ, along with a charity hot dog eating contest.

The celebration continues with a live performance from the Nevada POPS Orchestra at 8:00 p.m., followed by fireworks at 9:00 p.m. The orchestra will accompany the fireworks show to celebrate Independence Day in true American style. Everyone is invited to attend this free event. Guests are encouraged to bring their own chairs to the viewing area, which will be set up behind the Eureka Casino Resort.

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Pahrump Celebration!

Celebrate Independence Day at Petrack Park with an all-day festival, great food, games, arts and crafts, live music and finish the evening off with a spectacular fireworks show.

Pahrump, NV
11:00 am - 9:00 pm 

9:00 Fireworks

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Fireworks Over Primm

Starting at dusk, the night sky will be lit with the vibrant colors from the display. Arrive early for parking and fun at the resorts. The best viewing location is located in the Star of the Desert Arena parking lot at Buffalo Bill Resort.

Where: Buffalo Bill's Resort and Casino
Primm, NV

Schedule:Fri, Jul 4:
    6:00 pm

Dusk: Fireworks

Steve Rossi, Rest in Peace

Steve Rossi, who rose to fame as  the straight man to wire-haired comedian named Marty Allen, has passed away today. One of my favorite interviews of legendary Las Vegas performers, that we conducted for the Classic Las Vegas Collection. 

A true Las Vegas legend who began his Las Vegas as one of Mae West's body builders for her show at the Sahara.

Our good friend Johnny Kats has a terrific write-up on Steve's career:

Steve Rossi

Hello dere!  

Hello dere!

 

If you could, who would YOU want to dine with?

Okay, time to put those thinking caps on!

If you could wrangle a dinner invitation with any famous Classic Las Vegas (1945-1980) personality, who has passed on, who would you choose?

Some ideas:

Wilbur Clark, Maude Frazier, Howard Hughes, Claudine Williams, Tutor Scherer,Guy McAfee, Florence Murphy, Big Jim Cashman, George Crockett, Charlie West, Max Kelch,  Ruby Duncan, Jack Entratter, Al Freeman, Stan Irwin, Don English, James McMillan, Ralph Denton, Oran Gragson, Sam Boyd, Jackie Gaughan, Keely Smith, Sam Butera, Benny Binion, Doby Doc, Mary Kaye, Fannie Voss, Fluff LeCoque, Nancy Baker Williams. William Moore, Tommy Hull

or maybe someone else.......

Hit the comments and let us know, who YOU would want to spend an evening with!