VIVA LAS VEGAS ROCKABILLY WEEKEND 2022!Easter is back to normal! Now that the Viva Rockabilly Weekender is back for Easter my holiday is complete! Viva came to the Orleans April 14th through the 17th and it was the best ever! Fans from all over the world came in full force to celebrate the festival of the year in Vegas! Everyone had a chance to take a step back in time with elegant styles and cars with swing dancers and everyone dressed top notch!  There is something for everyone with spectacular music, cars, tattoos, style and fashion, incredible vendors, burlesque and excitement everywhere!My adventure started Friday afternoon after an Easter egg hunt as I got to the Orleans for “Shorty’s Swignin’ Coconuts” who were rockin’ the Pool party. I did something a little different this year for coverage. There was such magic in the air as the surf music filled the air with the sun bathers wearing their nostalgic swimsuits with their umbrellas so I started filming the event Live on Facebook. Of course I fit right in with my pool attire; black jeans, black boots black tee-shirt and big black Fedora hat LOL. I knew I couldn’t stay long in the sun so I headed up to the rockin’ action upstairs in the Beinville Room with Vicky Tafoya. After that I headed down to the Showroom to check out some of the Pin-Up girl action. When I started to go in the Showroom, a tall man told me it was full and I couldn’t go in. I showed him my wrist band and said: “But I’m with the press.” Then I looked up at his face and saw that it was Tom Ingram! “Are you Tom?” I asked. I didn’t even recognize him! Just then my hero of Boyd Gaming Marty Giovi saw me and came and hugged me. I was really happy to see him and took a photo with him and Tom and decided to head out to the Men’s swimsuit contest instead of seeing pretty girls LOL.I got there too late for the Pinup and Burlesque Meet & Greet so I headed upstairs to the ballroom to catch The Rhythm ‘N’ Blues & Doo Wop Show (Featuring Tammi Savoy, Barrence Whitfield, Saudia Young, & The Extraordinaires). WOW! Ballroom swing in action with horns and the full band! It was so exciting! I took some photos and did more Facebook Live to show everyone what an experience is going on in Sin City! On my way out, I strolled through the vendor area where I saw the most beautiful purse I have EVER seen in my  life! Lux De Ville has amazing sparkle gorgeous purses and I spotted a pink one to die for! It was a little out of my budget and I asked Yvette Maltese for a local/working discount. She gave me a discount! I was ecstatic! I walked away feeling on top of the world!


Saturday is always the cherry on top with the big Car Show event with excitement all around throughout the show and on the Car Show Stage. The Surfrajettes were sexy adorable gals dressed in turquoise and played their surf music and instruments spot on. I was disappointed the none of the gals sang but I guess that is surf music and the crowd was extremely receptive to their performance.  Next up was Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys. I wandered through the car show meeting cool people and taking photos of the awesome rides and rockabilly models. The Queen of the Car Show was also going on and I tried my best to push through the crowd for photos.  It was a windy day and I was lucky enough to find some chairs inside the tent for me and my friends Gary and Karina from Arizona so we wouldn’t get blown away. A Chick- Filet vendor opened up next to us and there was no line so I tried one of their sandwiches for the first time. Wow! No wonder why all those cars are wrapped around the block to eat there!I was waiting patiently for the big event where Tom Ingram was going to be presented with the Key To The City by the Mayor! And no one deserves it more than Tom! After 25 years of bringing this magical, spectacular event to Vegas with millions of visitors and top name entertainers, in my eyes Tom and his festival stands above all the other events being in a class by itself. I thought they would just send someone there from the Mayor’s office but there was Mrs. Mayor herself Carolyn Goodman to do the honors! I was walking to the photo pit to get a good spot for the historic event in front of the stage when I saw photographers gathering around Tom for the event so I took the liberty and ran back there to get the coverage. After the photos, I started filming live for the entire event with one hand and taking photos with the other. It was an exciting historic event for sure! Congratulations Tom!

 After that, I started heading inside for the all night action. But on the way in, a good friend of mine for years, started yelling at me on the phone which almost left me in tears. So I went inside and called my boyfriend and told him I really didn’t even want to stay because of the phone call but he told me to stay and enjoy the event.

 And I am so glad I did! I wandered through the casino taking photos of the beautiful glamorous gals dressed to the nines headed into the showroom. It is truly an experience seeing all these Cinderella’s in all their glory looking like they are on the way to the Ball. I ran into Dave Gambler from GAMBLERS MARK and I have to admit I was disappointed they were not performing at the festival again this year. GAMBLERS MARK was the band that originally got me into rockabilly music. They were performing at a little lounge at the festival years ago and they set the room on fire! They were my house band for my film! I have to get my film out to show the world how incredible these guys are! And hey Tom Ingram –please try and find a slot for these guys next year!On the schedule I saw that a band called MFC Chicken was playing in the main showroom upstairs. As soon as I walked into the ballroom I could see a different kind of excitement going on up there onstage. This wasn’t the usual kind of act. These guys were mavericks of a different nature how they sounded and the way they moved onstage. The lead man on vocals and Saxophone was Spencer Evoy. He had a style all his own from being suave to shaking violently like a leaf. Each member held their own in strength and originality with Dan Criscuolo on Guitar, Zig Criscuolo on bass and Ravi Low-Beer on drums. I filmed and took photos as the guys rocked out onstage. During the show, Evoy showed off the bands gift bag and took out each item one by one. CD, photos and then he got to the rubber chicken and held it up and everyone cheered. He then threw it into the audience. I was in the front row and my heart sank as the famous chicken soared way above my head and flew behind me. But I turned around and saw that it had landed at a woman’s feet. She was reaching down for it but I was faster! I grabbed it with lightning speed and held up my prize as I danced with it. I was patted on the back and congratulated multiple times during the rest of the set for catching it and as I was leaving the dance floor. I peeked my head inside the curtain and told Spencer: “I got the chicken! Can I get a photo with you guys?!?”  Spencer told me they would all be out soon enough so I waited for them to assemble outside the showroom. Zig was a doll and wanted to move me up in line but I told him I would wait. These guys were so amazing and nice with such personality. They are all from London except for Spencer who put the band together in Canada. They were by far my favorite act during the entire festival.After that, I wandered through the vendor area trying to NOT look at the Lux DeVille booth. It didn’t work. I saw a pink sparkle billfold that matched my purse! I was using my pink sparkle purse that I had gotten there the night before and I was afraid to ask for another discount so I looked throughout the booth for the longest time before I told them I wanted the billfold. When the lady handed it to me, I asked Yvette what I owed her. Maybe I’m not supposed to tell this but she just waived me away and said I was a good fashion purse model that day and to just take it. WOW! Really?!? What a great day! First I catch the famous chicken and then I snagged a beautiful complimentary billfold! Thank you Yvette! I could hardly contain my excitement and went in and danced the night away to Mary Ann & The Ragtime Wranglers in the ball room. Then it was time for “Deke’s Guitar Geek Show” in the main showroom. My man Marty Giovi let me in a little early so I could get a good seat. Boy was he working hard that entire festival! He even worked on Easter! Many great guitarists and performers took to the stage for the show including my favorite Mitch Polzak. Great show indeed.

I had such a great time this year and cannot wait for Tom Ingram to bring this killer event back to Sin City once again!

Thank you as always to Alisha Amnesia (Alisha Alexander) for credentialing me for this amazing event!

See you at the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend 2023!

Sally Steele

Photos: Sally Steele



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