Come celebrate The Big Easy Carnival during The Black & White Party on Aug. 19

Partygoers at Black and White Party 2016
Photo credit: Tonya Harvey

By Debbie Hall

The Black & White Party, benefiting Aid for AIDS of Nevada, is one of the hottest parties of the year when it returns to the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino on Aug. 19.

Antioco Carrillo, executive director of AFAN, explained, “this is our premier event. Along with bringing awareness to what AFAN does, we are also raising funds to continue to provide services. This is our 31st anniversary for the party. No one ever thought that when this started years ago to collect food and raise some money that it would transform into an extravagant party.”

In 1986, a backyard barbecue was held at an apartment complex to benefit Aid for AIDS of Nevada. Guests were asked to donate nonperishable food items. At the time, supermarkets carried a line of no-name generic products with a white label and black lettering. So many people donated those food products over the years that it became known as the Black & White party. The party grew over the years and would become the event of the year held at various resorts. Guests wear black and white attire to honor the efforts of those volunteers and staff members in the past while bringing awareness of the mission of AFAN for an AIDS-free Nevada.

The theme this year is A New Orleans Soirée with the Hard Rock being transformed into The Big Easy with inspired decor. For an added element of mystery, mystic vendor booths will offer a glimpse into the future, drawing upon the voodoo culture found in the alleys of Bourbon Street.

“We wanted to create something totally different this year,” Carrillo said. “This year’s party will encompass the experience of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. We encourage our guest to wear anything to fit with the party and, if they have visited New Orleans, to share those memories.”

The gala will be hosted by “the Duchess of Decadence” Norma Llyaman, with avant garde (and barely there) fashions, performances from top entertainers, savory food and beverage offerings, and exciting silent auction items. Last year, nearly 4,000 guests raised more than $140,000 to benefit AFAN’s client service programs to help men, women, and children living with HIV/AIDS in Southern Nevada.

While savoring an array of appetizing food and beverage options from the restaurants of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, guests will be treated to a lively set by DJ Axis and eye catching performances from Strip entertainers including “Absinthe’s” Melody Sweets and Human Nature, along with cast members from “BAZ,” “Frank Marino’s Divas” and Culture Shock and acrobats Brandon Scott and TJ Stutts.

AFAN are appreciative of the presenting sponsors including Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Penn & Teller, Walgreens, iHeartMedia, Greenspun Media Group, and PDQ Printing.

Fantastic silent auction items will be up for bid including a hotel and spa package at Waldorf Astoria Orlando, tickets to Celine Dion, Britney Spears, Cher, Cirque du Soleil shows, other luxury gift baskets, staycation packages and beauty products. To view silent auction items, visit the AFAN Facebook album at

Following the party, Piranha Nightclub will host the official after-party, and to complete the weekend, Temptation Sundays at Luxor will host a “Big Easy” pool party on Sunday, Aug. 20.

Guests are encouraged to get home safe by using the official ride-share sponsor Uber. Use code “AFAN2017” and a portion of the ride will be donated back to AFAN. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is offering a limited amount of staycation packages for party attendees. Receive 10 percent off rooms by visiting here or calling reservations at 1.800.473.7625 and mentioning the B&W Party.

Ticket packages include:

$65 “Black Package” includes general admission access at 9 p.m. and unlimited food and beverage samples from vendors;

$85 “White Package” includes entry to private reception from 7 to 9 p.m. with complimentary toast, passed appetizers, early access to silent auction items and unlimited food and beverage samples from vendors;

$125 “Silver Package” includes access to VIP lounge area inside the party with upscale open seating and cocktail service, premium vodka samplings, entry to the private reception from 7 to 9 p.m. and unlimited food and beverage.

Tickets and VIP packages can be purchased at Guests must be 21 and over and are encouraged to wear as much black and white possible (including those who want to wear as little as possible).

#AFANBW @afanlv



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