The Bellagio art gallery notwithstanding, Vegas is not really known as a great town for art; or at least it wasn't in the past.
For nearly a decade, the First Friday Art Festival has brought together the arts community in a city better known for neon lights and topless revues. A group of streets in Downtown are shut down to traffic and turned into an art crawl that draws children, hipsters, retirees and the rest of the local community for a monthly event that's turned into a tradition.
Galleries along the crawl open their doors and feature new works from interesting local and visiting artists. Bands from around town play in the bars and on the street. Fire breathers, ice sculptors and fortune tellers provide atmosphere along the crawl. Kids (and adults who are kids at heart) are encouraged to make their own art on the street with chalk. Food vendors and local restaurants offer up their latest tasty concoctions. Best of all, it all takes place with the more touristy sites of The Strip pushed into the background.
The whole thing is pretty Utopian; a fun and exciting celebration of art and creativity embraced by a community that continues to evolve. In a city defined by spectacle, bombast, hype and elaborate fakery, First Fridays is further proof that there's more to Las Vegas than meets the eye.