September 5, 2014: Remembering Joan Rivers, Why This Food Truck Event Failed, Tom Hanks and Sting to Receive Kennedy Center Honors

By Beth Kormanik September 5, 2014, 8:23 AM EDT

1. REMEMBERING JOAN RIVERS: Joan Rivers, the pioneering comedian and staple on A-list red carpets from the Academy Awards to the Emmys, died Thursday. Longtime friend and New York Post columnist Cindy Adams reported that event designer Preston Bailey—whose own wedding Rivers officiated in 2013 and who planned daughter Melissa Rivers’s wedding—decorated her hospital room “with flowers, bows, plants.”

2. WHY THIS FOOD TRUCK EVENT FAILED: Last year, an event planner took on a project he thought would be a success: organizing food truck rallies at Toronto parks. Toronto Star: “It didn’t work. A lack of customers, tepid enthusiasm from vendors and complaints about noise and fumes quickly spelled the program’s demise. The project was a bust by September. One year later, an event planner and freelance food writer who stickhandled the park plan is stuck with an outstanding $36,000 bill to the city after more than 10 trucks didn’t pay their share of the two-month rental deal.”

3. TOM HANKS AND STING TO RECEIVE KENNEDY CENTER HONORS: This year’s recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors are Tom Hanks, Sting, Lily Tomlin, Al Green, and Patricia McBride. The 37th honors ceremony—one of the center’s biggest fund-raisers—is December 7. Washington Post: “In recent years, the Honors were dogged by controversy amid charges that they consistently overlooked Latin artists. The selection process was revised, and soprano Martina Arroyo and rock guitarist Carlos Santana were among the 2013 recipients. No Hispanics were named this year. … ‘It shatters the trust in the promises that were made and in the structural changes that were supposed to prevent this kind of outcome,’” said Felix R. Sanchez, chairman of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts.


Omni Hotels launched its Omni Meetings University Thursday, an online meeting planner educational portal to educate planners about the Omni brand as well as the meeting industry and technology trends. The Convention Industry Council has verified the program for one clock hour of continuing education towards CMP certification or recertification.


BOSTON:  Zinneken’s, the Belgian waffle shop in Harvard Square, plans to launch a waffle food truck. Eater:

CHICAGO:  The first Imerman Angels Wings of Hope Gala is September 20 at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago. The evening will include a cocktail reception, a live auction, a seated dinner, and live entertainment.

LAS VEGAS:  Aliante Casino & Hotel & Spa announced John Janicky as the new vice president of marketing and entertainment. He will oversee the Players Club loyalty program as well as promotions, entertainment, public relations, advertising, social media, player development, and analytics departments.

LOS ANGELES:  This Is Ground will fete its first pop-up tonight with a launch party. Hosted by Liberty Fairs, the event will include headphone product demonstrations, fresh juice cocktails from Juice Served Here, and pencil giveaways from FiftyThree.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  The steak house Meat Market will open its second South Florida location in Palm Beach September 22. The 3,000-square-foot restaurant and lounge is designed by Anthea Bosch-Moschini of Studio ABM Design.

NEW YORK:  Fashion Rocks announced plans for an online component called Fashion Rocks Backstage. The two-hour, live-streamed event Tuesday will include a surprise host, guest DJs Questlove and SoSuperSam, and interviews with performers. Sponsor Verizon will debut “Social Imprint,” a physical fabric whose print will be determined by social media posts.

Bon Appétit and reservation app I Know the Chef are partnering for the fourth annual Feast or Fashion promotion, offering specialty menus at more than 65 restaurants during Fashion Week.

Brooklyn Academy of Music will host a premiere benefit for Rufus Wainwright and Robert Wilson’s “Shakespeare's Sonnets” on its opening night October 7. The evening will include a preshow reception, performance, and post-show dinner.

Troy Pade is the new general manager of the Surrey hotel. He previously worked at the Cassa Hotel in New York, the Viceroy Santa Monica, and the Hotel Milano in San Francisco.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

PHILADELPHIA:  Stephen Starr Events is the exclusive event and catering team of the soon-to-open New Liberty Distillery property. Located in the historic Stable Building at the Crane Arts complex, the venue will host events for as many as 500 people.

TORONTO:  The Creative Coalition Spotlight Initiative Awards Dinner Gala, hosted by AMC, is tonight at Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto. The event will feature a red carpet, a cocktail reception, and a dinner; honorees include the film Boychoir and IMDB founder and C.E.O. Col Needham.

On September 20, 3d Parti will take over King East Design District. Meant to feel like a public art gallery, the event will showcase 15 art installations in the city streets.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Utsav, an international festival of classical Indian music and dance, is September 19-21 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The lineup includes Jayanthi Kumaresh, Bombay Jayashri, and Rahul Sharma.

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

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