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Las Vegas' Neon Museum marks five years and wants you to visit — for free

Las Vegas' Neon Museum marks five years and wants you to visit — for free
The old Yucca Motel in downtown Las Vegas was demolished in 2010, but its colorful sign lives on at the Neon Museum. (Neon Museum)

Las Vegas' Neon Museum celebrates its fifth anniversary Saturday with free admission and a Family Fiesta. It's a place that pays homage to the city's glittery past.

The free entry applies to self-guided tours between 1 and 7 p.m., a $19 savings on tickets.

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In addition to wandering through the two-plus acres of historic signs, visitors can also enjoy a Family Fiesta. Hosted by local artist Justin Favela and his family, the event will feature food, drinks, music, dancing and games from 1 to 4 p.m.

To mark Día de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, guests will use paper flowers to help decorate an altar made by Favela.

The memorial will honor sign designer Raul Rodriguez, creator of the Flamingo resort sign that is one of the museum's many outdoor exhibits. (Rodriguez, who died in 2015, was also known for creating stunning floats for Pasadena's annual Tournament of Roses Parade.)

The altar will be on display Saturday afternoon. Food trucks will also be on site.

The animated "Happy Shirt" sign from Steiner Cleaners is among the growing collection of repaired illuminated signs on display at the Neon Museum in downtown Las Vegas.
The animated "Happy Shirt" sign from Steiner Cleaners is among the growing collection of repaired illuminated signs on display at the Neon Museum in downtown Las Vegas. (Neon Museum)

Newly illuminated gems from Vegas' past, include the recently closed Fitzgerald's casino, a margarita glass known as the "Margarita Baby," Steiner Cleaners' "Happy Shirt" and the colorful yucca bloom from the long-gone Yucca Motel. The museum flipped the switch on these in mid-September.

Serious fans of neon may want to participate in two other weekend activities at the museum.

Visitors to the Neon Museum walk through the so-called boneyard, where dozens of signs from Las Vegas' colorful past are displayed.
Visitors to the Neon Museum walk through the so-called boneyard, where dozens of signs from Las Vegas' colorful past are displayed. (Neon Museum)

Taking advantage of the "golden hour" light of the setting sun, visitors can bring along cameras and gear for special access to the outdoor exhibits starting at 5:20 p.m. Friday.

On Saturday, people can board an open-top bus at 8 p.m. for a two-hour after-dark tour to see the collection of neon signs the museum has put on public display along Las Vegas Boulevard and other streets. The event concludes with special, late-night access to the outdoor displays.

The Neon Museum in downtown Las Vegas shines after dark when the switch is thrown to turn on the lights on a growing number of old neon signs.
The Neon Museum in downtown Las Vegas shines after dark when the switch is thrown to turn on the lights on a growing number of old neon signs. ((Neon Museum)

The photo shoot and night tour each cost $50 per person. Tickets are available online.

Info: The Neon Museum, 770 Las Vegas Blvd. North, (702) 387-6366

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