05/12/2005 11:00PM

Celebrate with Flying Elvi and a humongous cake


When I moved to Las Vegas in 1998, one thing I learned about this great city is you don't do things in a small way when you can spend more money and do a robust, over the top extravaganza.

That was the case two weeks ago with the unveiling of the $2.7 billion Wynn Las Vegas resort and casino.

Now the Las Vegas Centennial Committee has a fraction of the budget of Wynn Las Vegas, but it's still pulling out all the stops to celebrate the 100th birthday of the city of Las Vegas.

A full schedule of centennial events, too many to name here, are listed at www.lasvegas2005.org.

If you're reading this column on Saturday morning, you still have time to attend the four-hour Helldorado Days Parade, which begins at 10 a.m.. Helldorado, which used to be the biggest public event held in Las Vegas, began in 1934, but was discontinued in 1999.

Now it's back and the parade route is downtown along Fourth Street, starting at Gass Avenue and ending at Ogden Avenue. A total of 185 entries will be in Helldorado.

Saturday at 9 p.m., a free concert at the Fremont Street Experience will feature Pam Tillis and Chubby Checker.

Sunday, the world's largest birthday cake will be assembled, and eaten, at Cashman Center Exhibit Hall A. Sara Lee is the corporate sponsor and for weeks workers have been preparing for the event. Brian Averna, executive chef for Sara Lee, and Lynn Mansel, executive pastry chef for Mohegan Sun casino, will oversee the work.

The cake will weigh 130,720 pounds, about a ton more than the current record, set in Fort Wayne, Ala., according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Just in case of a miscalculation, Sara Lee has, standing by, another truckload of 5,000 pounds of cake. Sort of an also eligible list for cake sizing.

Mayor Oscar Goodman will preside over the cake cutting at 5:15 p.m. and all are invited for a free slice or two.

Sunday night, right next door at Cashman Field, the home of the Las Vegas 51's, there will be a birthday celebration featuring among others, The Flying Elvi, a free concert by Kool and the Gang, and a fireworks show by Grucci.

Still to come on June 9 is the "Once Upon 100 Weddings" event at the Fremont Street Experience. Las Vegas has long been called the wedding capital of the world so this event is a perfect fit.

If you're the marrying kind and want a free trip to Las Vegas, you can go online to www.lasvegas2005.org to enter. Of the 100 couples that will come here for a gigantic wedding ceremony, 92 will be from the U.S., 6 from other countries, and 2 will be locals from Las Vegas.

The winning couples will receive free gifts, including airfare from Southwest Airlines, hotel rooms from the Golden Nugget, bachelor parties at MGM Grand's Studio 54 nightclub, bachelorette parties at New York-New York's Coyote Ugly, $100 gift certificate from David's Bridal, tickets to "La Femme" at MGM Grand, ice cream cakes by Cold Stone Creamery, and memories to last at least 100 years.

Richard Eng is the turf editor for the Las Vegas Review-Journal and host of the Race Day Las Vegas Wrap Up radio show.