1. WHY NEW YORK MAYOR IS SKIPPING MAJOR EVENT: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio vowed to boycott one of the city’s largest public events, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, because of the group’s poor relationship with gay and lesbian groups. New York Times: “Mr. de Blasio will be the first New York mayor in 20 years not to take part in the event, a world-famous procession down Fifth Avenue, which is a highlight of the calendar for many Irish-American groups but also a deeply fraught event for politicians wary of its prohibition on public expressions of gay pride. … The mayor said he planned to participate in several other events on St. Patrick’s Day, which is March 17, ‘to honor the Irish heritage of this city and the contributions of Irish-Americans.’” http://nyti.ms/1eTk77h
2. STAR ADMITS SUPER BOWL HALFTIME SHOW WAS PRERECORDED: Flea, the bassist from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, admitted in a blog post on the band’s Web site that the band did not play live during the Super Bowl halftime show, jamming to a prerecorded track as required by producers. Only singer Anthony Kiedis sang live. “I understand the NFL's stance on this, given they only have a few minutes to set up the stage, there a zillion things that could go wrong and ruin the sound for the folks watching in the stadium and the t.v. viewers. There was not any room for argument on this, the NFL does not want to risk their show being botched by bad sound, period.” bit.ly/1eo98rE
3. TRADE SHOW CLAIMS IT'S BIGGER THAN SUPER BOWL: IPW—formerly the International Pow Wow—has a larger economic impact than the Super Bowl, according to a study from show owner U.S. Travel Association comparing the 2013 IPW in Las Vegas to the 2012 Super Bowl in Indianapolis. The study did note, however, that more people attend the Super Bowl. Travel Agent magazine: “For the host city, IPW produced more than four times as many direct expenditures; delivered more than five times the amount of GDP value-added direct impact; and generated greater tax revenues across the local, state and federal levels.” http://bit.ly/1ex7YZs
* LOCAL NEWS *
BOSTON: Boston Restaurant Week will get rebranded as “Dine Out Boston.” The reconfigured event will let restaurants serve menus at a variety of price points, and meals won't have to be three courses. Boston Globe: http://b.globe.com/1gzabGJ
CHICAGO: Chicago Auto Show's First Look for Charity Gala is February 7. The Savor Chicago catering team has prepared Olympic-theme catering stations.
LAS VEGAS: Olivia Newton-John is beginning a Vegas residency at the Flamingo Las Vegas on April 8.
The four-day wine event UNLVino is set to return April 9-12. Tickets go on sale February 10 for the epicurean showcase, which continues Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada’s mission to raise scholarship dollars for U.N.L.V.’s William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration.
Wynn Las Vegas and Encore have named Christopher Hopkins as resort mixologist.
LOS ANGELES: The Elton John AIDS Foundation announced Tuesday that it has selected British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran to perform at this year’s Academy Awards viewing party on March 2 at West Hollywood Park.
The catering and events company 24 Carrots has appointed Ashley Santo Domingo as executive chef. She competed on season 9 of Bravo’s Top Chef and was nominated for the James Beard’s Rising Star Chef in the Pacific Northwest in 2008.
Local event listings from Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/losangeles
MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA: The 52nd annual Conch Shell Blowing Contest—nicknamed the Conch Honk—is March 1 in the tropical garden of the Oldest House. Contestants try to produce melodic sounds by blowing into a conch shell, which is a symbol of the Florida Keys.
The South Beach Comedy Festival, set for April 1-5, announced its lineup, which include Chelsea Handler, Mike Epps, Joe Rogan, and Kamau Bell. Tickets go on sale Friday.
NEW YORK: Bodega Negra has opened at Dream Downtown. A U.S. outpost of the London upscale Mexican concept, the restaurant will seat 108 guests and has a private dining room for 24.
Local event listings from Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/newyork
TORONTO: The Motionball Gala, which supports Special Olympics Canada, will take place on Friday at Liberty Grand. Carmen Electra will perform, and the event has a four seasons theme.
WASHINGTON: The 2014 Annual ADMEI Conference begins Thursday at the Capital Hilton. Best Corporate Events is sponsoring a build-a-wheelchair program Saturday in which teams will build wheelchairs for disabled veterans in the D.C. area.
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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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