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April 24, 2014: First Cat Café Opens in New York, MTV Moves VMAs Back to L.A., New Orleans Socialite Plans Epic Funeral


1. FIRST CAT CAFE OPENS IN NEW YORK: It’s only a pop-up, but Purina has opened what it says is the first café for cats in North America. Mashable: “Curious cat lovers will have the chance to sip complimentary 'cat'achinos' with 16 adoptable and adorable cats. And, no, visitors don't need to use a box as a toilet. Feline coffeehouses already exist in other areas of the world, like Japan and Paris, but health code laws have prevented the trend from fully catching on in the U.S. Purina's Cat Cafe features a food service area connected to a cat sanctuary with swinging doors to keep the animals and kitchen separate.” http://on.mash.to/1mH3N2x

2. MTV MOVES VMAS BACK TO LOS ANGELES: After spending one year in Brooklyn, MTV’s Video Music Awards move back to Los Angeles and will take place August 24 at the Forum. Hollywood Reporter: “The move not only marks the moonman ceremony's return to the West Coast, but also makes it the first major awards show to be held at the newly-revamped venue.” http://bit.ly/1f6JJEl

3. NEW ORLEANS SOCIALITE PLANS EPIC FUNERAL: We all know New Orleans knows how to throw a party, but for a funeral? The philanthropist and hostess Mickey Easterling held a memorable memorial service at the city’s Saenger Theatre this week. Times-Picayune: “The arrangements included a display of Ms. Easterling's body, sitting on a wrought-iron bench, with a Champagne glass in one hand and a cigarette holder in another.” See photos of the spectacle here: http://bit.ly/1lIBtZC

* LOCAL NEWS *

CHICAGO:  The Business Marketers Association’s 2014 Global BMA Conference is May 28-30 at the Hilton Chicago.

The Wicker Park Green Music Fest is June 21-22. The event will feature environmentally friendly touches such as a bicycle-powered stage; there will also be green demonstrations, arts and crafts, and family activities.

LAS VEGAS:  Mario Lopez will host a Cinco de Mayo event at Hyde Bellagio May 3, with DJ Skratchy spinning house beats and mariachi remixes.

The food truck Fukuburger, serving burgers with a Japanese twist, will be the first to occupy the food truck station in the Asian market at FAME (food, art, music, entertainment) when it opens at the Linq in May.

LOS ANGELES:  Smokey Robinson will receive the “Mr. Wonderful” award at the 56th annual Thalians Gala at the House of Blues on Saturday. The organization raises money to support treatment of mental health diseases.

The second annual Dancing for NED fund-raiser benefiting Cedars-Sinai Women’s Cancer Program is May 3 at Unici Casa in Culver City.

Wexler’s Deli, a modern take on a Jewish deli, opens downtown in Grand Central Market on Monday. The 350-square-foot space, designed by Jessica Marx of J. Marx Atelier, will have a counter for diners and will feature hand-painted murals by local artist Gregory Siff.

Local event listings from Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/losangeles

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Waterstone Resort & Marina, opening in May at the former Boca Bridge Hotel in Boca Raton, announced its sales team: Jennifer Graham, director of sales and marketing; Fran Bannon, director of catering; Lindsay Schwartzseid, sales and catering coordinator; and Brittany Millner, digital media coordinator.

NEW YORK:  The Webutante Ball, part of Internet Week New York, is May 20 at Marquee.

The Rockwell Group and Diffa, both celebrating 30th anniversaries, are hosting a benefit party, dubbed the Next 30, on May 28 at Neue House.

The Tony Awards are opening a pop-up shop at the Paramount Hotel Friday that will offer merchandise from Tony-eligible shows from the 2013-2014 Broadway season as well as Tony memorabilia. It will remain open through June 8.

Debmar-Mercury has named Karen Bonck as senior vice president of branded partnerships.

Local event listings from Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/newyork

ORLANDO:  Grande Lakes Orlando now has six certified Florida Master Naturalists available to lead educational tours of the 500-acre property including bird habitats, fishing experiences, and nature trails.

TAMPA:  The Tampa Convention Center has a new, free app for planners and attendees. The app includes an event calendar, floor plans, staff contacts, and links to the center's social media sites.

TORONTO:  The Wellspring Henderson Hoedown is Thursday at the Fairmont Royal York. The event includes unusual activities such as gold panning and a knife, whip, and tomahawk show.

Harbourfront Centre’s 40th anniversary summer lineup, dubbed the “Summer of Wonder,” has been announced. Events include outdoor yoga classes, free lakeside films, and “DJ Deep Fried Fridays.” 

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Topgolf announced plans to develop a three-level, 65,000-square-foot location in Loudoun County, Virginia. Construction is scheduled to begin in May with an expected opening in April 2015.

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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Jill Menze, and Anna Sekula in New York.

BizBash Daily is the must-read digest of event industry news from BizBash.com.

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