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Justin Timberlake, Stevie Wonder among draws for Vegas holiday weekend

Thanksgiving weekend, usually quiet in Vegas, will still serve up concerts and sporting events.

The Thanksgiving holiday weekend in Las Vegas tends to be relatively quiet, but there are still plenty of happenings, including college basketball and concerts by Justin Timberlake, Stevie Wonder and Gladys Knight.

Last year’s hotel occupancy on Thanksgiving was a relatively low 89% according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, although that figure was 8% higher than for the same weekend in 2012.

Those who prefer college basketball to pro football can catch the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational Nov. 27-28 at the Orleans Arena.

The competing schools include Baylor, Brown, Illinois and Indiana State, among others. Ticket packages start at $47.

The outdoor ice rink will return to the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Skaters can warm themselves with comfort food such as grilled-cheese sandwiches, tomato soup and even s’mores. The giant rink is open 3 p.m. to midnight Mondays-Fridays and noon to midnight Saturdays and Sundays. All-day access costs $15, and skates can be rented for $5.

Of course, it’s all about the food on Thanksgiving Day, and scores of restaurants will offer special menus. Simon Restaurant at Palms Place will serve dinner family-style. Besides turkey, the fixings include butternut squash soup, cranberry compote and pumpkin bread pudding. The meal costs $55 for those 12 and older and $20 for youngsters. Info and reservations: (702) 944-3292.

During the Thanksgiving weekend, the cooks at Buffet Bellagio expect to serve 2,200 pounds of turkey. They’ll also dish up about 1,600 pounds of mashed potatoes and 1,400 pounds of stuffing.

Plenty of big-name stars will keep visitors entertained.

Justin Timberlake performs Nov. 28 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, and Stevie Wonder arrives at the same venue the following evening.

In Primm, about 50 miles from Vegas, Gladys Knight entertains Nov. 29 at the Star of the Desert Arena.

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