enculturating las vegas into the next millennium... art, dance, film, music, poetry, theater, history, nature and everything else that enriches the lives of those who live and visit southern nevada... Since 2003...

Thursday, November 08, 2012

8-Bit Paco takes Downtown by storm & Insert Coin(s) too!

8-Bit Paco
As Charles Caleb Colton once said, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery..." And goodness knows that is so true.

For several weeks my good friends Stephen Liguori and Richard Brian had been working diligently on a costume inspired by "yours truly." Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought that I would inspire an 8-Bit version of myself. Though my own artwork is inspired by 8-Bit video games of the 1980's, just the mere thought of me being turned into a video game character like those that I played is definitely humbling! Not just was I completely flattered by the gesture but the fact that Steven Liguori, one of Southern Nevada's most accomplished sculptors created it, made it all the more special. Steven and Richard affectionately called it "8-Bit Paco."

Paco & 8-Bit Paco @ The 2012
Las Vegas Halloween Parade 
The great unveiling took place at Las Vegas' Halloween Parade last week, which I just happened to be one of the judges for. Though I was in on the surprise I kept myself hidden behind a cloak and mask up until "8-Bit Paco" walked in front of the judges table. As 8-Bit presented himself I threw off the cloak and ran down to the street to stand next to my video-game inspired doppelganger  The crowd and my fellow judges went wild.

After the parade was over a crew of friends and I went down to 3rd Street where the Halloween Parade after-party was happening. The zany crew known for their out-of-this-world roaming disco, the Dancetronauts were spinning some hot beats and getting the crowd all excited for what was going to be a crazy Halloween in Downtown. After a while of ecstatic dancing and cavorting with the costumed masses we decided to head over to Insert Coin(s) Videolounge and Gamebar on Fremont East. Basically Insert Coin(s) is an arcade on steroids. It has a massive bar right in the middle of the place that is a cross between a giant glow stick and the Mos Eisely Cantina on Tatooine. This arcade makes Flynn's look like a carny game.

8-Bit Paco w/
Insert Coin(s) Proprietor
Christopher LaPorte
My buddy Richard, who was donning 8-Bit Paco was determined to enter the costume contest at the arcade; and considering the costume was the perfect fit for the Minecraft crowd he was right on the ball with his assumption. As we sat at the bar enjoying some great cocktails by "Zach" we awaited the judges verdict. As 1pm approached "8-Bit" and I made our way to the dance floor where the winner of the costume contest would be announced. All of a sudden Insert Coin(s) proprietor and video game wunderkind Christopher LaPorte stepped up to the DJ booth to make the big announcement. Before I could even catch my breadth Christopher looks straight at me and yells out, "grand prize winner BRIAN PACO ALVAREZ!" Though I think he meant to say 8-Bit Paco. In either case I was elated for Steven and Richard who worked so hard to make the costume and what a better place to celebrate than at Insert Coin(s)! After all was said and done this Halloween was one for my personal record books and one that will not be forgotten.

A huge thanks for a memorable evening to Steven Liguori, Richard Brian, Cat Savelo, Christopher LaPorte and his amazing crew at Insert Coin(s) and let us not forget Corey Mervis and Leslie Bocskor founders of the Las Vegas Halloween Parade!

Photos courtesy of Richard Brian Photography

Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

posted by Brian Paco Alvarez, Curator and Chronicler of Culture at


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