Las Vegas Overview
Las Vegas is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Nevada, the seat of Clark County, and an internationally renowned major resort city for gambling, shopping, fine dining, and entertainment. Las Vegas, which bills itself as The Entertainment Capital of the World, is famous for the number of casino resorts and associated entertainment. A growing retirement and family city, it is the 28th most populous city in the United States with an estimated population by the U.S. Census Bureau of 558,383 as of 2008. The estimated population of the Las Vegas metropolitan area as of 2008, was 1,865,746.
Established in 1905, Las Vegas officially became a city in 1911. With the growth that followed, at the close of the century Las Vegas was the most populous American city founded in the 20th century (a distinction held by Chicago in the 19th century). The city's tolerance for various forms of adult entertainment earned it the title of Sin City, and this image has made Las Vegas a popular setting for films and television programs. Outdoor lighting displays are everywhere on the Las Vegas Strip and are seen elsewhere in the city as well. As seen from space, the Las Vegas metropolitan area is the brightest city on Earth.
The name Las Vegas is often applied to unincorporated areas that surround the city, especially the resort areas on and near the Las Vegas Strip. This 4 mi (6.4 km) stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard is mainly in the unincorporated communities of Paradise and Winchester, and continues partly into unincorporated Enterprise.
On the first Friday of each month, the "First Friday" celebration is held which exhibits the works of local artists and musicians in a section of the city's Downtown region now called the "Arts District".
The Southern Nevada Zoological-Botanical Park, also known as the Las Vegas Zoo, exhibits over 150 species of animals and plants.
The $485 million Smith Center for the Performing Arts (currently under construction) will be located downtown in Symphony Park. The center will be appropriate for Broadway shows and other major touring attractions as well as orchestra, opera, and dance performances.
The city also hosts annual events like the Helldorado Days (Las Vegas).
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