Updated December 25, 2021 - 7:15 pm
Thousands of colorful explosions and shimmering shapes will light up the Las Vegas Strip on New Year’s Eve once again this year.
Eight hotel-casinos will participate in this year’s eight-minute New Year’s fireworks and entertainment celebration, dubbed America’s Party 2022. This year’s theme is Deuces Wild, officials announced during a Thursday morning news conference.
Representatives of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Las Vegas Events, Fireworks by Grucci and local government welcomed the return of the massive showcase, which was canceled last year because of COVID-19 restrictions.
“The world has come to expect great things of Las Vegas, things that can’t be done anywhere else in the way that we do,” Jim Gibson, vice chairman of the Clark County Commission, said during remarks at Fashion Show mall. “I am confident that America’s Party 2022 Deuces Wild will exceed expectations because what happens here only happens here.”
The announcement comes amid growing COVID case numbers in some parts of the U.S. and concerns about the new omicron variant, which has caused some city governments, sports teams and others to increase measures to curb the spread of the disease.
Fireworks will be launched from the MGM Grand, Aria, Planet Hollywood, Caesars Palace, Treasure Island, The Venetian, the Strat and Resorts World Las Vegas — the newest property addition following its June opening — at midnight on Jan. 1.
The additional property will present a new dynamic to the northern section of the display, said Scott Cooper, director of business development at Fireworks by Grucci.
“(Resorts World) fills in that huge gap between Treasure Island and the Stratosphere,” Cooper said. “If you’re out in the valley, it’s a great spot, don’t get me wrong, because you’ll see the entire thing. But if you’re in front (of a property), you’re going to feel that concussion, you’re going to smell the smoke.”
More than 11,500 custom pyrotechnics, controlled by more than 60 technicians and 70 support staff, will launch from the properties’ rooftops. The show will start with a pyrotechnic countdown racing up the Strat’s tower, then launch the fireworks display. New visuals include pastel colored-fireworks, special shapes and sweeping explosions across the Strip that shoot up like the Bellagio Fountains, among other effects.
The show’s soundtrack — including “Auld Lang Syne,” “Deuces Are Wild” by Aerosmith and “22” by Taylor Swift — will be broadcast through local radio stations KOMP 92.3 and 97.1 The Point.
The fireworks display, one of the largest New Year’s celebrations in the world, has been a longtime tradition on the Strip. While last year’s fireworks display was canceled, the Plaza in downtown Las Vegas continued to light up the sky for the valley.
Festivities also will take place in downtown. The Plaza will host another downtown fireworks spectacle this year, and the Fremont Street Experience will host an ‘80s and ‘90s-themed dance party beginning at 6 p.m. Live performers under the canopy will include Vanilla Ice, Village People, Bobby Brown, Tone Loc and more. Tickets are $35 for the Fremont event.
The return of New Year’s Eve celebrations illustrates the area’s recovery throughout 2021, officials noted. What was once a dead time of year for Vegas tourism is now marked by large parties and events such as the National Finals Rodeo. The first weekend of 2022 will bring thousands of tourists for New Year celebrations and concerts on the Strip from stars including Katy Perry, Maroon 5, Usher and Bruno Mars.
“People come to Las Vegas because they’re looking for a reason sometimes; this gives them another reason to be here,” Gibson said. “Very often, they stay more than just for the evening. We’ll see two, three, and four day-stays. We’re extremely excited to have it again.”
The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Dr. Miriam Adelson, the majority shareholder of Las Vegas Sands Corp., which operates The Venetian.
McKenna Ross is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Contact her at email@example.com. Follow @mckenna_ross_ on Twitter.