Belgium's Manneken Pis Makes a Splash at the D Las Vegas as City's Longest Entertainment Residency

 

Sometimes a press event can be a real “pisser” and this one was for sure. I was invited to The D Las Vegas where CEO Derek Stevens was slated to introduce “its newest entertainer” on September 1, 2015. I was told that “the property has signed the longest entertainment contract in Las Vegas history to secure the talent who is intended to bring thousands of tourists to the property and Downtown Las Vegas.”

What could it be * Photo by Burt Davis

 

Kevin Burke star of Defending The Caveman and Adam London star of Laughternoon stopped by to check out the new celebrity at the D * Photo by Burt Davis

 

We already have luminaries like Celine Dion, Elton John, and I'm pretty sure that Elvis is dead, so who could it be? It was a hot September day and I was directed to an outdoor area of the D for the announcement. Outdoors? Why? I was soon to find out.

 

Manneken Pis * Photo by Burt Davis

  

Well, he's here to stay. The talent is non other than Brussels’ most famous troublemaker, Manneken Pis. This Las Vegas version of the Belgium landmark weighs in at 500 pounds and has a well know penchant for public nudity. He is now exposing himself to Downtown Las Vegas and will likely become one of its most sought-after celebrity sightings.

 

The boy's position on the round fountain allows for a 360 degree view * Tom Donoghue Photography/the D Las Vegas

 

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and former Mayor Oscar Goodman were on hand to join Derek Stevens and Derek's brother and co-owner Greg Stevens for the announcement and the unveiling of the new talent. Literally!

 

The Mayor declared that, “Derek Stevens is truly a friend of Downtown Las Vegas, and bringing Manneken Pis Las Vegas to the D is a testament to his investment in this area. The statue will be a symbol of the entrepreneurship that is taking place in Downtown Las Vegas and at the D.”

 

Mayor Carolyn Goodman designated September 1, 2015 as Manneken Pis Day in Las Vegas * Tom Donoghue Photography/the D Las Vegas

 

Manneken Pis is a large-scale bronze replica of the beloved 17th century statue in Brussels, Belgium. The D has entered into a 100-year contract with Manneken Pis as the official greeter of the property, making him the longest entertainment residency in Las Vegas history. 

Dutch for “Little Man Pee,” Manneken Pis represents a young boy cheerfully “relieving” himself into a fountain’s basin. The piece holds a special place in the lives of brothers Derek and Greg Stevens, who are of Belgian descent and visited the statue in Brussels often throughout their childhood and early adulthood. A lifelong fan of the cheeky work-of-art, Stevens always knew he wanted to incorporate Manneken Pis into the D’s playful landscape.

“Manneken Pis Las Vegas is a ‘tip of the cap’ to our parents and our family trips to Belgium,” said Derek Stevens. “We are thrilled to bring his whimsical spirit to the D, which will attract thousands of visitors from around the world to Downtown Las Vegas.

I must state for the record that I recognized this little fellow. I am one of the thousands of thousands of tourists who have been privileged to visit the original statue in Brussels, Belgium. It will be a lot easier to drop by to say hi to Manneken Pis now that he is part of the tapestry of Las Vegas. And I am guessing that Derek Stevens is right and thousands will visit the statue here and watch him do what he does best. I imagine I'll be asking friends who visit if they want to see a little boy pissing in public. Hey, it's Vegas.

Starting as a central water source in Belgium, Manneken Pis has played an important role in the history of the country. Created by Hiëroynmus Duquesnoy the Elder and put on display in 1619, Manneken Pis was a survivor of the bombardment of Brussels in 1695 and grew into one of the most widely visited and photographed statues in Belgium. While smiling coyly, Manneken Pis remains the emblem of the rebellious spirit of Brussels. The statue been described as hard working yet fun, loving, affable and slightly irreverent – all qualities which Derek Stevens boasts are embraced by the D.

One the distinguishing traits that sets Manneken Pis apart from other statues is his elaborate wardrobe, consisting of more than 900 suits and costumes to match holidays and other special occasions. This tradition will carry over to Las Vegas, where Manneken Pis will be spotted in a variety outfits throughout the year to match seasons, Downtown Las Vegas events and other city-wide initiatives.

Manneken Pis can be spotted right next to the D’s main valet where he will greet his public. Follow him on Twitter at @MannekenPis_LV.

Tom Donoghue Photography/the D Las Vegas

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