70°F
weather icon Windy

Happy New Year! Las Vegas rings in 2024 with a bang — BLOG

Updated January 1, 2024 - 1:27 am

Check out our blog below for a recap of the celebrations from the Strip to Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas.

Rocking through the new year

Third Eye Blind performs to a large crowd on Third Street Stage, however festivities have ended at the 1st Street Stage.

The party is still alive and well at Main Street Stage, where hip hop duo Big Gigantic performs, but the crowds have thinned on Fremont Street.

-Jessica Hill, 12:51 a.m.

Resorts World still abuzz

Resorts World continued to buzz with activity even as many made their way to the exits. The Gatsby Cocktail Lounge remained packed with people inside and several still waiting in line to get in. Loud bouncing music could be heard from the lounge throughout the casino floor. The lounge will remain open until 2 a.m.

- David Wilson, 12:29 a.m.

Quick exit

Confetti is strewn across the street as there is a rush of people trying to the leave the Strip. Many are climbing over the divide between the side walk and Treasure Island to get off the street quicker than going up a ramp.

-Sean Hemmersmeier, 12:20 a.m.

Scaling barricades

Heavy crowds have begun to form around the elevators and stairways to access the pedestrian bridge to cross Tropicana between the Excalibur and the New York New York.

Some people too impatient to wait to use the pedestrian bridge took to running across Tropicana, scaling construction barricades to cross despite oncoming traffic.

-Taylor Avery, 12:20 a.m.

Heading for the exit

Some people are making their way to the exit at the Fremont Street Experience, but many are staying to hear the rest of Third Eye Blind’s performance that’s slated to continue until 1 a.m.

-Julie Wootton-Greener, 12:20 a.m.

‘A great place to see it’

Leandra and Leisha Cleveland are sisters visiting Las Vegas for New Year’s Eve from Ohio and Washington respectively.

The sisters were outside of Treasure Island when the fireworks went off at midnight and were impressed by the display, Leisha Cleveland described it as “spectacular.”

“It was a great place to see it, since we could them going off from most casinos,” Leandra Cleveland said. It felt like a 360 show.”

-Sean Hemmersmeier, 12:10 a.m.

Mayor rings in new year

Mayor Carolyn Goodman and her husband Oscar Goodman, former mayor of Las Vegas, rang in 2024 onstage at Fremont. It marked the 25th year they led the city through a new year.

Mayor Goodman told the crowd Vegas is where dreams come true.

-Jessica Hill, 12:01 a.m.

Crowd in awe

Hundreds of revelers welcomed 2024 in front of Caesars Palace.

They cheered as the clock counted toward midnight and into the new year as the fireworks blasted. Hugs accompanied chants of “Happy New Year.” A large portion of the crowd looked on in awe as they recorded the spectacle with their phones.

-Ricardo Torres-Cortez, 12:01 a.m.

Happy New Year!

Las Vegas rings in the New Year with fireworks over the Strip.

-12 a.m.

Metro chopper overhead

A low-flying Metro helicopter with its spotlight scanning the surrounding buildings causes the crowd to yell and cheer loudly as it passes overhead. Many in the crowd wave to the helicopter.

-Taylor Avery, 11:37 p.m.

Rattled by the explosion

A loud, test firework explosion rattles revelers gathered in front of Caesars Palace less than half an hour before midnight.

-Ricardo Torres-Cortez, 11:32 p.m.

Awaiting headliner

Crowds gather in front of Third Street Stage as they wait for the headliner Third Eye Blind to perform.

The band will see Vegas through the new year and is scheduled to perform through 1 a.m.

-Jessica Hill and Julie Wootton-Greener, 11:30 p.m.

Navigating the crowd

Portions of the Strip, such as sidewalks and road near Caesars Palace, have become challenging to navigate as revelers bunch up in anticipation for the midnight fireworks.

-Ricardo Torres-Cortez, 11:20 p.m.

Shoulder to shoulder

It’s very crowded in front of Caesars Palace and the Linq to the point people are walking shoulder-to-shoulder. Many people are also sitting at edge of sidewalk and roads waiting for midnight.

-Sean Hemmersmeier, 11:12 p.m.

People are sitting nearly shoulder-to-shoulder on the concrete steps in front of the New York New York awaiting the fireworks. More people are leaning against the fence. Live music from a stage in front of the New York themed hotel can be heard far down the street.

-Taylor Avery, 11:12 p.m.

Looking forward to fireworks

Rafael Hercules and Madu Miragaia traveled from Brazil to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas. The married couple celebrated their victory in giant beer pong over another couple at RedTail restaurant inside Resorts World. They took turns flinging soccer balls trying to place them large red cups. With both couples down to one cup left, Miragaia sunk the winning throw.

They set up for another game but were looking forward to seeing the fireworks at midnight.

“My favorite part is just seeing all the different cultures that we have here and all having fun,” Miragaia said.

-David Wilson, 11:01 p.m.

Newlyweds ring in the new year

Newlyweds Carrie and Mike Servis from Michigan arrived at the Fremont Street Experience in their wedding attire. They got married at 8 p.m. on top of The Stratosphere.

They first met as teenagers and reconnected 37 years later on Facebook early during the COVID-19 pandemic.

They’ve been together since June 2020.

Fellow revelers stopped to congratulate them and compliment Carrie on her wedding dress. Her hope for the evening: “To just have a night to remember here.”

-Julie Wootton-Greener, 10:40 p.m.

Celebration with Boom

Las Vegas resident Carlton Calhoun and his dog Mr. Boom, a nano bully, are celebrating New Year’s on Fremont for the first time. Calhoun is enjoying himself and said he is “just vibing” on Fremont.

-Jessica Hill, 10:40 p.m.

‘Health, wealth and prosperity’

It’s Kyle Bradley and Peace Perilloux’s first Vegas New Year’s Eve. The couple, who have been together for four years, decided to come to Vegas for Perilloux’s birthday, which falls on Jan. 2.

Joined by other friends, Bradley and Perilloux are staying in Vegas for four days and plan to visit Meow Wolf and maybe a Cirque du Soleil show.

Bradley, who’s visiting from Oregon, said he hopes for “health, wealth and prosperity” in the new year.

Perilloux, originally from Kentucky, said she hopes 2024 brings “health and happiness.”

-Taylor Avery, 10:15 p.m.

Security impresses visitors

Just about two hours before midnight a group of 30 to 45 people are sitting on some artificial turf in front of the Mirage, waiting for the fireworks and the volcano show.

Two people sitting on the turf, Lais and Renan Jereissati, are a married couple from Brazil who are visiting Las Vegas as part of a monthlong road trip through the western United States. The duo wanted to be in Las Vegas for New Year’s Eve because they wanted to see a big fireworks display celebration similar to what it’s like in Brazil.

They said they’ve been impressed by Las Vegas and the organization on the Strip. “We’ve never seen this much police or security in one place before,” said Lais Jereissati.

The only issue the two, who are staying at the MGM Grand, have had so far was waking up to the news of a shots being fired by a gunman this morning.

“It seemed like a very American thing to happen,” said Renan Jereissati.

-Sean Hemmersmeier, 9:45 p.m.

‘Grandmas Gone Wild!!’

Dozens of people have headphones on and are dancing at a “silent disco” at the Fremont Street Experience’s Casino Center Stage.

Near the 3rd Street Stage, Linda Galvin — a Texas resident — was celebrating her 65th birthday, which is on New Year’s Day. She was wearing a sequined dress and pink birthday sash.

Galvin and Linda Andrews were carrying signs that read, “Grandmas Gone Wild!!” and “Vegas, Baby, Vegas!”

Galvin said that that coming to Las Vegas was a “bucket list” item for her.

The experience on Fremont Street on New Year’s Eve, she said, is “amazing” and “just what we expected.”

-Julie Wootton-Greener, 9:25 p.m.

‘Big party’

Donning “The Cat in the Hat” outfits with lights to not lose each other in the crowd, married couple Jess and Trip Barrios have rung the new year on the Strip for 17 years together. Jess has done so since the mid 1990’s, he said.

“We like doing this,” the woman said. “It’s like a big party every year,” he added.

The couple are aficionados of space creatures who visited Roswell, New Mexico, earlier this year.

Asked about their wishes for 2024, Jess said he’s looking forward to his retirement from Union Pacific, and said he hopes “we don’t go to war.”

Trip said she hopes for everyone to get along with aliens.

-Ricardo Torres-Cortez, 9:25 p.m.

Tame crowd

Jason and Marsha, who declined to give their last names, traveled from Los Angeles for their first Strip New Year’s Eve festivities. Having to arrive hours before the fireworks extravaganza due to parking at the corridor, they were eager to ring 2024 Las Vegas-style.

“We gotta wait, we gotta see the fireworks, we gotta see if the hype is what everybody says it is,” Jason said.

“The crowd is tame, everybody is moving by cool, it’s quiet now.”

Asked about their hopes for 2024, Jason said, “God and prosperity.”

-Ricardo Torres-Cortez, 9:15 p.m.

Bustling promenade

The Linq Promenade walkway off Caesars Palace Drive is as bustling as Las Vegas Boulevard, with patrons flowing past buskers and into food, drink and even candy establishments. At the casinos, there is a bag check at the entrance.

-Ricardo Torres-Cortez, 9 p.m.

Canopy countdown

The screen canopy covering Fremont Street counts down to midnight for the east coast, and the crowd at the 1st Street Stage on Fremont wishes the East Coast a happy new year as the clock strikes 9 p.m.

The band Color Me Badd, an R&B group, puts on an energetic number with choreographed dancing.

-Jessica Hill, 9 p.m.

‘Definitely exciting’

Michelle Aguilar, hailing from Avondale, AZ, stood out in the crowd outside of the New York New York. She was adorned in a diamond headband, massive diamond earrings and a big white fur coat fit for a queen.

She was joined by J.R. Romero, who said they visit Las Vegas a couple of times a year but had never done New Year’s Eve in the city.

“It’s fun. Definitely exciting,” Romero said. “Great atmosphere.”

Aguilar said she loves that the Strip closes down to cars for pedestrians.

-Taylor Avery, 8:45 p.m.

Band drawing enthusiastic crowd at Fremont Street Experience

Color Me Badd performs for New Year’s Eve revelers on the First Street Stage during the ...
Color Me Badd performs for New Year’s Eve revelers on the First Street Stage during the Time of Your Life Festival at the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas in Las Vegas Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto

There’s a large crowd at the 1st Street Stage at the Fremont Street Experience, where Color Me Badd is performing. People are cheering and taking videos, and squeezing shoulder-to-shoulder to get through.

-Julie Wootton-Greener, 8:45 p.m.

‘Hoping to stay up until midnight’

In what could be the last New Year’s Eve for the Mirage, the casino floor was busy with a lot of people keeping the dealers busy and slot machines whirring.

Mike S. and Lisa J., who declined to give their last names, are an engaged couple from San Diego who are staying at the Mirage for New Year’s Eve for the festivities as well as the busy weekend of NFL and college football. They say they love the Mirage’s central location and aren’t too sad the Mirage name won’t be around next year as redevelopment could start turning the resort into Hard Rock Las Vegas.

“We’re looking forward to it, especially seeing what a new casino floor could like and to get renovated rooms,” Mike S. said.

The couple spent the day watching the NFL at various sportsbooks but don’t have definite plans for the rest of the night.

“We’re hoping to stay up until midnight,” Lisa J. said. “But I’m just drinking water so I could pass out before then.”

-Sean Hemmersmeier, 8:35 p.m.

‘Who’s ready?’

Luke Bryan hits the stage at Resorts World Theatre on Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023. (David Wilson/Las ...
Luke Bryan hits the stage at Resorts World Theatre on Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023. (David Wilson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

“What’s up Las Vegas!” Luke Bryan said as he took the stage at Resorts World Theatre.

He kicked off the concert with “That’s My Kind of Night” making his way across the stage high fiving outstretched hands from the front row.

“New Year’s Eve, who’s ready?” Bryan asked the cheering crowd.

As “One Margarita” started playing, Bryan emerged from stage right with a large beverage of the same name which he handed to a fan in the front row.

“Oh, it’s margarita time!” he said.

Bryan thanked the crowd for spending New Year’s Eve with him. The day is extra special for Bryan as it’s also his wife Caroline Boyer’s birthday.

-David Wilson, 8:15 p.m.

Selfies on the Strip

The mood inside Resorts World Theatre remained upbeat and festive despite the delay in the start of country music singer Luke Bryan’s concert. Several people took selfies with the “Luke Bryan Vegas” screen in the background prior to the concert starting. An usher walked from section to section asking if anyone was celebrating their birthday. A handful of lucky fans stood and were serenaded by their fellow concertgoers with “Happy Birthday.”

-David Wilson, 8:13 p.m.

Role playing on Fremont

Mike and Jeremy “Five”, who declined to give their last names, are Seattle residents who met doing live action role playing as pirates about eight years ago. They became friends and for the last several years have come to Vegas for New Year’s, where they wear their pirate garb 24/7.

They dance to the DJ’s music at the end of Fremont Street by the Plaza with strangers and hand out gold shillings to passersby. They just like to make everybody smile, Five said.

He shared some words of wisdom for Las Vegans.

“Just because you’re drunk before 10, it doesn’t make you an alcoholic,” he said. “It makes you a pirate.”

-Jessica Hill, 8 p.m.

Strip barriers put in place near Venetian

Traffic is shut down and police are sliding barriers onto Las Vegas Boulevard in front of The Venetian and the Mirage.

- Sean Hemmersmeier, 7:55 p.m.

FSE revelry starting to pick up

There’s not a lot of dancing so far at any of the stages, but it’s picking up at the Main Street Stage.

Las Vegas residents Carmen Gonzalez and Jason Ervin were wearing colorful hats and necklaces.

It’s the second year they’ve celebrated at the Fremont Street Experience.

The entertainment is always good, Gonzalez said.

Also, “It feels a little bit safer than the Strip too because there are more police than on the Strip,” she said.

- Julie Wootton-Greener, 7: 50 p.m.

Strip closure begins

Road closures are beginning near the Tropicana Avenue pedestrian bridge on Las Vegas Bouldevard.

-Taylor Avery, 7:40 p.m.

Revelers make their way

7:20 p.m.

Hundreds of revelers make their way up and down the Strip’s sidewalks near Caesars Palace, some stopping to observe buskers working their art.

A soprano saxophone player performs along to a pre-recorded funk track while two other buskers around the corner are dressed like airborne white statues. One is playing a Caribbean jam on a harp. Observers take photos and applaud.

- Ricky Torres-Cortez, 7:30 p.m.

‘Get your picture and then keep moving’

Most pedestrian traffic along the Strip is moving pretty easily.

But people are stopping the pedestrian bridge between the Palazzo and the Wynn in order to get a photo with the Sphere in the background. Once a big crowd formed, a Metro police officer came by to get people to move.

‘I like it’

It’s Lydia Nguyen’s second time visiting Las Vegas during New Year’s Eve.

Nguyen posed in front of the Excalibur Hotel and Casino sign for a photo, the Strips’s flashing lights glinting off her red sequin dress.

Nguyen, from Orange County, California, said she was in town for a show at the Sphere. She liked the show, but said the seats weren’t comfortable.

She said she had visited Las Vegas for New Year’s Eve before, which had been “sort of scary.” This time, she said, she knows what to expect.

But it was her friend’s first time in Las Vegas. “I like it,” Nina Grouong said.

-Taylor Avery, 7:20 p.m.

People stop on the pedestrian bridge between the Palazzo and the Wynn in order to get a photo w ...
People stop on the pedestrian bridge between the Palazzo and the Wynn in order to get a photo with the Sphere in the background on Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023. (Sean Hemmersmeier/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

“Get your picture and then keep moving, we need to keep this clear,” said the Metro officer.

Sean Hemmersmeier, 7:20 p.m.

Keeping vigilant watch

Las Vegas Boulevard and its surrounding roads are a parking lot for law enforcement vehicles with flashing sirens. A group of Nevada National Guard soldiers was spotted circled around Metro officers. As is customary at every year’s celebration, security appears tight as multiple law enforcement agencies work to keep an eye on the thousands of revelers.

Ricky Torres-Cortez, 7:15 p.m.

‘Just seeing the sights’

People began filing into the Resorts World Theatre as doors opened for the 8 p.m. Luke Bryan concert. Cowboy hats and boots replaced Happy New Year hats.

Eddie Lawrence and Deniece Plant both sported cowboy hats as they waited to enter the theater. This year is the couple’s first New Year’s Eve together, and they traveled from Southern California for their first Luke Bryan concert that was half a year in the planning.

What song was she was excited to hear? “I don’t know, everything,” Plant said

Lawrence, a self-described diehard Raiders fan, had never been to Las Vegas before and wanted to see Allegiant Stadium before leaving town.

“Having a great time,” Plant said. “We’ve just been walking around just seeing the sights.”

David Wilson, 7:05 p.m.

Sphere getting attention

A steady stream of people are strolling along Sands Avenue to Las Vegas Boulebard and are briefly stopping to get photos and videos of the Sphere.

- Sean Hemmersmeier, 6:55 p.m.

Thousands expected to fill Fremont Street Experience

About 25,000 to 30,000 people are expected tonight at the Fremont Street Experience, President and CEO Andrew Simon said.

“We get a lot of ticket sales at the last minute,” he said.

The entertainment lineup includes three genres of music — rock on the 3rd Street Stage, R&B and hip-hop on the 1st Street Stage, and EDM on the Main Street Stage. There’s also a silent disco.

He noted that the Fremont Street Experience has never really done EDM on New Year’s Eve before.

Simon said there’s “so much craziness in the world,” and the FSE wants people to have a good time.

Just before midnight, Oscar and Carolyn Goodman — who together mark 25 years as Las Vegas mayors — will take the stage, he said.

“We have a little something in store for them,” Simon said.

- Julie Wootton-Greener, 6:20 p.m.

‘Cheapest good time’

Loni Duran, from Moab, Utah, sports a backpack she got in Vegas around Thanksgiving, as her husband Jair West dances in the background. She is excited to party and enjoy all of the bands.

“The cheapest good time you can have is right here on Fremont Street,” she said, adding that she also feels safe on Fremont, where people must go through metal detectors to enter.

-Jessica Hill, 6:55 p.m.

Local party

Las Vegas resident Natasha Miller wore a shimmering blue dress as she took photos of her sister in front of the mini Sphere inside Resorts World.

“We’re just getting started,” Miller said.

After dinner at Resorts World, Miller said, they would see where the night leads them.

Miller said she comes to the Strip every year for New Year’s Eve and is most looking forward to the fireworks show but still hadn’t decided where they’d set up camp at midnight.

“I try not to make resolutions so just be a better me,” Miller said of the new year.

- David Wilson, 6:30 p.m.

Couple from L.A.

Dick Ochoa and Kelly Vilamar, residents of Los Angeles, on Fremont Street for New Year's Eve 20 ...
Dick Ochoa and Kelly Vilamar, residents of Los Angeles, on Fremont Street for New Year's Eve 2023. (Jessica Hill/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Dick Ochoa and Kelly Vilamar, residents of Los Angeles, are on Fremont to have fun and enjoy the party. It’s their first year celebrating New Year’s together.

-Jessica Hill, 6:35 p.m.

‘Hang out, drink and people watch’

There are a lot of people walking around the Linq Promenade, with lines to get into about every restaurant in the area as well as the zip line and the High Roller Ferris wheel.

Joy Mogilinski was walking in the Promenade and is visiting Las Vegas from Chicago for New Year’s Eve since her daughter got married earlier in the day in downtown Las Vegas because of the 12-31-23 wedding date. She said the ceremony and her trip to Las Vegas has been perfect so far.

Mogilinski doesn’t have big plans for the rest of the night but plans to stay out until midnight.

“I’m just going to hang out, drink and people watch,” Mogilinski said. “It’s the best thing to do in Vegas.”

- Sean Hemmersmeier, 6:08 p.m.

Celebrating tying the knot

Newlyweds Travis and Teresa Carmicheal from Redding, California, were waiting before the Fremont Street Experience opened. Just three hours earlier, they got married at Lucky Little Wedding Chapel.

The couple has been together for two years.

They were wearing souvenir hats. Teresa — who had changed out of her wedding dress into more casual attire — was wearing a white cowboy hat that read, “Bride.”

Travis said he went to the Fremont Street Experience for Halloween one year, and wanted to get married in Las Vegas and his now-wife agreed.

At the chapel, “we were surprised with some unexpected family members who came down,” Teresa said.

Four family members joined them for their special day.

The couple was hoping to make it to midnight and is heading to the Grand Canyon on Monday.

Julie Wootton-Greener, 5:45 p.m.

Partiers lining up for Fremont Street Experience celebration

A long line formed at the Fremont Street Experience’s Fourth Street entrance about 30 minutes before gates were scheduled to open for the “Time of Your Life” festival.

Sammy Jo Jones and Paul Bennett of Hot Springs, Arkansas, were among those waiting.

Jones was wearing a black shirt with a picture of her significant other and the phrase, “If lost, please return to Paul.”

She said it was her first trip to Las Vegas as an adult, noting she visited as a child and remembers that people could drive on Fremont Street.

Jones and Bennett became interested in the Sphere after seeing content on social media.

The trip to Las Vegas was their Christmas gift to each other. They arrived Friday and leave on Tuesday.

Bennett said about the Sphere: “It did not disappoint.”

They wanted to partake in festivities at the Fremont Street Experience. And it’s a departure from the usual.

“Honestly, our New Years Eves are spent at home,” Jones said.

- Julie Wootton-Greener, 5:35 p.m.

A bedazzled Happy New Year

A street vendor sold bedazzled Happy New Year apparel including light up “2024” glasses to passersby outside Resorts World on Las Vegas Boulevard, near Convention Center Drive. Foot traffic remained sparse outside the casino.

The line across the street at Tacos El Gordo stretched out of the restaurant onto the sidewalk.

- David Wilson, 5:29 p.m.

Welcome to Las Vegas

A woman in a white wedding dress with a bouquet of white roses poses with a man in a tux holding a Manila envelope under the shimmering lights of the Welcome to the Fabulous Las Vegas sign.

A line of approximately 50 people stand in line to take their photo with the sign, and a line of cars and a limo extended in a line onto Las Vegas Boulevard.

- Taylor Avery, 4:42 p.m.

Weather expected to be cold, windy for New Year’s Eve

Las Vegas expects a low of 43 degrees Sunday night with some slight winds. No rain or wind gusts are forecast for the holiday for the first time in three years, the National Weather Service said.

New Year’s Day is expected to be mostly sunny with a high of 61 degrees, the weather service said.

— Taylor Lane, 3:35 p.m.

Police quell public’s worry after early morning shooting near Strip

The Metropolitan Police Department said there was a shooting near the Strip early Sunday morning, but that a man was arrested in connection to the incident and there is no longer a threat to the public.

Police arrested 45-year-old Jon Letzkus around 10:40 a.m. Sunday and recovered a weapon from the incident.

Metro Deputy Chief Dori Koren said no one was injured during the shooting and that New Year’s Eve festivities would continue as planned.

“Leading up to tonight’s New Year’s events, I just want to reassure that, not only do we have very good plans for keeping the community safe as we’ve done year-in and year-out, but our officers are always prepared,” Koren said.

— Peter S. Levitt, 12:30 p.m.

More New Year’s Eve:

-New Year’s Eve 2023: A guide to fireworks, concerts and parties

-Top concerts for New Year’s Eve weekend

-A history of New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas

-Meet the family behind the fireworks

-1-2-3-1-2-3: New Year’s weddings in Las Vegas

-All New Year’s Eve coverage

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST