The “happiest mayor in the universe” makes a birthday wish

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman (that’s him in the center) greets Jubilee! showgirls in the Golden Nugget before making his grand entrance to a party celebrating his 70th birthday at Fremont Street Experience.
Photo: Steve Marcus

Few people can bring out judges, the sheriff, Gordie Brown, Cirque du Soleil performers and Zowie Bowie to the same venue on the same night. But if anyone has the juice to earn such a showing from the who’s who of Las Vegas’ elite, it’s Mayor Oscar Goodman.

With the obligatory Bombay Sapphire martini in hand and showgirls on either side, Mayor Goodman entered Gold Diggers at the Golden Nugget Friday night, the site of his VIP pre-party for his 70th birthday bash, to a continuous loop of 50 Cent’s “Go, shorty, it’s your birthday” line from “In Da Club.” How many mayors in the country know that song, let alone tap it as entrance music?

Leach Blog Photo

Elvis Presley impersonator Jesse Garon holds a mask with the face of Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman. These masks doubled as fans.

He spent well over an hour with his close friends and Vegas VIPs before heading out to the First Street Stage on Fremont Street to be entertained by Wayne Brady, Zowie Bowie, Nathan Burton, the ROK girls from New York-New York and the Fantasy Girls from Luxor.

Those who couldn’t stop by for a personal birthday handshake, made use of technology to extend their best wishes to Mayor Goodman. Senator Harry Reid, chef Emeril Lagasse, Andre Agassi and Steffi Graff all recorded personal messages for the Mayor along with executives from the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. The clinic, along with Three Square and Opportunity Village, will benefit from donations made at the party in honor of Goodman’s birthday.

And, of course, where’s there’s Goodman there’s gin. And plenty of it. The bartenders at Gold Diggers served up the Good-Man Martini (the official martini of Las Vegas), which consisted of chilled Bombay Sapphire Gin, “a quick glance over at the dry vermouth” and two stuffed blue cheese olives.

Also on the menu at Gold Diggers were “The Birthday Boy,” a gin margarita, and the “To Honor His Honor,” featuring a splash of pomegranate juice and Chrome Italian Soda with Bombay Sapphire. Partygoers used these delicious drinks to wash down beef wellington, orange chicken and various types of bruschetta. The passed appetizers gave way to a fabulous birthday cake fashioned into – you guessed it – a giant bottle of gin. (So much for calling a frosting flower.) Next to the massive Bombay bottle dessert were smaller cakes sporting the logos of Goodman’s favorite charities.

After thanking the crowd for their attendance and support of his fundraising endeavors, the Mayor took a moment to reflect on the year to come. Goodman commented that he hoped this would be, “the end of a recession and the beginning of a great year for Las Vegas.” Let’s hope the Mayor’s birthday wish comes true.


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