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Happy New Year 2020, Las Vegas! — BLOG

Updated January 1, 2020 - 1:54 am

12:41 a.m.

18 total hospitalizations

Five more people on the Strip were hospitalized, four of them for issues related to alcohol consumption and one other for respiratory issues, bringing the total number of hospitalizations during the night to 18, according to Clark County spokesman Erik Pappa.

12:17 a.m.

‘Moment of unity’

Sidney and Shantail Miller, who watched the fireworks outside The Venetian, described the experience as “a moment of unity.”

“You consider the chaos the nation has been in,” Sidney Miller said. “In just this moment, you see the greatness of humanity, and that’s just a blessing.”

The Millers are from Arkansas, and it was their first time in Las Vegas.

“There was no fighting, there was no yelling,” Sidney Miller continued. “It was peace. It was unity.”

— Mary Hynes

12:13 a.m.

Fireworks-related injury

One person was taken to University Medical Center’s trauma unit after a “serious fireworks related incident” in east Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Fire Department announced in a tweet.

Further details were not immediately available.

— Rio Lacanlale

12:10 a.m.

Crowds dispersing

After the roughly eight-minute Strip fireworks show, crowds quickly and quietly began to disperse south of Tropicana Avenue between the Excalibur and Mandalay Bay.

Police vehicles lined the center of the Strip, with officers directing traffic and guiding pedestrians.

— David Ferrara


Flurry of fireworks

The night sky sparkled as more than 80,000 fireworks exploded over Las Vegas, welcoming the new year — and the new decade.

Thanks to mild weather on Tuesday night, the pyrotechnic show went off without a hitch — a stark difference from last year’s celebrations, when blustering, gusty winds had threatened to put a wrench in the fireworks show for the first time.

This year’s festivities drew an estimated 333,000 people to Las Vegas for “America’s Party.”

— Rio Lacanlale

11:56 p.m.

More hospitalizations

Six more people — five for alcohol consumption and one for an “unknown medical reason” — were picked up from the Strip and taken to local hospitals, according to Clark County spokesman Erik Pappa.

— Rio Lacanlale

11:30 p.m.

An engagement

Near the New York-New York’s replica Brooklyn Bridge, Ryan Doneker and Kimberly Smart embraced each other, his hands in her pockets.

It was their first trip to Las Vegas.

A day earlier, Doneker got down on one knee in front of the Bellagio fountains.

She said yes.

“I thought we were just bringing his parents out here,” Smart said, flashing her ring. “Everyone knew but me.”

— David Ferrara

11:25 p.m.

Birthday celebration

Miriam Macias of Corona, California, persuaded the DJ at Beerhaus near the T-Mobile Arena to start playing Latin music for her 37th birthday on Tuesday, as the clock approached midnight. A dance party broke out.

The crowd formed a human “tunnel,” encouraging anyone who dared walked through to bust some moves.

“We’re having a blast,” Macias said.

— David Ferrara

11:19 p.m.

Parental escape

Becky and Erik Flannery, who wed in Las Vegas in 2016, returned with three other couples from their hometown of Tacoma, Washington, to join the New Year’s Eve celebration on the Las Vegas Strip.

“We’re escaping our kids,” said friend Jayson Lelli. The four couples have a combined 16 kids.

A group of friends from Tacoma, Washington celebrates New Year's Eve on the Las Vegas Strip (Ma ...
A group of friends from Tacoma, Washington celebrates New Year's Eve on the Las Vegas Strip (Mary Hynes/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

“I’m a little disturbed by the number of children out here,” Becky Flannery said, observing families with small children walking near TI, or Treasure Island, the site of their wedding three years ago.

But she noted, “We can be idiots here.” Like her friends, she wore sparkling “2020” glasses.

She and her husband showed a reporter a pair of matching “TI” tattoos on their wrists.

— Mary Hynes

11:08 p.m.

More hospitalizations

Three more people have been hospitalized, according to Clark County spokesman Erik Pappa.

One man, between 40 and 59 years old, was taken from the Fremont Street Experience after consuming too much alcohol.

Two others, both picked up on the Strip, were hospitalized in “unknown condition,” Pappa said. One was a man, and the other was a woman between 20 and 39 years old.

11 p.m.

Overflowing entrances

Intersections at the entrances to the Paris Las Vegas and Bellagio were overflowing with people.

Those still trying to move north or south along the Strip were forced to weave in and out of groups of people camped out for the final iconic Bellagio fountain shows of the decade.

— Rory Appleton

10:55 p.m.

Canadian Elvis

The king has not only left the building, he’s at the bar.

Jack Rodman Knowles of British Columbia, Canada, was dressed as Elvis and showing off his dance moves outside the Golden Nugget to the delight of partygoers at the Fremont Street Experience.

Dawn Marie Butler, left, and her boyfriend Jack Rodman Knowles of British Columbia, Canada cele ...
Dawn Marie Butler, left, and her boyfriend Jack Rodman Knowles of British Columbia, Canada celebrate on Fremont Street. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

His girlfriend, Dawn Marie Butler, was dressed as a hippie and said it was their first New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas.

“Best freedom party ever,” Butler said.

Knowles added, “I just want to say, Canada rocks!”

10:45 p.m.

No strollers on the Strip

With just over an hour left until midnight, families continued to head down Las Vegas Boulevard with their children in strollers — one of the many items on the prohibited list for entrance to “America’s Party.”

Since at least 7:45 p.m., dozens of families have been sent back toward Sahara Avenue from the Circus Circus area for wheeling their toddlers down the Strip.

Families with strollers set up shop on Las Vegas Boulevard hoping to watch New Year's fireworks ...
Families with strollers set up shop on Las Vegas Boulevard hoping to watch New Year's fireworks. (Mick Akers/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

With the stoppage occurring mainly in front of Slots A Fun next door to Circus Circus, some families are setting up shop nearby, in hopes of still catching a glimpse of the fireworks show.

Law enforcement officials don’t seem to mind as long as the families don’t try to continue farther south down the Strip.

— Mick Akers

10:38 p.m.


Since 8:30 p.m., four people on the Strip have been taken to local hospitals, according to Clark County spokesman Erik Pappa, who was stationed Tuesday evening at the county’s multi-agency coordination center.

All but one were hospitalized after consuming “too much alcohol,” he said. They were three men ranging in age from 20 to older than 60, Pappa said.

He said the other person who was hospitalized, who is between 20 and 39, required medical treatment after taking drugs. The spokesman provided no other details.

Rio Lacanlale

9:47 p.m.

A one-way trip to jail

In a two-hour window, between 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., Las Vegas police officers conducting DUI enforcement across the valley had taken 10 suspects into custody.

In a tweet, the Metropolitan Police Department’s traffic bureau wrote, “10 impaired drivers have been given a one-way trip to the Clark County Detention Center or LV City Jail!!!”

“Be safe out there!” a Twitter user wrote in a reply to the department’s tweet. “We want our officers to be able to go home to their families after their shift is over.”

9:39 p.m.

‘Be humble’

A group of 10 people, most of whom recently moved to Las Vegas from Hawaii, strolled north on Las Vegas Boulevard near the Park Theater.

Each wore white hooded sweatshirts emblazoned with the words “BE HUMBLE” in black.

A group wearing "Be Humble" sweatshirts on Las Vegas Boulevard near the Park Theater. ...
A group wearing "Be Humble" sweatshirts on Las Vegas Boulevard near the Park Theater. (David Ferrara/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

“It’s just to send out a good message,” Breana O’Sullivan said, “and not act crazy.”

Terrell Johnson, who wore the matching sweatshirt with his four sons, said his family is enjoying its new hometown.

“We moved out here for a better lifestyle,” he said.

— David Ferrara

8:37 p.m.

Expert partygoers

In the Fremont East District, Sylvia and Rudy Solis were more than ready to ring in the new year.

Their goal is to retire early in 2020, 56-year-old Sylvia Solis said.

She was decked out in a masquerade mask, with streamers in her hair and a sequined shirt — dazzling under Las Vegas’ neon lights.

Rudy and Sylvia Solis celebrate the new year in the Fremont East District in Downtown Las Vegas ...
Rudy and Sylvia Solis celebrate the new year in the Fremont East District in Downtown Las Vegas. (Alex Chhith/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Every year, they travel to meet family in Las Vegas for New Year’s Eve, and they consider themselves “experts” on how to celebrate.

Pacing herself in the early evening hours, Sylvia Solis planned on heading down to the Strip later Tuesday for fireworks and then back to Fremont Street to finish off the night.

“The fireworks are amazing,” she said.

— Alex Chhith

8:30 p.m.

Beer belt

In the CityCenter area on the Strip, most of the crowd gathered on Las Vegas Boulevard near the Aria and Planet Hollywood, making their way south toward the Bellagio. Some stopped to thank Metropolitan Police Departments officers spaced every 10 to 20 yards in the center of the closed road.

Some of the more industrious revelers made use of the pharmacies and convenience stores along the Strip to gather party supplies, including one man just outside a CVS pharmacy.

He lifted his jacket to reveal what at first appeared to be a weightlifting belt.

Instead, it was a belt fitted with slots that he filled with an entire 12-pack of beer cans.

Others sold sparkling hats and glasses adorned with blinking lights along the sidewalk.

— Rory Appleton

8:10 p.m.

Wrong-way driver

On Las Vegas Boulevard, the Nevada Highway Patrol pulled over a wrong-way driver near the M Resort.

A snippet of dashboard camera footage, posted to the agency’s Twitter account on Tuesday evening, showed a vehicle pulling over to the right shoulder as the patrol car’s red-and-blue lights swirled.

“In case you thought we were joking,” the agency wrote in its tweet.

— Rio Lacanlale

7:47 p.m.

Prohibited items and reckless driving

Despite roads in the area being shut down, many New Year’s Eve revelers are making it on foot to the Circus Circus area with prohibited items.

Large bags, strollers and backpacks are among the items banned on the Las Vegas Strip during New Year’s Eve celebrations, and multiple people are not getting the message.

Las Vegas police officers are turning people back toward Sahara Avenue with banned items saying, “It’s OK. It’s early. You’re not missing anything.”

Remember, if you’re coming to Las Vegas Boulevard to ring in 2020, large bags, backpacks, strollers and glass bottles are among the prohibited items.

Meanwhile, between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., Nevada Highway Patrol troopers had arrested four drunken driving suspects.

In that same period, troopers also had stopped “many motorists for excessive speed,” including one person driving at 96 mph, according to the agency.

— Mick Akers and Rio Lacanlale

7:27 p.m.

An intimate wedding

With less than five hours until midnight, newlyweds Sabrina and Chris Nettles posed for pictures in their wedding attire outside The Venetian, the blushing bride holding a large bouquet of pink and white flowers.

The couple, from Toledo, Ohio, said they had spent months planning a “big wedding” in Miami but ultimately decided on a more intimate reception, just for the two of them. And what better place than Las Vegas?

Sabrina and Chris Nettles pose for pictures in their wedding attire outside The Venetian on New ...
Sabrina and Chris Nettles pose for pictures in their wedding attire outside The Venetian on New Year's Eve. (Alexis Egeland/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

“It started getting a little too much, so we were like: You know what? We’re just going to do it and just make it special,” Chris Nettles said. “It was just about us and not about everybody else.”

They got married Tuesday evening at the Chapel of the Flowers, a long-standing wedding chapel on Las Vegas Boulevard. From there, they went to a romantic dinner together for the first time as husband and wife.

The rest of the night is up in the air for them – they’ve been walking along the Strip in their wedding attire but said they won’t be going to any clubs because Sabrina is pregnant with twin boys.

— Alexis Egeland

7:12 p.m.

“Sweet Caroline” and a Viva Vision

A growing contingent of partygoers at Fremont Street Experience congregated by one of four stages to belt a classic: “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond.

But attention soon turned overhead with a short demonstration of the new $32 million upgraded canopy, Viva Vision.

The light show, in sync to the Chainsmokers’ “Don’t Let Me Down,” on the largest single video screen in the world captured the attention of those on the ground floor who aimed their cellphones upward as the silhouettes of zipliners sped by.

The line to get in from Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard has at least doubled to about 100 in the past 30 minutes.

There are pockets of Las Vegas police officers throughout the Experience — an expected uptick in law enforcement presence — and private security is checking patrons for wristbands as they enter any of the casinos.

— Shea Johnson

6 p.m.

Cool temperatures expected

The Las Vegas Valley should expect to see a seasonably cool and dry New Year’s Eve with few clouds to obstruct fireworks viewings.

It reached 56 degrees during the day Tuesday, which is the average high for this time of year, National Weather Service meteorologist Alex Boothe said. Temperatures are dropping as the sun goes down and will cool off to slightly below average overnight.

Those on the Strip should expect to feel temperatures around 40 degrees as the clock hits midnight. Winds will be “fairly light” and under 10 mph, Boothe said.

Temperatures will drop to about 36 overnight, two degrees below the average low for this time of year.

“It’ll continue to cool after midnight,” Boothe said. “Our low should be somewhere around 4 or 5 in the morning.”

No rain is in the forecast, and no significant cloud cover is expected.

“All the clouds should be high enough to where they’re not going to be a problem for fireworks,” Boothe said. “There may be a few clouds here and there, but mostly clear skies.”

Clark County’s Department of Air Quality issued a smoke advisory for Tuesday night and into Wednesday due to fireworks.

— Katelyn Newberg

4:50 p.m.

Road closures to begin

Roads leading into the resort corridor are set to close to traffic as an expected 330,000 revelers prepare to ring in 2020 on the Las Vegas Strip.

The Nevada Department of Transportation and Nevada Highway Patrol troopers will begin to shut the Interstate 15 offramps to eastbound Flamingo Road, Tropicana Avenue and Spring Mountain Road at 5 p.m.

At 5:45 p.m., officers will close all other westbound streets, roads and alleys leading onto Las Vegas Boulevard between Sahara Avenue and Mandalay Bay Road from Koval Lane.

Then at 6 p.m. the Metropolitan Police Department will shut all streets, roads and alleys leading onto the Strip between Sahara Avenue and Mandalay Bay Road, with all barricades in place.

At 6:15 p.m. Metro traffic officers will begin clearing all vehicle traffic off Las Vegas Boulevard between Sahara Avenue and Mandalay Bay Road.

By 6:45 p.m., Las Vegas Boulevard and all inbound roads leading onto the Strip will be fully closed to vehicle traffic, leaving the Strip only open to pedestrian traffic.

At 7 p.m. all moving walkways, elevators and escalators leading to or crossing Las Vegas Boulevard will be shut off.

After the New Year arrives and the fireworks show ends, at 12:15 a.m. Wednesday, all moving walkways, elevators and escalators leading to or crossing Las Vegas Boulevard will resume operations.

Officers expect celebrations to subside and barricade removal to begin by 1:30 a.m.

At 2 a.m. street sweepers will begin cleaning up Las Vegas Boulevard working from south to north.

At 3:30 a.m. Department of Transportation and Highway Patrol troopers will begin reopening I-15 offramps to eastbound Flamingo, Tropicana and Spring Mountain and all other streets, roads and alleys leading onto Las Vegas Boulevard Between Russell Road and Sahara also will begin to reopen.

Off the Strip, some roads downtown also will shut to traffic. The closure of Fourth Street to Main Street and Carson Avenue to Ogden Avenue that began Tuesday morning will reopen to traffic at 4 a.m. Wednesday. Additionally, the fireworks display at the Plaza will result in the closure of Main Street from Carson Avenue to Ogden Avenue for about 15 minutes beginning at midnight.

— Mick Akers

Check in with us all night as our team covers Las Vegas New Year’s Eve from the Strip to Fremont Street and across the rest of the valley.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson. Las Vegas Sands operates The Venetian and Palazzo.

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