It’s nearly go-time for Las Vegas’ biggest party, welcoming 330,000 out-of-town revelers to celebrate the arrival of the new year.
Officials promise a party to remember on the Las Vegas Strip and downtown’s Fremont Street Experience — and enhanced measures to ensure not only a fun celebration but also a safe one Sunday night.
“It’s a culmination of another year. It’s the greatest celebration of New Year’s event in the world, we think,” Jeremy Handel, a Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority spokesman, said Friday. “We look forward to putting on another great show for everybody this year.”
Among the highlights: 12 live bands on multiple stages at downtown’s Fremont Street Experience and a massive fireworks show on the Strip.
For the 11th straight year, Fireworks By Grucci is orchestrating the launch of fireworks across seven hotel-casino rooftops stretching from the Stratosphere to the MGM Grand. Beginning at midnight, pyrotechnics will light up the Las Vegas skyline for eight minutes.
Fireworks also will light up the midnight sky at the Plaza downtown and at Lake Las Vegas in Henderson.
Headliners and parties
Among the entertainers performing on the Strip are Maroon 5 at 8 p.m. at Mandalay Bay; Foo Fighters at 10:30 p.m. at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas; Bruno Mars at 9:30 p.m. at the Monte Carlo; Celine Dion at 7:30 p.m. at Caesars Palace; and doors opening at 9:30 p.m. for Chris Brown at The Cromwell. Check hotel venues and ticket sites for ticket availability.
In downtown Las Vegas, America’s Party events on Fremont Street Experience will begin at 6 p.m., with 12 on-stage bands, the ball drop from Times Square, the premiere of a new Viva Vision light show featuring The Killers. Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman will host the event and usher in the new year. Tickets are $45 and available Sunday at the SlotZilla Box Office/Gates.
At Gold Spike & Inspire, the “Escape Masquerade” party starts at 8 p.m. with two open bar parties, beats by DJs Freddy B and Dilemma in the Living Room, music by Super Lemon in the Backyard and a Champagne toast at midnight.
At Downtown Grand, The Grand Gatsby NYE celebration will feature DJs and a pub crawl, with performances starting at 8 p.m.
Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo on Wednesday discussed safety measures being put in place for the events.
“I’m confident every available resource is being used to make sure this New Year’s Eve will be safe,” he said.
Flocks of visitors who began arriving at McCarran International Airport on Friday could see evidence of that pledge as they walked through the terminals.
National Guard troops also will be stationed at locations on the Strip and downtown, and more than 1,500 Metropolitan Police Department officers will be on duty in the Las Vegas Valley over the three-day holiday weekend. Some 4,200 metal barricades also will be set up along the Strip.
“They’ve got enhanced response teams, more response teams, snipers on the roof of the hotels,” Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak said Friday. “We’re ready for any situation, and hopefully it’ll go off without any problems.”
Keep in mind
As the big night approaches, the National Weather Service advises those ringing in 2018 to dress warmly: While Sunday is expected to reach a high of 65, it will dip to a low of 42 going into early Monday morning with light winds and partly cloudy skies.
And while bringing a jacket and gloves will come in handy, here are some things officials say must be left behind: glass bottles, large bags, strollers, backpacks and coolers — all are prohibited on the Strip and at Fremont Street Experience.
Fremont Street Experience also lists no packaged beverages, no chairs, no masks, no weapons, no glass/aluminum, and no amplified sound or signs of any kind.
If you’re driving down to the Strip, early arrival is recommended.
Tropicana Avenue also will close in both directions between Koval Lane and Dean Martin Drive during that time, along with eastbound Flamingo Road at Valley View Boulevard.
On-ramps and off-ramps to Interstate 15 will close at 5 p.m. at Spring Mountain Road, Flamingo Road and Tropicana Avenue. Drivers will be able to enter and exit the freeway at Sahara Avenue and Russell Road.
In downtown Las Vegas, closures start at 7 a.m. New Year’s Eve on Casino Center Drive, along with Main, First, Third and Fourth streets, between Ogden and Carson avenues.
All road and freeway ramp restrictions will be lifted gradually between 3 and 6 a.m. New Year’s Day.
Contact Briana Erickson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5244. Follow @brianarerick on Twitter.
New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas by the numbers
— 4,200 metal barricades will be set up on the Strip
— 15 tons of trash expected to be collected after the party ends