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RIDE ’EM VEGAS: National Finals Rodeo gallops back to town. Here’s a primer on the cowboy cornucopia that lassoes Las Vegas

Ropin’, ridin’ and line-dancin’ … wait, do bulls line-dance?

We’d love to see that, though they’ll likely save their fancier footwork for grittier activities — say, wrasslin’ with cowpokes — inside the Thomas & Mack Center during the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (aka NFR), a Las Vegas staple stampeding back to our city for its annual 10-day hoedown, Dec. 5-14.

Galloping along concurrently with the competitions, the popular and interactive gift/activities/exhibits show Cowboy Christmas takes over the Las Vegas Convention Center’s South Hall from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily — and it’s free! (This year’s show includes the Junior World Finals, hosting more than 850 youth contestants.)

Following are fast facts, figures and stray historical tidbits on NFR.

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THIRST DATE: Walk for Water raises awareness of global water issues — and $120k — at eighth annual Springs Preserve event

More than a thousand walkers, plus volunteers and one mayor gathered in the local desert Sept. 21 to raise awareness of worldwide water issues.

“Who ordered the perfect day?” Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman asked the cheerful crowd about to embark on a three-mile trek in the mild morning sunshine at Springs Preserve.

One Drop, an international foundation created in 2007 by Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté and dedicated to providing access to safe water in the world’s most vulnerable communities, hosts the annual Walk for Water.

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GO TO YOUR VROOOM: Auto innovations are revved-up at Motor Trend show at Las Vegas Convention Center

The cicada rhythms of doors (ka-thunk), trunks (ka-thunk) and tailgates (ka-thunk) latching back into place were the sonic template of the Motor Trend International Auto Show Las Vegas Sept. 13-15 at the Las Vegas Convention Center’s South Hall – a vast and, frankly, shiny landscape of more than 350 cars, trucks and SUVs dutifully attended to by a quiet army of shammy men, polishing up new rides from Toyota, Hyundai, Honda, Dodge, Chrysler, and a dozen more.

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