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New Year’s fireworks prep starts at 7 Las Vegas Strip resorts

Updated December 28, 2018 - 7:00 pm

From the cold, windy rooftop of Planet Hollywood Resort, workers in charge of Las Vegas’ New Year’s fireworks show stood confidently Friday, days before 375,000 people are expected to crowd the Strip.

Fireworks by Grucci will launch more than 80,000 fireworks from seven hotel rooftops. The eight-minute pyrotechnics show will be synced with snippets of 10 songs, including Mariah Carey’s rendition of “Auld Lang Syne” and the Vegas Golden Knights entrance song.

Setup began in earnest on the rooftops Friday afternoon, as firework shells were stuffed into cylinders. Workers also threaded fuse wires into a switchboard, which connects to the main computer system used to run the performance. Workers will continue set up in 10- to 12-hour shifts through Monday. The company will check the setup and test the communication system before the blasts begin at midnight.

Chilly, windy weather is forecast for New Year’s Eve, with a high of 51 degrees that’s expected to dip to 33 closer to midnight. Unless there are sustained winds of 10 mph or higher, it’ll probably be OK, said Scott Cooper, director of business development for Fireworks by Grucci.

“Right now, we’re looking pretty good,” he said.

In addition to Planet Hollywood, fireworks will launch from the Stratosphere, MGM Grand, Aria, Caesars Palace, TI and The Venetian.

Stations atop each casino will be equipped with anemometers to measure wind speed. Workers will be in constant communication with a command center inside the Rio. If the wind gets to be too strong, the fireworks could be delayed until 1 a.m. or canceled. But wind has never been a deal-breaker before, officials said.

“Each New Year’s Eve is unique based on the circumstances of the weather at the rooftops, where wind speeds are measured at the fireworks launch sites,” county spokesman Dan Kulin said in a statement Friday. “There are times when it has been windy on New Year’s Eve, but the winds aren’t sustained at the rooftops or they subside enough for the fireworks to happen.”

Unsafe celebrations

Shooting a gun into the air at midnight to celebrate the new year may sound like fun, but what goes up must come down.

And in some unfortunate situations, those bullets could hurt or kill an innocent bystander.

“Just don’t do it is basically the message here,” said Metropolitan Police Department spokeswoman Laura Meltzer, adding that celebratory gunfire on New Year’s Eve is an issue in the Las Vegas Valley.

On Friday, days ahead of the valleywide celebration, Meltzer recalled several past cases in which 911 was called for bullets flying into people’s homes while they were celebrating or sleeping.

“As the bullet falls, it does gain velocity,” Meltzer said.

Illegal fireworks have been another popular problem once the clock strikes midnight, and they could lead to a fine of up to $1,000 and disposal fees in the hundreds of dollars, according to Clark County officials.

County Fire Chief Greg Cassell has characterized illegal fireworks as anything that “leaves the ground” and “makes loud popping noises.”

Meltzer’s advice for a safe celebration: “Just go and enjoy the shows that are being put on at multiple places through 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.

Contact Meghin Delaney at 702-383-0281 or mdelaney@reviewjournal.com. Follow @MeghinDelaney on Twitter. Contact Rio Lacanlale at rlacanlale@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Follow @riolacanlale on Twitter.

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