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Celeb forecast: Vegas goes to the pros

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Matt Damon.
Photo: Scott Harrison/Retna/www.harrisonphotos.com

A-List Stars Ante Up for Africa

It’s the Fourth of July and that can only mean one thing: party time in Las Vegas.

As the long weekend approaches, it comes as no surprise that dozens of celebrities are headed this way to celebrate our nation’s independence.

In fact, the party started early this year as pre-parties for World Series of Poker Event 57 kicked things off in advance of the main event, which gets underway this afternoon. Adding to the A-list talent in town was Don Cheadle’s charity poker tournament, Ante Up for Africa, which took place at the Rio yesterday and attracted a dozen big name stars.

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.

Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Sarah Silverman, Jason Alexander, Nelly, Charles Barkley, Brad Garrett, Dean Cain, Montel Williams, Herschel Walker, Cedric the Entertainer, and Kenny Smith all turned out for the event, which benefited humanitarian efforts in Darfur.

Things will shift into high gear today, however, as the Independence Day festivities will officially get underway.

2009 NBA MVP LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

2009 NBA MVP LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Lance Briggs and a handful of other NFL players will be at the Palms this weekend and will start things off with an afternoon of fun at the ever-popular work week send-off at the Palms pool, Ditch Fridays. (OK, Briggs technically began celebrating the Independence Day weekend last night, when he and a handful of friends hit Tao for the club’s go-to night to see and be seen, worship Thursdays.)

Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, Santonio Holmes, Roscoe Parrish, Reggie Bush, Willis McGahee, Aaron Rodgers, Brendon Jacobs, Braylon Edwards, Andre Johnson, and Steve Slaton are rumored to be among those expected to join Briggs by the pool today.

A slough of NBA stars are also said to be partaking in the poolside girl-gazing at the Palms this afternoon, but the unlike their NFL counterparts, the basketballers’ names are being kept quiet for the time being.

Over at the Venetian, meanwhile, Lebron James will be very much on the record as he gets his long weekend underway with a pair of parties, first at Tao Beach and later at Tao nightclub.

As James is kicking in by the pool, Jamie Foxx will be over at the Hard Rock Hotel and as he broadcasts live from inside Wasted Space.

Jamie Foxx receives his second birthday cake of the night at Tao. On the mic is good friend P.Diddy.

Jamie Foxx receives his second birthday cake of the night at Tao. On the mic is good friend P.Diddy.

The broadcast is open to the public and will begin at 2 p.m. but the actor-crooner will reappear later this evening at The Joint, where he is scheduled to perform both tonight and tomorrow night.

Also giving the first of two consecutive nights of shows this evening is Jay-Z and Ciara, who will be over at the Pearl. What’s more, Ciara will head over to Jet after tonight’s show to host an official afterparty.

Meanwhile, perennial Privé guest DJ Jermaine Dupri will once again do his thing at the Planet Hollywood, and Warren G will host over at Pure.

Also hosting a party tonight is incoming E! reality show starlet and beautiful, A Beautiful Life actress, Audrina Partridge, who will toast the long weekend during a party at the Bank.

There will be no shortage of Independence Day laughs this weekend, either, as Kathy Griffin aims to use her D-list humor to crack ‘em up at Mandalay Bay and Bill Maher takes to the stage at the Orleans Showroom for the first of three consecutive nights of performances. The laughs will continue tomorrow night when Susie Essman and Richard Lewis begin a three-night engagement at the Venetian.

Vanilla Ice.

Vanilla Ice.

The city’s adults-only pools will be the place to be tomorrow afternoon, as MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice will join forces for a live performance at Wet Republic and picture-perfect Dancing With the Stars couple Karina Smirnoff and Maksim Chmerkovskiy celebrate the Fourth of July at the Palazzo’s new pool party place, Azure.

Also tomorrow afternoon, Linkin’ Park frontman Chester Bennington will sign autographs at his new tattoo shop inside the Miracle Mile Shops, Club Tattoo.

The musician will be there from 2 until 4 p.m. and will be handing out tickets to his new band’s special Saturday night show.

Dead by Sunrise will perform at 10:30 p.m. tomorrow just a few storefronts south of Club Tattoo, at the Steve Wyrick Theatre.

After the show, Bennington will host an independence night party at Privé.

Also taking to the stage tomorrow night will be Grammy-nominated rockers Hoobastank, who will play for partiers at the “Rock the Block” party on Fremont Street.

Meanwhile, Grammy Award-winning performer the Dream will perform a short-but-sweet, three-song set at Jet. The performer’s fiancé, Cristina Milian will join him for the special, shortened Fourth of July show.

The scene will be extra-sexy at Studio 54 tomorrow as the lovely ladies of Vivid Entertainment lend their considerable talents to the MGM Grand nightspot.

A handful of adult film stars, including 2009 AVN Best New Starlet Nominee Nikki Jayne, Monique Alexander, Meggan Mallone, and former Penthouse Pet, Sunny Leone, will be there.

Katrina "Bikini Girl" Darrell kicks back in the VIP lounge at Hawaiian Tropic Zone.

Katrina "Bikini Girl" Darrell kicks back in the VIP lounge at Hawaiian Tropic Zone.

And finally, another unabashed personality, onetime American Idol contestant Katrina “Bikini Girl” Darrell, will host what’s being billed as a “Red, White and Bikinis Independence Day celebration” at Hawaiian Tropic Zone.

The following day, sexy Peepshow star Holly Madison will host an afternoon by the pool at Tao Beach. And, as any of the former Playboy model’s fans or followers know, wherever the blonde beauty goes, her entourage of former bunnies is never too far behind.

Also putting in appearances on Sunday will be DJ Dubfire from Deepdish who is set to spin at Privé, and DJ Steve Aoki, who will treat fans to a set at the Bank while combing the crowd for ”the most All-American girl in town.”

Nelly.

Nelly.

As the long weekend comes to a close on Monday, Nelly takes to the stage at Jet for a brief, two-song set featuring his breakout single, "Country Grammar," and Robb Patterson of KoRn will put the "rock" in Privé's Monday night staple, "We rock hip hop.”

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Melissa Arseniuk

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